How to covenant with God.

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
This really stirred my soul this morning. I pray that all will take the time to read it and that it will cause a great devotion to God through Christ. I believe it will bring much comfort to the souls of those who read it. God bless you all on this sabbath day:







-- 'O Lord, I am a lost and fallen creature by nature, and by innumerable actual transgressions, which I do confess particularly before Thee this day: and although, being born within the visible church, I was from the womb in covenant with Thee, and had the same sealed to me in baptism; yet, for a long time, I have lived without God in the world, senseless and ignorant of my obligation by virtue of that covenant. Thou hast at length discovered to me, and impressed upon my heart, my miserable state in myself, and hast made manifest unto my heart the satisfying remedy. Thou hast provided by Christ Jesus, offering the same freely unto me, upon condition that I would accept of the same, and would close with Thee as my God in Christ, warranting and commanding me, upon my utmost peril, to accept of this offer, and to flee unto Christ Jesus; yea, to my apprehension, now Thou hast sovereignly determined my heart, and formed it for Christ Jesus, leading it out after Him in the offers of the gospel, causing me to approach unto the living God, to close so with Him and to acquiesce in His offer, without any known guile. And that I may come up to that establishment of spirit in this matter, which should be to my comfort, and the praise of Thy glorious grace; therefore, I am here this day to put that matter out of question by express words before Thee, according to Thy will. And now I, unworthy as I am, do declare, that I believe that Christ Jesus, who was slain at Jerusalem, was the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world. I do believe that record, that there is life eternal for men in Him, and in Him only. I do this day in my heart approve and acquiesce in that device of saving sinners by Him, and do intrust my soul unto Him. I do accept of reconciliation with God through Him, and do close with Thee as my God in Him. I choose Him in all that He is, and all that may follow Him, and do resign up myself, and what I am, or have, unto Thee; desiring to be divorced from everything hateful unto Thee, and that without exception, or reservation, or anything inconsistent within my knowledge, or any intended reversion. Here I give the hand to Thee, and do take all things about me witnesses, that I, whatever I be, or have hitherto been, do accept of God's offer of peace through Christ; and do make a sure covenant with Thee this day, never to be reversed, hoping that Thou wilt make all things forthcoming, both on Thy part and mine, seriously begging, as I desire to be saved, that my corruptions may be subdued, and my neck brought under Thy sweet yoke in all things, and my heart made cheerfully to acquiesce in whatsoever Thou dost unto me, or with me, in order to these ends. Now, glory be unto Thee, O Father, who devised such a salvation, and gave the Son to accomplish it: Glory be to Christ Jesus, who, at so dear a rate, did purchase the outletting of that love from the Father's bosom, and through whom alone this access is granted, and in whom I am reconciled unto God, and honorably united unto Him, and am no more an enemy or stranger: Glory to the Holy Ghost, who did alarm me when I was destroying myself, and who did not only convince me of my danger, but did also open my eyes to behold the remedy provided in Christ; yea, and did persuade and determine my wicked heart to fall in love with Christ, as the enriching treasure; and this day does teach me how to covenant with God, and how to appropriate to myself all the sure mercies of David, and blessings of Abraham, and to secure to myself the favour and friendship of God for ever. Now, with my soul, heart, head, and whole man, as I can, I do acquiesce in my choice this day, henceforth resolving not to be my own, but Thine; and that the care of whatsoever concerns me shall be on Thee, as my Head and Lord, protesting humbly, that failings on my part (against which I resolve, Thou knowest) shall not make void this covenant; for so hast Thou said, which I intend not to abuse, but so much the more to cleave close unto Thee, and I must have liberty to renew, ratify, and draw extracts of this transaction, as often as shall be needful. Now, I know Thy consent to this bargain stands recorded in Scripture, so that I need no new signification of it; and I, having accepted of Thy offer upon Thine own terms, will henceforth wait for what is good, and for Thy salvation in the end. As Thou art faithful, pardon what is amiss in my way of doing the thing, and accept me in my Lord Jesus Christ, in whom only I desire pardon. And in testimony hereof, I set to my seal that God is true, in declaring Him a competent Savior.' Let people covenant with God in fewer or more words, as the Lord shall dispose them--for we intend no exact form of words for any person--only it were fitting that men should before the Lord acknowledge their lost state in themselves, and the relief that is by Christ; and that they do declare that they accept of the same as it is offered in the gospel, and do thankfully rest satisfied with it, intrusting themselves henceforth wholly unto God, to be saved in His way, for which they wait according to His faithfulness. If men would heartily and sincerely do this, it might, through the Lord's b1essing, help to establish them against many fears and jealousies; and they might date some good thing from this day and hour, which might prove comfortable unto them when they fall in the dark afterwards, and even when many failings do stare them in the face, perhaps at the hour of death--'These be the last words of David: although my house be not so with God, yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure; for this is all my salvation, and all my desire.' (2 Sam. 23: 5.) It is much if a man can appeal unto God, and say, Thou knowest there was a day and an hour when in such a place I did accept of peace through Christ, and did deliver up my heart to Thee, to write on it Thy whole law without exception; heaven and earth are witnesses of it--'Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope.' (Psa. 119: 49.)

William Guthrie, "The christians great interest"
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
:amen: brother! Here are also personal covenants by Thomas Boston:

Personal Covenant

AUG. 14, 1699

I, MR. THOMAS BOSTON, preacher of the gospel of Christ, being by nature an apostate from God, an enemy to the great JEHOVAH and so an heir of hell and wrath, in myself utterly lost and undone, because of my original and actual sins, and misery thereby; and being, in some measure, made sensible of this my lost and undone state, and sensible of my need, my absolute need of a Saviour, without whom I must perish eternally; and believing that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of the eternal God, is not only able to save me, by virtue of his death and sufferings, but willing also to save me (though most vile and ugly, and one who has given him many repulses), both from my sins, and from the load of wrath due to me for them, upon condition that I believe, come to him for salvation, and cordially receive him in all his offices; consenting to the terms of the covenant: therefore, as I have at several opportunities before given an express and solemn consent to the terms of the covenant, and have entered into a personal covenant with Christ; so now, being called to undertake the great and weighty work of the ministry of the gospel, for which I am altogether insufficient, I do by this declare, That I stand to and own all my former engagements, whether sacramental, or any other way whatsoever; and now again do RENEW my covenant with God; and hereby, at this present time, do solemnly COVENANT and ENGAGE to be the Lord's and MAKE a solemn resignation and upgiving of myself, my soul, body, spiritual and temporal concerns, unto the Lord Jesus Christ, without any reservation whatsoever; and do hereby give my voluntary consent to the terms of the covenant laid down in the holy scriptures, the word of truth; and with my heart and soul I TAKE and RECEIVE Christ in all his offices, as my PROPHET to teach me, resolving and engaging in his strength to follow, that is, to endeavour to follow his instructions: I TAKE him as my PRIEST to be saved by his death and merits alone; and renouncing my own righteousness as filthy rags and menstruous cloths, I am content to be clothed with his righteousness alone; and live entirely upon free grace; likewise I TAKE him for my ADVOCATE and INTERCESSOR with the Father: and finally, I TAKE him as my KING to reign in me, and to rule over me, renouncing all other lords, whether sin or self, and in particular my predominant idol; and in the strength of the Lord, do resolve and hereby engage, to cleave to Christ as my Sovereign Lord and Ring, in death and in life, in prosperity and in adversity, even for ever, and to strive and wrestle in his strength against all known sin; PROTESTING, that whatever sin may be lying hid in my heart out of my view, I disown it, and abhor it, and shall in the Lord's strength, endeavour the mortification of it, when the Lord shall be pleased to let me see it. And this solemn covenant I MAKE as in the presence of the ever-living, heart-searching God, and subscribe it with my hand, in my chamber, at Dunse, about one o'clock in the afternoon, the fourteenth day of August, one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years. T. BOSTON.

DEC. 2, 1729

O Lord, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I confess from my heart, that I am by nature a lost and undone sinner, wholly corrupted, and laid under the curse, in Adam, through the breach of the covenant of works; and ruined myself more and more by my innumerable actual transgressions, whereby my whole life appears in my eyes this day a heap of vanity, sin, and foolishness. I am fully convinced, and do from my heart acknowledge, that I am utterly unable to help myself, in whole or in part, out of this gulf of sin and misery, into which I am plunged; and that it is beyond the reach of the whole creation to help me out of it; so that I must inevitably perish for ever, if thine own strong hand do not make help to me. But forasmuch as there is a covenant of grace, for life and salvation to lost sinners, established between THEE and thine own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as second Adam; wherein, upon condition of his fulfilling all righteousness, which is now performed, in his having been born perfectly holy, lived altogether righteously, and made perfect satisfaction to justice by his death and sufferings, thou hast promised that thou wilt be their God, and they shall be thy people, to the making of them holy and happy for ever; and that this covenant is, in Christ the head thereof, offered and exhibited to me in thy gospel, and thou callest me into the fellowship thereof, in him; therefore, (adhering to my former acceptings and taking hold of it, declared whether by word or writ before thee, without willful mistaking of it, or known guile), upon the warrant of, and in obedience to, thy command and call, I myself a poor perishing sinner, and worthy to perish, do now again TAKE HOLD of that COVENANT, for life and salvation to ME; believing on the name of Christ crucified, the head thereof, offered and exhibited to me, as the great High Priest, who, by the sacrifice of himself, hath made atonement, paid the ransom, and brought in everlasting righteousness for poor sinners. I CREDIT his word of grace to me, and accordingly TRUST on him, that he with his righteousness will be mine, and that, in and through him, God will be my God, and I shall be one of his people, to the making of me holy and happy for ever. O my God, I do by thy grace acquiesce in that covenant, as all my salvation, and all my desire, with my whole heart and soul. The Son incarnate is my only PRIEST, my surety, my intercessor, and my Redeemer; and, in him, the FATHER my FATHER; the HOLY GHOST my SANCTIFIER; GOD in Christ my GOD. I resign myself, soul and body, to him, to be saved by his blood alone; renouncing all confidence in mine own righteousness, doings and sufferings. With my whole heart and soul, he is my HEAD and HUSBAND; and I am his only, wholly, and forever; to live by him, to him, and for him. I take him for my alone PROPHET, Oracle and Guide; give up myself wholly to him, to be taught, guided, and directed, in all things, by his word and Spirit; and renounce mine own wisdom, and the wisdom of this world. He is, with my heart's consent, my alone KING and LORD. And I resign myself wholly, soul and body, unto him, to be rescued, by the strength of his mighty hand, from sin, death, the Devil, and this present evil world, for to serve him for ever, and to be ruled by the will of his command, as to my duty, and the will of his providence as my lot. I am with my whole heart content (Lord, thou knowest) to part with, and do renounce every known sin, lust, or idol, and particularly that sin which most easily besets me; together with my own foolish will, and all other lords besides him; without reservation, and with exception against his cross. Protesting in thy sight, O Lord, that I am, through grace, willing to have discovered unto me, and upon discovery to part with, every sin in me I know not; and that the doubtings and averseness of heart, mixed with this my accepting of thy covenant, are what I allow not; and that notwithstanding thereof, I look to be accepted of thee herein, in the Beloved thine only Son and my Saviour, purging away these, with all my other sins, by his precious blood. Let it be recorded in heaven, O Lord, and let the bed on which I leaned, the timber, and the stones, and all other things about me here, in my closet, bear witness, that I, though most unworthy, have this second day of December, 1729, here taken hold of, and come into thy covenant of grace, offered and exhibited to me in thy gospel, for time and eternity; and that thou art my God in the tenor of that covenant, and I am one of thy people, from henceforth and for ever.

T. BOSTON
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
David Hay Fleming, The Story of the Scottish Covenants in Outline, pp. 4-5:

Personal Covenants

The private or personal covenant, in which the individual Christian gave up himself, or herself, formally to the service of God, helped many a one to walk straight in crooked and trying times. These private transactions were neither less solemn nor less sacred because the knowledge of them was confined to the covenanter and his Lord.

Many specimens of these old personal covenants have been preserved, and they throw a vivid light on a type of earnest piety, which, it is to be feared, is rather rare in the present day. One of these came into my hands twenty years ago, inside a copy of Patrick Gillespie's well-known work, "The Ark of the Testament Opened." The book was printed at London in 1661, and is still in the original binding, but the old brown calf had given way at the joints, and so one of the previous owners had it rebacked.

A Specimen

...

"I, Francis Wark, do hereby testify and declare that I, being a poor miserable sinner deserving hell and wrath, and that vengeance is my due, and I, not being able to deliver myself from wrath, nor satisfy the justice of God for my guilt, do this day betake myself to the righteousness of Jesus Christ, fully renouncing all righteousness in myself, and betake me to His mercy; and likewise that I take the true God, who made the heavens and the earth, and gave me a being upon the world, to be my God and my portion (renouncing the world, the flesh and the devil), and resign up myself soul and body to be His, in time and through all the ages of endless eternity, even to him who is one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and I take Jesus Christ for my Saviour, my Prophet, Priest and King, and engages to be for Him and his glory, while I have a being upon the earth: in witness thereof I have subscribed this with my hand, Glasgow the 21 day of May 1693, Francis Wark."
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
http://www.puritanboard.com/f30/childrens-bond-4335/

One confession of faith that is seldom referenced outside of Scottish Covenanter literature is known as the "Children's Bond." It was a signed statement of faith prepared around 1684 by 15 girls around 10 years of age or younger. These girls came from Pentland, an area known for a famous battle between Covenanter and Royalist forces 17 years before. The 1680's were the height of the Killing Times which makes their confession all the more outstanding. I have yet to see it reproduced in full online, so here is the text for those who may be interested:

This is a Covenant made between the Lord and us, with our whole hearts, and to give up ourselves freely to Him without reserve, soul and body, hearts and affections, to be His children and Him to be our God and Father; if it please the Lord to send His gospel to the land again, that we stand to this Covenant which we have written, between the Lord and us, as we shall answer at that great day. That we shall never break this Covenant which we have made with the Lord and us, that we shall stand to this Covenant which we have made; and if not, it shall be a witness against us in the great day when we shall stand before the Lord and His holy angels. O Lord give us real grace in our hearts this day to mind Zion's breaches which are in such low case this day: and make us to mourn with her, for Thou hast said them that mourn with her in the time of trouble shall rejoice when she rejoiceth, when the Lord shall bring back the captivity of Zion, when he shall deliver her out of her enemies' hand, when her King shall come and raise her from the dust, in spite of all her enemies that oppose her, either devils or men. That thus, they have banished their King, Christ out of the land, yet he will arise and avenge His childrens' blood at her enemies' hands, which cruel murderers have shed.

On the back of the document was written:

Them that will not stand to every article of this Covenant which we have made betwixt the Lord and us, that they shall not go to the Kirk to hear any of those soul-murdering curates we will neither speak nor converse with them. Any that break this Covenant, they shall never come into our Society. We shall declare before the Lord that have bound ourselves in Covenant, to be covenanted with Him all the days of our life, to be His children and Him to be our Covenanted Father.

We subscribe with our hands these presents --

Beatrix Umpherston
Helen Moutray
Helen Straiton
Margaret Galloway
Janet Brown
Helen Clark
Marion Swan
Janet Swan
Isobel Craig
Martha Logan
Margaret Brown
Janet Brown
Margaret McMoren
Christian Laurie
Agnes Aitken

Source: Torchbearers of the Truth by A.S. Horne
 
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