Thomas Boston on the original Covenanters and the hyper-Covenanter error of political dissent

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... I find, that at the first taking of the covenant, they swear to maintain the King’s authority: as also, when, with additions, it was renewed in the year 1638, they swear to stand to the defence of his majesty’s person and authority. How agrees our dissenters’ principle, rejecting the authority of the Queen, with this part of the covenant? O, say they, “she is not a covenanted Queen, and therefore cannot be Queen of a covenanted land.”

Strange prejudices! Was not Scotland a covenanted land long ere the Solemn League and Covenant was heard tell of? Was not king Charles I. King of a covenanted land at that time when the covenant was renewed, and his authority sworn to be defended? But was he a covenanted king? Did he own their covenant? No, no; upon the contrary; he obliged some of their nobles at London to abjure it, declared the covenanters rebels, and brought down an army against them to force them from it. See Apologetical Relation, page 53.

As for the Solemn League and Covenant, we find them guilty the same way. It binds us expressly against schism, as well as Prelacy, superstition, and heresy. And that they are guilty of schism has been proven before. It also bound to the maintaining of the king’s authority, it being far from the mind of the covenanters to cast off the authority of the magistrate, though it was entered into without the king’s consent. ...

For more, see Thomas Boston on the original Covenanters and the hyper-Covenanter error of political dissent.

N.B. This post is not automatically relevant to the RPCNA's view, as that is a more complex discussion owing to the role of the U.S. Constitution.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Thomas Boston's analysis reminds me of something that Matthew Winzer said a while back: "The covenants, however, recognise the civil and legal authority of the king, who at that time was Charles I.; so those who later altered the covenants to suit their theory of political dissent are not "covenanters" in the original sense." (See this post.)
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Thomas Boston's analysis reminds me of something that Matthew Winzer said a while back: "The covenants, however, recognise the civil and legal authority of the king, who at that time was Charles I.; so those who later altered the covenants to suit their theory of political dissent are not "covenanters" in the original sense." (See this post.)
Is there any succinct analysis that lays out how the later dissenters modified original covenanter beliefs/covenants to codify their later view of dissent?
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Along the lines of Chris’s question, quoting MW: “those who later altered the covenants to suit their theory of political dissent are not "covenanters" in the original sense.” Who is he referring to?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Along the lines of Chris’s question, quoting MW: “those who later altered the covenants to suit their theory of political dissent are not "covenanters" in the original sense.” Who is he referring to?

Reformed Presbyterians, I think.

Is there any succinct analysis that lays out how the later dissenters modified original covenanter beliefs/covenants to codify their later view of dissent?

It might be worth looking at the Auchensaugh Renovation.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Along the lines of Chris’s question, quoting MW: “those who later altered the covenants to suit their theory of political dissent are not "covenanters" in the original sense.” Who is he referring to?

Probably the Covenanter lines who opposed the Glorious Revolution of William.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
Daniel, your not allowed to change your Avatar, I only have 1 mental picture of you in my mind, please put it back or show your true face!:rant:

We will report you!
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
@Reformed Covenanter, I must confess, your avatar change to Boston is wigging me out. I don’t think I’ve ever known you to have any other avatar besides Houston. o_O

"Houston, we have a problem." :p

Daniel, your not allowed to change your Avatar, I only have 1 mental picture of you in my mind, please put it back or show your true face!:rant:

We will report you!

Many years ago, I recall @greenbaggins saying that if he ever shaved his beard, his children would freak out and not recognise him. I have often thought that way about my avatar. If I ever changed it, people would go mad. Then I decided to be mischievous and change it in order to see the reaction. :stirpot:
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
What has prompted the change was that I had dinner in Bangor last night with a young guy from church wherein we spent a long time talking about Thomas Boston and the doctrine of the covenants. I was telling him that upon reading Boston's notes on The Marrow of Modern Divinity and re-reading his book on The Covenant of Grace, it was as if someone had switched the lights on and I finally corrected my fuzzy thinking on the unconditional nature of the covenant of grace, the unity of the covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace (two aspects of the one covenant), and republication of the covenant of works under Moses. I recall saying on Facebook a couple of years ago, that of Scottish theologians born of women there has arisen none greater than Thomas Boston.

In my opinion, Boston is massively under-rated. So too is Thomas Houston, but I think that I have given him sufficient advertisement over the years. :cheers:
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I said to myself back in 2014, that if Liverpool ever won the Premier League I would change my avatar to a Liverpool crest. Given the make-up of PB, however, I judged that the significance of doing so would be lost on the audience.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Again, sorry for multiple posts in a thread, but one point where I think Thomas Boston goes too far is in labelling the RPs as schismatics. Could they have done more to unite with the Church of Scotland after the Revolution? I think that they could have, but the fault was not wholly on their side and if they had united with the CofS, they may well have been expelled. Divisions of this nature are often torturously complicated and I am always inclined to reserve judgment on the specifics. And while I disagree with the RPs on the specific issue in the OP, they have maintained a witness for the Covenanted Reformation that might otherwise have been entirely forgotten.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Intro to the document at Covenanter.org (forgive any wonky formatting):

THE AUCHENSAUGH RENOVATION.
THE NATIONAL COVENANT AND SOLEMN LEAGUE AND
COVENANT, WITH THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF
SINS AND ENGAGEMENT TO DUTIES:

AS THEY WERE RENEWED AT AUCHENSAUGH, NEAR
DOUGLAS, JULY 24, 1712,
WITH ACCOMMODATION TO THE (THEN) PRESENT TIME.



So those terms and phrases: “renovation”, and “accommodation to the present times.” Daniel or anyone else, in a nutshell, can you say what was changed at this time in regards to the original SL&C?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Intro to the document at Covenanter.org (forgive any wonky formatting):

THE AUCHENSAUGH RENOVATION.
THE NATIONAL COVENANT AND SOLEMN LEAGUE AND
COVENANT, WITH THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF
SINS AND ENGAGEMENT TO DUTIES:

AS THEY WERE RENEWED AT AUCHENSAUGH, NEAR
DOUGLAS, JULY 24, 1712,
WITH ACCOMMODATION TO THE (THEN) PRESENT TIME.



So those terms and phrases: “renovation”, and “accommodation to the present times.” Daniel or anyone else, in a nutshell, can you say what was changed at this time in regards to the original SL&C?

Yes, but someone I know in the RPCNA once told me that that edition was corrupted by the Steelites. I will try to look for an earlier edition later.
 
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