National Covenant of Scotland, 1581, Part 2

July 26, 2013


Daniel Cawdrey on the need for Protestants to be strict

July 16, 2013

The Westminster divine, Daniel Cawdrey, pointed out the great evil of Protestants being less strict and zealous in religious matters than idolaters:

“Oh shameful and unsufferable wickedness! It is not so with any Religion as it is with ours. In any Religion of Jews, Turks, Papists, the more strict and exact, the more Honoured and esteemed: Only in the Protestant Religion, the stricter and preciser, the more scorned and despised. It was a very noble act, that of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 3. 29. I make a decree, that every people, nation and language which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill, &c. I could wish, that our Law-makers, would provide a Statute, that it might be lawful for no man, with impunity, to deride and scorn Religion, or the strict profession of it.”

Daniel Cawdrey, The good man a public good. A sermon preached to the honourable House of Commons, at the late solemn fast: January 31, 1643 (London, 1643), p. 14.

The National Covenant of Scotland, 1581

July 16, 2013

Daniel Cawdrey on the Jesuits, a brood of vipers

July 15, 2013

The Westminster divine, Daniel Cawdrey, reminds us of what early Protestant and Reformed theologians thought of the Jesuits:

[…] Papists, home-born Papists, who are vipers that most unnaturally have endeavoured to eat through their mother’s bowels.  Not their nature only, but their Religion also, teaches and allows them for the Good of the Catholic cause, falsely so called, not to spare their own native Country, their own kindred, Brothers, Fathers, no not of their own Religion.  To blow up Parliaments, to ruin Cities, Countries, Kingdoms, is their ordinary work.  Especially of those, whom they call Jesuits, the Bellows of Hell, the Incendiaries of Christendom, at this day.  The Curse of God is upon them fearfully for arrogating their Name from Jesus, which signifies a Saviour, and is impropriated to the Son of God: Thou shalt call his name Jesus.  These men, that call themselves Jesuits, are, by the just judgement of God upon them, Destroyers of Cities, Countries, Kingdoms, and might far better take their name from him, who is called in Hebrew Abaddon, and in Greek Apollon, but signifying a Destroyer.  Revel. 9. 11.

Daniel Cawdrey, The good man a public good.  A sermon preached to the honourable House of Commons, at the late solemn fast: January 31, 1643 (London, 1643), pp 28-9.

Robert Baillie on abhorring toleration

July 15, 2013

Robert Baillie reminds us that absolute religious toleration is an evil which is to be abhorred.  Moreover, the extract is also interesting for his acknowledgment that the more orthodox Independents (such as Jeremiah Burroughs) did not advocate the tolerationist opinions of Rodger Williams and others:

Liberty of Conscience, and Toleration of all or any Religion is so prodigious an impiety, that this religious Parliament cannot but abhor the very naming of it.  Whatever may be the opinion of Jo[hn] Godwin, of Mr [Rodger] Williams and some of their stamp, yet Mr [Jeremiah] Burrowes in his late Irenicon [sic] upon many unanswerable arguments explodes that abomination.  Likewise our Brethren who seek to be accommodate, will be willing I hope to profess their going along with us, without any considerable dissent, as in the Directory for all the parts of divine worship, so in the confession of Faith and Catechism.

Robert Baillie, A dissuasive from the errors of the time (London, 1645), epistle dedicatory.

Alexander Shields on the duty of Christians not to forsake public and private duties

July 15, 2013

“Great gospel truth, we desire to persuade you unto, is to be earnest in seeking the Lord in duty. Be diligent in keeping up your society meetings, and seek His concurrence with you therein. Set up and keep up the worship of God in your families that is now much slighted in these times of defection. Alas! many have given up with duties public and private in these times. There are few prayers put up to Heaven to the Lord for all that is come upon us. Oh, mind all the public and private duties that are bound upon you by the word of God and our covenants in this day and be sincere in them! and mock not the living God, who is a jealous God, and “will not give his glory to another, nor his praises to graven images.”

Sermons delivered in times of persecution in Scotland, by John Howie, Johnsone, Hunter, & Co., Edinburgh (1880), p. 589.

Daniel Featley, The dippers dipt. Or, the Anabaptists duck’d and plung’d over head and ears, at a disputation in Southwark

July 15, 2013

If the people of God meet in a private place, is not that then the house of God?

There is a public house of God, that is, a place frequented from common life, and dedicated to God’s service, there is a private house of God, as we read, Rom. 16:5. Where some of the faithful privately meet, and that is also called the Church; Greet the Church in thine house: and in such private it is lawful to preach in time of persecution, but not now, when we have public Churches for the service of God, to which we may and ought to repaire, and in these Churches no lay-man ought to preach, nor at all execuite the pastoral function, either there or any where else.

– Daniel Featley, The dippers dipt. Or, the Anabaptists duck’d and plung’d over head and ears, at a disputation in Southwark (5th edn, London, 1647), p. 15.

Singing of Psalmes the duty of Christians under the New Testament : or, A vindication of that Gospel-ordinance in V. sermons upon Ephesians 5.19 .. (1653)

July 14, 2013

“There can be no composures of men that will suit the occasions, necessities, afflictions, or affections of God’s people, as the psalms of David, concerning which we may say what the Jews said of manna, they have a taste and relish according to everyone’s palate. Let it once be granted that we must sing psalms, I’ll warrant you David’s psalms shall carry it; there being no art or spirit of man now that can come near that of David. What though they were penned upon occasion, and according to the necessities of God’s people then? So were the other scriptures, and yet they concern us as much now as they did the people of God then. Besides, we read that in Hezekiah’s time the Levites were to praise God with the words of David, 2 Chron. 29:30, which shews that the psalms were for the use of God’s people in after ages upon all occasions. And I would fain know what occasions God’s people now, or at any time, either have, or can have, which David’s psalms may not suit with as well, and better than any songs composed by an ordinary gift. What glorious things are spoken of Christ, his kingdom, and the great work of redemption by him? Who can admire and adore the infinite excellencies of God in better phrases and forms then the Spirit hath declared to us in David’s psalms? If we would cheer our spirits, or compose them for hearing or other duties, what more heavenly meditations? If we would commend and magnify the power, wisdom, and goodness of God in any mercy, how can we do it better than in the words of David? It would become these that quarrel at our singing of David’s psalms, to give us better in the room of them, or else to consider how they fulfil the law of Christ, when they sing neither those, nor any other.”


– Thomas Ford, Singing of Psalms the duty of Christians under the New Testament : or, A vindication of that Gospel-ordinance in sermons upon Ephesians 5.19


When Begins the Lord’s Day? [1]

July 14, 2013

48. Q. When begins the Lord’s day?

A. In the morning. Act. 20.7.

When Paul came to the Church at Troas, he had a mind to spend a Lord’s day with them, though he was in great haste to depart so soon as he could.  He came therefore to their assembly at the time that they came together according to their custom: but he kept them till the end of that day: (for he would not travel on the Lord’s day) and having dismissed the assembly, he departed.  Now it is said, that he continued his speech till midnight (Acts 20. 7) even till break of day (ver. 11.) and then departed: which departure of his is said to be on the morrow.  By this punctual expression of the time it appears that the first day of the week, the Lord’s day, ended at midnight: and that then the morrow began.  Now to make a natural day which consisteth of twenty four hours, it must begin and end at the same time: for the end of one day is the beginning of another.  There is not a minute betwixt them.  As therefore the Lord’s day ended at midnight, so it must begin at midnight: when we count the morning to begin.  Which is yet more evident by this phrase (Mat. 28.1.) In the end of the Sabbath (namely of the week before, which was the former Sabbath) as it began to dawn (namely) on the next day, which was the Lord’s day) or (as Joh. 20.1.) when it was yet dark there came divers to anoint the body of Jesus, but they found him not in the grave: he was risen before: so as Christ rose before the Sun.

William Gouge, The Sabbath’s sanctification (London, 1641), pp 24-5.


We Forgot God

July 14, 2013

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Ps. 9.17)

William Edgar, “The National Confessional Position,” in Gary Scott Smith, ed., God and Politics: Four View on the Reformation of Civil Government (Theonomy, Principled Pluralism, Christian America, National Confessionalism), p. 184:

The effort to make the Founding Fathers appear as militant secularists, like their French contemporaries, is a distortion of history. When today’s secular elites intone the First Amendment and rant about the wall of separation between church and state, so as to bludgeon Christians into public silence, they attribute a modern mentality to the architects of the Constitution, which they did not have. In fact, most of the Founding Fathers were indifferent to Jesus Christ (itself a terrible sin).

The Constitutional Convention never voted on Benjamin Franklin’s motion to begin each day’s deliberation with prayer….When asked why the Constitution did not mention God, Alexander Hamilton reportedly replied that the Framers had forgotten to.7

7 Mark A. Noll, The Search for Christian America (Westchester, Ill.: Crossway, 1983), p. 107.

Proceedings of the Fifth National Reform Convention, to Aid in Maintaining the Christian Features of the American Government, and Securing a Religious Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Held in Pittsburg, February 4, 5, 1874, p. 41:

Dr. John Rodgers [1727-1811], 1788.

This eminent chaplain of the Revolution, observing with regret the omission of all acknowledgment of God from the Constitution, inquired of Alexander Hamilton, on his return from the convention in New York, how that body could fail to incorporate in the Constitution a suitable recognition of the Almighty. The well-known reply was, “Indeed, Doctor, we forgot it.” — Duffield’s “God of our Fathers,” p. 15.