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The Ordinance Of Covenanting by John Cunningham


Hence the exercise of Covenanting has powerful claims. It is important. It is unfolded by a flood of light from the page of Divine truth. It is intimately connected with the manifestation of the glory of God. It is related to every other duty incumbent on men. It contemplates the best interests of society at present and to come; -- it bears upon the maintenance of the just rights of mankind, and the glory of the Church in Millennial times. And it is an important means of sanctification, and of perseverance in grace. By means of it, each one of the glorious community of which Christ is the Head is called to manifest attachment to him; and through it to become more and more like unto him: so that the whole body of the faithful, each one having been taken into God's Covenant, and enabled to abide by it, -- the Church, as the Lamb's wife, may be presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.

It is advantageous. Preparation for it leads to accurate apprehensions of duty. It tends to cherish a devout solemnity of mind. It leads to the comforts of habitual holy communion with God. It impresses with a sense of increased obligation, that furnishes an ardour of mind, powerfully impelling to duty. It tends to unite many in affection, and sentiment, and zeal for truth. It presents instruction most solemnly to the young and rising race, led to inquire concerning it, |What mean ye by this service?| It is calculated to arrest for good the attention of society at large. And it provides benefits the most valuable and extensive, for generations unborn.

It is necessary. It forms a part of the system of means devised by Jehovah for carrying forward his work; and it must be observed. His work, by this and other means, will be completed. Though the evils that have occurred in the world have been permitted, yet some are chargeable with blame for committing them, and others are culpable for not having used various means, of which Covenanting is one, in order that they might have been prevented. Though the Romish apostacy was permitted, yet who can tell how far the Church of God was culpable in not using extensively enough for its prevention, Covenanting -- one means directly adapted to that purpose? And who can tell what effect the performance of the duty will have in leading to the good in store for the Church, even on earth, and to the prevention of evil which, if allowed, would arise?

The duty, therefore, should be observed. It is irreligion that disregards it. Superstition and infidelity alike trifle with an oath; for Satan hates and tries to discredit this institution of heaven. Who, by not observing the ordinance of Covenanting would practically say, that it ought to be abolished? Who would say that one flower of the field should cease to exist in the vegetable world, because that many others emit a fragrance whose elements are the same as those of the sweets which it breathes, or display tints due to the same colours that afford its glorious hues? And who would say that this part of the glorious system of the means of grace is unnecessary? Let this Ordinance be observed, that evil, as a corrupt thing under the atmosphere and sun of heaven, may perish before it; that many may enjoy the blessedness of the inheritance of the saints; and that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant.


Appendix D.

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