A Caveat for Covenant-Contemners and Covenant-Breakers

A Caveat for Covenant-Contemners and Covenant-Breakers

PUBLISHED FOR Edward Husbands

1. The Sacred and Solemn League and Covenant mutually made and en- tred into by the three Kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the Religious advancement of the glorious work of Reformati- on, in the said three Kingdoms in Life, Doctrine, and Church- Government.

2. The Preface or Preamble to the Covenant.

[British Museum]

WEE, Noblemen, Barons, Knights, Gentlemen, Citizens, Burgesses, Ministers of the Gospel, and Commons of all sorts in the Kingdome of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by the Providence of God, living under one King, and being of one Reformed Religion, having before our eyes, the glorie of God and the advancement of the Kingdome of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the honour and happiness of the Kings Majesty and his posterity, and the true publick Liberty, Safety and Peace of the Kingdomes, wherein every ones private condition is included; And calling to mind the treacherous and bloody plots,conspiracies, attempts and practises of the enemies of God against the true Religion, and professors thereof in all places, especially in these three Kingdomes, ever since the Reformation of Religion; and how their rage, power, and presumption are of late, and at this time, increased and exercised, whereof the deplo-rable estate of the Church and Kingdome of Ireland, the distressed estate of the Church and Kingdome of England, and the dange-rous estate of the Church and Kingdome of Scotland, are present and publike testimonies. We have now, at last (after other means of supplication,Remonstrance, Protestations, and sufferings) for the preservation of our selves and our Religion, from utter ruin and destruction; according to the commendable practise of these Kingdomes in former times, and the example of Gods people in other Nations, after mature deliberation, resolved and determined to enter into a mutuall League and Covenant, wherein we all subscribe, and each one of us with our hands lifted up to the most high God, do swear;

3. The Covenant .

  1. THat we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the grace of God, endeavor in our severall Places and callings, the preservation of the reformed Religion, in the Church of Scotland, in Doctrin, Worship, Discipline and Government, against our common Enemies, the Reformation of Religion, in the Kingdomes of England and Ireland in Doctrine Worship, Discipline, and Government, according to the Word of God and the example of the best Reformed Churches; And shall endeavor to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdomes, to the nearest conjunction and uniformitie in Religion, confession of Faith, Form of Church Government, Directorie for Worship and Catechizing; That We and our posterity after us, may as brethren live in faith and love and the Lord may delight to dwel in the midst of us.
  2. That we shall in like manner without respect of persons, endeavor the Extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, (that is, Church Government, by Arch-Bishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Arch-deacons, and all other Ecclesiasticall Officers depending on that Hierarchie) Superstition, Heresie, Schism, Profanness, and whatsoever shall be found to be contrarie to sound Doctrine and the power of Godliness; lest we partake in other mens sins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues, and that the Lord may be One in the three Kingdomes.
  3. We shall with the same sincerity, reality, and constancie, in our severall vocations, endeavour with our estates and lives mutually to preserve the Rights and Priviledges of the Parliament and the Liberties of the Kingdomes; and to preserve and defend the Kings Majesties Person and Authority, in the preservation and defence of the true Religion and Liberties of the Kingdomes, that the world may bear witness with our consciences of our Loyalty; and that we have no thoughts or intentions to diminish his Majesties just power and greatness.
  4. We shall also, withall faithfulness, endeavour the discoverie of all such as shall be Incendiaries, Malignants, or evill Instruments, by hindring the Reformation of Religion, dividing the King from his people, or one of the Kingdomes from another, or making any faction, or parties among the people, contrary to this League and Covenant, that they may be brought to publike tryall, and receive condign punishment, as the degree of their offences shall require or deserve, or the supreame judicatures of both kingdomes respectively, or others having power from them for that effect, shall judge convenient.
  5. And whereas the happinesse of a blessed Peace between these Kingdomes, denyed in former times to our progenitors, is by the good providence of God granted unto us, and hath been lately concluded and setled by both Parliaments; We shall each one of us, according to our place and interest, endeavour that they may remain conjoyned in a firme Peace and Union to all posterity, and that justice may be done upon the wilfull opposers thereof, in manner expressed in the present Articles.
  6. We shall also according to our places and callings, in this common cause of Religion, Liberty, and Peace of the Kingdomes assist and defend all those that enter into this League and Covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof, and shall not suffer our selves directly or indirectly, by whatsoever combination, perswasion or terrour, to be divided or withdrawn from this blessed Uni-on and conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary part, or give our selves to a detestable indifferencie, or Neutrality in this cause which so much concerneth the glory of God, the good of the Kingdomes and honour of the King; but shall all the dayes of our lives, zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition; and promote the same according to our power against all lets and impediments whatsoever; and what we are not able our selves to suppresse or overcome we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented or removed. All which we shall do as in the sight of God.
  7. And because these Kingdomes are guilty of many sins and provocations against God, and his Son Jesus Christ; as is too ma-nifest by our present distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof ; We professe and declare before God and the world, our unfained de-sire to be humbled for our own sins, and for the sins of this Kingdome ; Especially that we have not as we ought, valued the inesti-mable benefit of the Gospel, that we have not laboured for the purity and power thereof, and that we have not endeavoured to re-ceive Christ into our hearts, nor to walk worthy of him in our lives, and each one to go before another in the Example of a reall Reformation ; That the Lord may turn away his wrath and heavie indignation, and establish these Churches and Kingdomes in truth and peace. And, this Covenant we make in the presence of Almighty God the searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we shall answer at that great day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed ; Most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by his holy Spirit for this end, and to blesse our desires and proceedings with such successe as may be deli-verance and safety to his people, and encouragement to other Christian Churches, groaning under or in danger of the yoak of Anti-christian tyranny, to joyn in the same or like Association and Covenant, to the glorie of God, the enlargement of the Kingdome of Jesus Christ, and the peace and tranquility of Christian Kingdomes, and Common-wealths.

4. Scripture Commands and Encouragements to Covenant makers and Keepers.

EXOD. 19. 5.

If ye will obey my voyce, indeed, (saith the Lord God) and keep my Covenant; then, ye shal be a peculiar treasure unto me, above al people.

NUMB. 30. 21.

If a man vow a vow unto the Lord or swear an oath to binde his soul with a bond, he shal not break his word, he shal do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

DEUT. 23. 21.

When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it; For, the Lord thy God will (surely) require it of thee, and it would be sin in thee.

2 CHRON: 15. 12, 13, 14, 15.

And they entred into a Covenant to seek the Lord God of their Fathers, with all their heart, and with all their soul. And, that, whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel, should be put to death, whether great or small, whether man or woman. And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voyce, and with shouting and with trumpets and with Cornets. And all Ju-dah rejoyced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought the Lord with their whole desire, and he was found of them; and the Lord gave them rest, round about them.

2 CHON. 29. 10.

Now it is in my heart, to make a Covenant with the Lord God of Israel , that his feirce wrath may turn away from us.

2 CHRON. 34. 31, 32.

And the King stood in his place and made a Covenat before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his Commandments and his testimonies, and his Statutes, with all his heart, and with al his soul to perform the words of the Covenant, which are written in Gods book. And he caused al that were present, in Jerusalem> and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the Covenant of God, their Father.

PSAL. 25. 10.

All the paths of God are mercy and truth, to them which keep their Covenant.

PSAL. 50. 14.

Offer to God praise and thanksgi-ving, and pay thy vowes unto the most high.

PSAL. 103. 17, 18.

The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him, and his righteousness to childrens children, to such as keep his (or their) Covenant.

ISAIAH 56. 4, 5, 6, 7.

Thus saith the Lord unto the Eunuchs, and to all that keep my Sabboths, and chuse the things that please me, and that imbrace and keep my Covenant: Even unto them all will I give, inmine house and within my wals, a place and a name better than of sons and of daugh-ters ; I wil give an everlasting name that shal not be cut off; even unto every one that keepeth the Sabboth from polluting it, and that taketh hold of my Covenant to keep and do it. Even them wil I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; and al their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shal be accepted by me.

JEREM. 50. 4, 5.

In those dayes, and in that time (saith the Lord) the Children of Israel shal come, they and the children of Judah together (just as Scotland and England have done) going and wee-ping; They shal go and seek the Lord their God. And they shal aske the way to Sion, With their faces thi-therward, saying; Come and let us joyn our selves to the Lord, in a perpetuall Covenant that shal not be broken nor forgotten.

5. Scripture Terrours and Threatnings, to Covenant-Breakers and Despisers.

LEVIT. 26. 25.

I will bring a sword upon you, which shal avenge the quarrel of my Covenant.

2 CHRON. 26. 25.

Whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel (by entring into and keeping Co-venant with God) was to be put to death, whether great or small, whether man or woman.

NEHEM. 9. 29.

They entred into a curse, and into an oath to walk in the Laws of God. Therefore to enter into a Covenant with God and not to keep it, or perform it, is to be accursed.

ESAY. 24. 5.

The earth is defiled under the Inha-bitants thereof, because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the Ordinances, and broken the everlasting Co-venant.

PSAL. 78. 37,

Their heart was not right with God, neither were they stedfast in their Covenant.

ESAY. CHAP. 33. 8.

The highwayes lye waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth, he hath broken the Covenant.

JEREM. 11. v. 10. 11.

The house of Israel , and the house of Judah have broken my Covenant, which I made with their fathers. Therefore, thus saith the Lord, behold, I wil bring evil upon them, which they shal not be able to escape, and though they shal cry unto me, I wil not hearken unto them.

JEREM. CHAP. 11. v. 10. 11.

Thus saith the Lord God of Israel , cursed be the man that obey-eth not the words of the Covenant.

JEREM. 34. 18. 19. 20.

I wil give the men that have transgressed my Covenant, and which have not performed the words of the Covenant which they made before me, into the hands of their enemies, and into the hands of them that seek their life.

EZEK. 16. 59.

Thus saith the Lord God, I wil even deal with thee, as thou hast done, which hast despi-sed the Oath, in breaking the Covenant.

EZEK. 17. 15. 16. 18. 19.

Shal he prosper, shal he escape that doth such things? Or, shal he break the Covenant and be delivered? As I live saith the Lord God, surely, in the place where the King dwelleth, that made him King, whose Oath he hath despised, and whose Covenant he hath broken, e-ven with him, in the midst of Babylon he shal dye. Seeing he despised the Oath by breaking the Covenant (where as, lo, he had given his hand) and hath done all these things. Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, as I live, surely, mine Oath which he hath despised, and my Covenant that he hath broken, even it wil I recompence upon his own head.

HOSEA. 1. 9.

They have spoken words, swearing falsly, in making a Covenant; Thus judgment springeth up like hemlock, in the furrows of the field.

AMOS. 1. 9.

Thus saith the Lord, for 3. transgres-sions of Tyrus, and for 4, I wil not turn away the punishment thereof, because they delivered up the whole Captivity to Edom, and remembred not the brotherly Covenant.

MALA. 2. 10.

Have we not one Father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we (then) deal trea-cherously, every man against his brother, by pro-phaning the Covenant of our Fathers.

MAT. 5. 33.

Thou shalt not forswear thy self, but shalt perform thine oaths and vows unto the Lord.

ROM. 1. 31.

Covenant-Breakers,are reckoned in the number of the worst of Sinners.

6. The names of all the Knights and Burgesses in the House of Commons, in Parliament, that, at first, took the Covenant.

  • Wil. Lenthal, Speaker.
  • Benchamp St. John.
  • Gilbert Gerard.
  • Walter Earl.
  • James Cambel.
  • Thomas Cheek.Robert Nicholas.
  • Benjamin Rudyard.
  • John Gurdon.
  • Robert Harley.
  • Francis Knollys.
  • Edward Master.
  • John White.
  • Anthony Stapley.
  • Dennis Bond.
  • Laurence Whitaker.
  • Michael Noble.
  • Peregrine Hoby.
  • William Cawley.
  • John Moyl.
  • John Pyne.
  • George Searl.
  • Hen. Vane, Senior[?].
  • Nevil Pool.
  • John Yong.
  • Henry Herbert.
  • William Jesson[?]
  • Philip Lord Herbert.
  • Tho. Barrington.
  • Martin Lumley.
  • John Trevor.
  • Fran. Godolphin.
  • Thomas Arundel.
  • Edward Stephens.
  • Gilbert Pickering.
  • John Greve.
  • Oliver Cromwel.
  • Henry Vane, Junior.
  • William Cage.
  • Richard Erisey.
  • Philip Lord Lisle.
  • Wil. Heveningham.
  • Isaac Pennington.
  • Rich. Cresheld.
  • Thomas Pelham.
  • Thomas Parker.
  • John Leigh.
  • John Harris.
  • Walter Yong.
  • Augustine Skinner.
  • John Ven.
  • John Francklin.
  • Samuel Brown.
  • Robert Seawen.
  • Roger Hill.
  • John Button.
  • John Meyrick.
  • Ambrose Brown.
  • Richard Win.
  • Edward Owner.
  • Charls Pim.
  • Cha. Lo. Cranborn.
  • Benja. Weston.
  • John Nutt.
  • John Corbet.
  • Roger Burgoyn.
  • Peter Temple.
  • Benja. Valentine.
  • Tho. Walsingham.
  • Oliver Luke.
  • William Alenson.
  • Humph. Salwey.
  • Richard Moore.
  • William Ashurst.
  • Thomas Moore.
  • Thomas Fountain.
  • William Ellys.
  • Henry Shelley.
  • Rich. Shutleworth.
  • George Gallop.
  • Henry Ludlow.
  • Robert Wallop.
  • Arthur Hasilrig.
  • Oliver St. John.
  • Thomas Grantham.
  • Fran. Barnham.
  • Wil. L. Fitzwilliams
  • Edmund Dunch.
  • Hen Mildmay.
  • Hugh Rogers.
  • Thomas Hatcher.
  • John Wray:
  • Simon D' Ewes.
  • Antho. Benningfield
  • John Ash.
  • Wil. Lord Munsun.
  • Martin Lister.
  • Robert Goodwin.
  • Edward Thomas.
  • Henry Lucas.
  • Miles Corbet.
  • Philip Smith.
  • Cornelious Holland
  • Wil. Spurstow.
  • John Lowrey.
  • Peter Wentworth.
  • Henry Cholmley.
  • Phil. Stapleton.
  • Wil. Berrepoint.
  • Roger North.
  • Alexan. Popham.
  • Thomas Hodges.
  • John Maynard.
  • Sam. Vassal.
  • Anthony Irby.
  • John Clotworthy.
  • John Broxolme.
  • Rich. Jervoise.
  • John Blackistone.
  • Walter Long.
  • John Rolle.
  • Robert Iennor.
  • John Waddon.
  • Wil. Masham:
  • John Lisle.
  • Edm. Fowel.
  • Edw. Ash.
  • Thomas Pury.
  • Rich. Whitehead.
  • Richard Iennings.
  • Humph. Tufton.
  • Thomas Dacres.
  • Toomas Erle.
  • John Downes.
  • John Goodwin.
  • Francis Drake.
  • Wil. Waller.
  • Samuel Luke.
  • Francis Buller.
  • Richard Harman.
  • George Buller.
  • Arthur Onslow.
  • Richard Winwood.
  • Robert Pye.
  • He. L. Grey of Ruthen
  • Richard Knightley.
  • John Pim.
  • Christo. Yelverton.
  • Anthony Nicoll.
  • Peter Wroth.
  • Robert Reynolds.
  • Nath. Barnardiston.
  • Henry Heyman.
  • Wil Purefoy.
  • Valen. Walton.
  • Micha. Oldsworth.
  • Wil. Wheeler.
  • Hall Ravenscroft.
  • Tho. L. Grey of Groby
  • Tho. Midleton.
  • Edw. Hungerford.
  • Christo. Wray.
  • Richard See.
  • Harbert Morley.
  • Thomas Lane.
  • Robert Cecill.
  • William Bell.
  • Thomas Soam.
  • Harbot. Grimstone.
  • Simon Snow.
  • John Nash.
  • Ralph Ashton.
  • John Wilde.
  • John Trenchard.
  • Tho. Jervoise.
  • Rich. Brown.
  • Wil. Playters.
  • Nat. Stephens.
  • Richard Rose.
  • Francis Rous.
  • Gilb. Millington.
  • John Brown.
  • John H ppissey.
  • Edward Pool.
  • Henry Pelham.
  • William Hay.
  • John Driden.
  • Nat. Fienes.
  • William Lewis.
  • Gyles Green.
  • William Litton.
  • John Harvey.
  • Edward Douce.
  • William Stroad.
  • Edm. Prideaux.
  • Tho. Hoyl.
  • Edw. Exton.
  • Fran. Popham.
  • Zouch Tate.
  • John Curson.
  • Alexan. Bence.
  • John Glyn.
  • Rich. Onslow.
  • John Cook.
  • Tho. Lo. Wenman.
  • Bolstrode Whitlock.
  • Goe. Mountague.
  • Edw. Partriche.
  • Henry Campion.
  • Wil. Whitaker.
  • Denzil Hollis.
  • Edw. Wingate.
  • Iames Fenys.
  • Poynings Moore.
  • Edw. Biss, Junior.
  • Wil. Iephson
  • Edw. Mountague.
  • Walt. Knatchboll.
  • Thomas Eden.

7. Two most remarkable and visible Examples of Gods wrath against Covenant Breakers and Despisers; The One Divine, the Other Humane; both Observable.

  1. Josuah having made a League and Covenant with the Gibeonites, (notwithstanding they had craftily circumvented and deceived Josua therein) which remained inviolable among the children of Israel, till the dayes of King Saul who, in his foolish Zeal, had (it seems) slain some of the Gibeonites, and endeavoured to have destroyed them all from among the Israelites: Hereupon the wrath of the Lord was greatly incensed against Israel, which brake not out til King Davids dayes, who was sorely vexed with a fearful famine over the whole Land, for at least 3, years together incessantly: which so greatly grieved and troubled David, that he enquired of the Lord what might be the cause thereof; And the Lord answered him, that it was for Sauls sake, and for his bloudy-house, because he had broken the Covenant, and slain the Gibeonites, and his wrath would not be appeazed, till holy David, in just revenge of this breach of Covenant, had delivered up unto the Gibeonites (as they, by Gods wil, had demanded) 7 of Sauls Sons, or nearest Kindred to be hanged by them, as they were, and then (and not till then) was God paci-fied, and the famine immediatly ceased. Josua 9. & 2. Sam. 21.
  2. Uladislaus King of Hungary, and Amurath the great Emperour of Turkie, after fierce wars between them, having concluded a happy and Honourable peace for the said King ofHungary, and they having entered into a solemn League and Truce, by interchangeable writings, sealed and delivered each to other; not long after, Julian, a Cardinal of Rome, having perswaded him to renounce and violate this Covenant and Peace; the King of Hungary secretly prepared mighty fo-rces suddainly to invade and set upon the Turks Territories, and Amurath the great Turk, at last hearing of this unexpected invasion by Uladislaus, made mighty preparation (presently) to oppose him; entred into a pitcht field against him, in brief, Amurath, observing a mighty slaughter of his men, and himself, and his whole Army in great danger to be utterly discomfitted, and beholding also in the Hunga-rian-displayed-baners, the picture of a Crucifix, he presently pluckt forth the writing out of his bosom, wherein the late League or Covenant was comprised, and holding it up in his hand, with his eyes cast up to heaven, he said these words. Behold, thou crucified Christ, this is the League thy Christians, in thy name, made with me, which they have without cause violated. Now, if thou be a God, as they say thou art, revenge the wrong now done unto thy name, and unto me, and shew thy power upon thy pernicious people, who in their deeds deny thee their God; presently after this, the fight was fiercely followed on both sides, but it pleased the Lord, that Uladislaus was put to the worst, and in the fight, slain by one of the Turks Janizaries, and his head cut off, and presented to Amurath, in the midst of the battel, who commanded it to be set on the top of a lance, and carryed up and down in the field, to the terror of the Christians, who presently fled and left Amurath, total victor, with a most mighty and lamentable slaughter of the Christians. From both which most pregnant and eminent examples, we may profitably make this pertinent use and applycation. That if the Lord God hath so tender a respect to the exact performance of Leagues and Covenants, made not only 'twixt Man and Man, Christian and Christian, but even between Chri-stians and Turks, or Infidels (such as the Gibeonites and this Amurath were) O how much more tenderly affected, and severely exasperated, wil he be for the breach of Covenants, made betwixt his own glorious Holyness, (who is a Consuming fire) and Wormling-Man (who is but as Combustible-Stubble in his presence) O consider this, and lay it timely and sadly to heart, O all ye Malignants and Schismaticks, who (now adayes) dare so Au-daciously and Maliciously scorn and contemn, and so Hypocritically, to violate and break This so Rational and Religious, so holy and honest, yea, I say, so pious and precious a Covenant, most duly and deliberately taken hereto-fore) by very many of you. O, whoever ye be, and wheresoever ye sit and shroud your selves, tremble, yea tremble I say, and be astonisht and confounded, at your so treacherous, and most audacious dealing with the most high God and us: And for the same, expect (for certain, Gods Word is my warrant, you see, for what I say, and these 2, examples ratifie it) expect (I say) the curse of God like a flying Roul, even some suddain and sore plague or pu-nishment, inevitably to fall upon you or yours (if not upon you and yours) if ye timely and truly repent not; which the Lord give unto you (as space, so) grace, to perform and do it. Amen.
This is the full version of the original text


earth, famine, plague, posterity, religion

Source text

Title: A Caveat for Covenant-Contemners and Covenant-Breakers

Author: John Vicars

Publisher: John Macock

Publication date: 1647

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: Wing (2nd ed.) / V296 Bibliographic name / number: Thomason / 669.f.11[97] Physical description: 1 sheet ([1] p.) Copy from: British Library Reel position: Thomason / 246:669.f.11[97]

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