The Covenant of 1871: A Memorial


Continuing a theme this week, we have recently observed the anniversary of the Covenant of 1871, adopted by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, as well as the personal covenant taken by the man who authored the 1871 Covenant, Samuel Oliver Wylie.

Today, we note the Memorial Volume: Covenant Renovation published by the RPCNA in 1872, edited by James Renwick Wilson Sloane (1823-1886). It is a commemoration of a very significant chapter in the history of the American Covenanter Church. Included in its pages are a narrative of the events surrounding the adoption of the Covenant signed on May 27, 1871; as well as sermons and addresses by multiple ministers on the ordinance of covenanting, its importance and its duty, as well as related matters.

With the Scottish National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643, embraced by the Westminster Divines, as background, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America has and continues to embrace the ordinance of covenanting, on both a personal as well as social, basis, as a duty for New Testament Christians. As we take note of the American Covenant of 1871, and the personal covenant taken by its framer, this Memorial Volume of 1872 provides further insight into the why's and wherefore's of covenanting from the perspective of the RPCNA, and in particular, the men who were there on that significant day in history. It is a rich treasure of history and sermons that is not well-known today, even among American Covenanters; but it is available to read at Log College Press today.

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