Friday, April 15, 2005

4/15/05, Elder G.Barrow Answers Questions on Ordinances

From: Greg Barrow
To: Bob S.
Cc: G. Price
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 5:28 PM
Subject: Info you requested

Hi Bob here is that information you requested--regarding ordinances being administered in the broken state of the church.

Your brother,

Richard Cameron

In her examination before the privy council, she expresses how much spiritual profit she had derived from the sermons of these worthy men; and in her dying testimony she says, "I bless the Lord that ever I heard Mr.
Cargill, that faithful servant of Jesus Christ: I bless the Lord that ever I heard Mr. Richard Cameron; my soul. has been refreshed with the hearing of him, particularly at a communion in Carrick, on these words, in Psalm lxxxv. 8: 'The Lord will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints; but let them not turn again to folly.'" (Ladies of the Covenant, p. 289).

"After this he [Cameron] preached at Maybole, where many thousands of people were assembled together, it being the first time that the sacrament of the Lord's supper was then dispensed in the open fields" (_The Scots Worthies_ p.422).

Donald Cargill

-- see "Sermons Delivered in the times of Persecution in Scotland, p. 526
--also see-

where the footnote states, " The above lecture and two sermons (being Mr. Cargill's last public day's work), were preached at Dunsyre Communion, July 10, 1681, two days before he was apprehended."

Regarding John McMillan --

see --

In the first decade of the new century the Reverend John McMillan, of Balmaghie, left the Estbalished Church and became the leading minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church. His influence being so great that the Reformed Presbyterians were known as 'McMillanites'. A thousand McMillanites attended the the first communion of this church on Auchensaugh hill, near Douglas in Lanarkshire. 'The Queen and Parliament and all opposers of Our Covenants and Covenanted Reformation' were barred from the communion Tables on that historic day on 27th July 1712. [Rev James Barr 'The Scottish Covenanters'].

See also the Auchensaugh Renovation, Historical Introduction, p.15. where it states:

"5. We being sincerely desirous and having an earnest longing to celebrate the sacred ordinance of the Lord's Supper, whereof many had unjustly called us despisers and contemners, and finding it to have been the laudable practice of the church of Scotland formerly, that all such as were admitted to that holy table should swear and subscribe the covenant before their coming thereunto; we judged it a fit preparation for our receiving a sacramental confirmation of God's covenanted love and favor to us, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that we should avouch Him for our God, and testify our adherence to His cause and truth, by our renewing our national covenants with Him."

See also the Auchensaugh Renovation, Historical Introduction, p.15. where it states:

"Upon Wednesday, July 23d, those who had the work in design being met together, the minister began the day's work with prayer for special assistance to attain due preparation, and a suitable frame, throughout the whole solemnity: and thereafter had a prefatory discourse to the people, showing the nature of the work in general, its lawfulness, expediency, and necessity, from scripture precedents and approven examples of the people of God, adducing the 9th chapter of Ezra, Neh. Ezek. Dan. and Neh. 10:28, 29, for proof thereof; and of the day in particular, that it was a day of fasting and supplication, with preaching of the word, in order to preparation for the solemnities intended, both of renewing the covenants and celebrating the sacrament of the Lord's Supper."

Regarding James Renwick-- still working on it--Renwick's sermons were collected and printed many years after they were preached and thus the dates are not easily verified.

Though communion is not mentioned here--the ordinance of baptism is-- as are the ceremonies of marriage.


In July 1684 he [Renwick --GB] was travelling with three others across Strathaven Moor. They were spotted by Dragoons and a chase ensued. He galloped towards the summit of Dungavel Hill, dismounted and hid in a hollow until nightfall before he moved on. In the next few months he was responsible for the baptism of over 300 children and also performed many marriages and funerals, all held in remote farms and on the moors.

A interesting general note taken from--

All conventicles were to be broken up and any land owner who refused to help could be fined; instead of turning master against man however, it forged links of shared suffering. Secret conventicles were attended by up to thousands of people at only a few hours notice, with mass marriages being carried out with a rock as an alter and baptisms performed in small streams. Followers of the Covenant were willing to risk the fines and sentences in order to hear the preachers. For example 7,000 people attended a conventicle near Maybole in Ayrshire in 1678, performed by four ministers and at East Nisbet in Berwickshire the same year 3,200 took part of which 1,600 were seated.

A massive conventicle took place on Skeoch Hill In Kirkudbrightshire in 1679. There were 6,000 Covenanters in attendance to hear three preachers, of which 3,000 were allowed to take part in communion. In the centre of the congregation a series of large boulders were arranged in four parallel rows for the communicants, perhaps around 300 at a time to sit on. These stones, known as the Communion stones are still there.

Often the conventicle was infiltrated by a few non-adherents who slipped off early to inform the authorities. The Covenanters had to be highly vigilant as the threat of armed intervention was ever present. The participants were most likely to be captured or executed, usually on their way to and from conventicles. The fact that they were away from home and probably had a bible in their possession was enough for the authorities to justify fining or executing them, often killing them where they stood.

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