Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Puritan, the Huguenot, and the Covenanter

The Westminster Assembly brought together three strains of Reformed Christianity into one place and the fruit of this convergence, the Westminster legacy, is joined to each for all time. The Westminster Assembly, although not intended as an international synod like Dordt, was in fact composed of English Puritans, French Huguenots and Scottish Covenanters.

A prayer of George Spining in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Westminster Assembly highlights this point. He wrote an address on "The Presbyterian Churches and Home Missions" which was included in William Henry Roberts, ed., Addresses at the Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Westminster Assembly by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1898), p. 276 (also quoted by John L. Carson and David W. Hall, To Glorify and Enjoy God: A Commemoration of the 350th Anniversary of the Westminster Assembly (1994), p. 24:

God of our fathers, preserve us, "lest we forget, lest we forget" thy hand in our deliverance, thy mighty hand in our prosperity!...Forget not that the Puritan, the Huguenot, and the Covenanter were thy master builders, that their principles and religious faith were inwrought in thy structure, and that their sacred dust has consecrated thy soil to civil and religious liberty for ever!...Forget not the type of religion which dominated these men; because nations are the product of religious faith; religion shapes and molds their political character and destiny.

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