And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.—Isaiah 37.31.

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A Personal Covenant

WITH THE LORD GOD

Sworn and Subscribed by

❧ Anabel Umpherston. ☙

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TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Introduction.

The following personal Covenant from one of the Covenanter saints of a former generation is offered to readers as an example of what some of our Reformers taught on the subject of personal Covenanting or taking hold of the Covenant of Grace.

Readers who find themselves encouraged to follow the same practice, should also consult the directions available in sermons and writings on this subject, and the examples of other saints.  Those from Mr. Howie are well worthy of consideration.  The reader should note his effort to frame the Covenant as what will be kept on God’s part regardless of failings on man’s part.  It is also adviseable that in many cases the Covenanter should frame his Covenant as one whom the Lord has already taken into Covenant with himself, which is an important ground of our more explicit taking hold of that Covenant.  This will often be important to prevent wrong ideas about the nature this action and its relation to the believer’s salvation.

With prayers for the spiritual prosperity of those who so draw near to our Lord Jesus Christ.

JTK::2013.03.21.

A personal Covenant by ANABEL UMPHERSTON.

(From the original in Mr. F. Umpherston’s possession).

O most gracious and holy LORD GOD, I, Thy poor unworthy creature, do here most solemnly prostrate myself at the footstool of Thy mercy, humbly beseeching Thee to accept of me for the sake and merits of the dear Son of Thy love, and to pardon my so long delay of this duty of solemn personal covenanting with Thee, although I have often verbally done it; and I, being convinced from Thy Word, that it is a bound duty not only to say with the mouth, but also to subscribe with the hand, to be the Lord’s, and having for a long time had some resolutions to set about the duty, yet still neglecting it, for which {75} and all my other sins both of omission and commission I desire to be humble before Thee.

And now, O Lord, I do renew all my former engagements, and also my baptismal vows wherein I was most solemnly devoted to Thee, to be Thine, and for Thee, and to renounce the devil, the world, and the flesh.  And as my parents engaged for me while in infancy, so I do now take them upon myself, humbly begging grace and strength from Thee, to enable me to perform these mine engagements.  And I do again solemnly covenant and give myself wholly to Thee, soul and body, to be at Thy disposal; and I do take Thee for my only God, Guide, and Portion, and for all that I want for time and for eternity; and I desire with all my heart to bless Thee for that noble device of salvation, and to close with it, and to accept of CHRIST on the terms He is offered in the Gospel, to be my Prophet, Priest, and King.  And as I am by nature blind and ignorant, I take Him for my Teacher and Leader to guide me in the way of truth and duty in this cloudy and dark day; and being both guilty and filthy by original sin and innumerable actual transgressions, I take Him for my Priest to atone for my guilt, and to make intercession for me.  I desire wholly to renounce all mine own righteousness, and to cast it away as rotten rags, and to take Him for my Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and compleat Redemption; and I do betake myself to His blood alone for washing and cleansing from all these filthy stains that sin hath made upon my soul.  And as I have many and strong spiritual enemys to wrestle with, I take Him for my King to subdue and conquere all these my strong lusts and corruptions, desiring humbly and heartily to submit myself to His government.

And now, O Lord, I desire to bless Thee for what Thou hast done for me in that thou hast cast my lot to be in a land of light, and where the Gospel is preached, and that I have had religious education and example; yea, and hast followed me with loving-kindness and tender mercies.  And even when I was running away from Thee, and pursuing my lusts, what pains hast Thou taken to reclame and bring me back again, and hast in some measure convinced me of the evil of my ways, of my lost state by nature, and also discovered to me a remedy through CHRIST; and, when sore cast down, hast given me such comfort from the sweet and precious promises of Thy Word, which Thou hast caused me to take for a ground of my sure hope. [Psalm 119.49, 1650 Psalter.]

And now, holy LORD GOD, as I have entered into a marriage covenant with Thee, and must be divorced from all other lovers, I do here in Thy name solemnly protest against whatever usurps the room in mine affections that Thou should have; earnestly desiring Thee to take my whole love and affections, {76} and let none rival the throne in my heart with Thee.  Now, as I have entered into a personal covenant with Thee, so I desire to bind myself to the Nationall and Solemn League and Covenant, whereby I and the whole land is bound to be for the LORD, and in their place and station to endeavour the advancement of religion and reformation, and the extirpation of whatever is contrair to sound doctrine and the power of godliness; and resolve through Thy strength, if ever Thou call me to suffer for owning these or any of Thy truths, to undergo the greatest of sufferings rather than wrong Thy truth.

Now, LORD, in the sense of my own weakness and inability to keep or perform these my vows, I desire to look and to rely on Thee for strength and furniture for this and all other dutys incumbent upon me in my place and station; humbly begging from Thee light and direction so to carry and behave myself in every case and circumstance, that I may keep a conscience void of offence, both towards Thee and towards man.  And now, O LORD, I call Thee, who is the Searcher of the heart and Tryer of the reins, [Jer. 17.10,] to witness that upon my deliberate choice I have taken Thee for my only portion, and that it is the unfeigned resolution of my heart (by Thy grace and strength enabling me) to stand to these my solemn vows and engadgements I am now come under to Thee, over the belly of all oppositions, whether from without or from within; earnestly desiring that what I have done here on earth (tho’ in much weakness and imperfection) may be ratifyed in Heaven.  In witness whereof, I do subscribe this with my hand, at Pentland, the 23d day of August, 1741.

ANABEL UMPHERSTOUN.



[ The above is excerpted from Passages in the Lives of Helen Alexander and James Currie, Appendix B, Note 6, which contains the heading: “Anabel Umpherston, daughter of James Umpherston and Marion Brown.”  Anabel was also the niece of Dr. Charles Umpherston, principle compiler of the Mount Herick Declaration.—JTKer. ]