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Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638$
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David George Mullan

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269978.001.0001

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Covenants and Covenant Theology

Covenants and Covenant Theology

(p.171) 6 Covenants and Covenant Theology
Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

David George Mullan

Oxford University Press

The notion of the covenant was essential to the Scottish Puritan experience. John Knox may well have imported the idea into Scotland from his prophetic interpretation of the English Reformation, and perhaps in 1557 one may see the lineaments of the first religio‐political covenant. The Negative (King's) Confession of 1581 was quickly interpreted in covenantal terms and it became the foundation of the National Covenant of 1638. But the covenant idea also developed in the context of the individual's relationship with God—increasingly interpreted in terms of federal theology—and during this period one observes the building blocks of the personal covenant, which would later in the century become a familiar component of Presbyterian piety. The National Covenant was subscribed by men across the length and breadth of the country and was often received with a revivalistic emotional outpouring.

Keywords:   covenant, covenanting, federal theology, National Covenant

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