Christopher Love - The Psalm Singing Covenanter

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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner


I am currently reading Don Kistler's (pictured above) biography of Christopher Love; in the following extract, Mr. Kistler explains why this Puritan only sang the Psalms in worship:

Christopher Love was a Covenanter. One of the things that makes them unique is their commitment to exclusive psalmody, and their strict keeping of the Sabbath. In other words, Covenanters will sing only the divinely-inspired psalms of Scripture in their worship services, and they sing them without musical accompaniment. Since God wrote the psalms, they reason, why sing hymns written by fallible men?
D. Kistler, A Spectacle Unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love, p. 90
 

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
Good stuff! Too bad that crazy Cromwell was not a Christopher Love fan, maybe taking the Covenants seriously would have saved England from that egomaniac!
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I would also be of the opinion that Love and others were wrong to think that Charles I should not have been executed. He was a lawless person, who was guilty of high treason, and was justly put to death (Deut. 17:8-13).
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I would also be of the opinion that Love and others were wrong to think that Charles I should not have been executed. He was a lawless person, who was guilty of high treason, and was justly put to death (Deut. 17:8-13).
That text requires witnesses, not vigilantes.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I would also be of the opinion that Love and others were wrong to think that Charles I should not have been executed. He was a lawless person, who was guilty of high treason, and was justly put to death (Deut. 17:8-13).
That text requires witnesses, not vigilantes.
Charles I was a rebel against the English nation, he was the vigilante and was justly executed. The text does sanction execution for lawless refusal to abide by court rulings - i.e. treason against a godly social order. The text concerning witnesses is verse 7 of the chapter: "The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst."
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The text does sanction execution for lawless refusal to abide by court rulings - i.e. treason against a godly social order.
There was nothing about his trial which was according to "godly social order;" in fact, there was no order of any kind, but only a custom-made court implementing a self-serving law.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
The text does sanction execution for lawless refusal to abide by court rulings - i.e. treason against a godly social order.
There was nothing about his trial which was according to "godly social order;" in fact, there was no order of any kind, but only a custom-made court implementing a self-serving law.
The man waged war on his own subjects, and got what he deserved.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Here is a brief account of Charles I's trial for anyone interested:

On 1 January 1649, the Purged Parliament passed an ordinance for the trial of King Charles I. He was charged with subverting the fundamental laws and liberties of the nation and with maliciously making war on the Parliament and people of England. In a reversal of the traditional definition, Parliament declared that it was treason for a King to wage war upon his own subjects. When the House of Lords refused to give its assent to the ordinance, the House of Commons declared itself to be the supreme authority in the land with powers to pass laws without the consent of the King or the Lords.

A High Court of Justice was specially convened for the trial, which was held in the Painted Chamber of the Palace of Westminster. Although the Commissioners of the High Court were anxious that the trial should be seen to be open and public, stringent security measures were enforced. Soldiers were stationed to control the crowds, guards were posted on the roofs, cellars were searched. President Bradshaw wore a steel-lined bullet-proof hat in case of an assassination attempt.

The trial opened on the afternoon of 20 January 1649, with further sessions on the 22nd and 23rd. With quiet dignity the King exasperated the Commissioners by refusing to answer the charges against him. He did not recognise the jurisdiction of the High Court and challenged the basis on which the purged House of Commons could claim to represent the people of England. Each session ended with Bradshaw ordering the soldiers to remove the King — thus emphasising the overriding presence of the Army in the proceedings and underlining the King's claim that the present administration was a worse threat to the liberty and welfare of the people of England than he had ever been.

On 24 January, thirty-three witnesses against the King were heard by a sub-committee of the High Court and the following day their depositions were read out in a public session. The depositions proved the King's personal participation in the wars, gave evidence of his approval of various atrocities and demonstrated his intention of stirring up and continuing the wars. On 26 January, the Commissioners drafted the sentence, condemning Charles Stuart as a "tyrant, traitor, murderer and public enemy to the Commonwealth of England".

The final session of the trial was held on 27 January. Bradshaw's 40-minute address to the prisoner asserted that even a King was subject to the law, and that the law proceeded from Parliament. Furthermore, Charles Stuart had broken the sacred reciprocal bond between king and subject. By making war on his own people, he had forfeit his right to their allegiance. Declaring Charles guilty of the charges against him, Bradshaw ordered the sentence to be read out. To his great dismay, Charles was not allowed to speak and was abruptly led away from the court to await his execution.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
The man waged war on his own subjects, and got what he deserved.
"Due process" should determine criminality and its appropriate punishment. The golden rule demands it.
He was tried for his crimes and did not even recognise the court - such was his contempt for law and his own haughtiness. Considering that he publicly waged war on the English people, there can be no lack of witnesses as to his crimes.

Thomas McCrie says in his The Story of the Scottish Church, that Charles I's supposed virtues have been wildly exaggerated. The Scots inordinate veneration was a sad example of men putting their trust in princes (Ps. 145)
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thomas McCrie says in his The Story of the Scottish Church, that Charles I's supposed virtues have been wildly exaggerated.
His character and actions are not at issue; all Presbyterians agree he was a tyrant. They usually also agree that the political power which took his place was little better. M'Crie calls his death "little better than a judicial murder" (p. 226). It was but one tyranny usurping another.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Thomas McCrie says in his The Story of the Scottish Church, that Charles I's supposed virtues have been wildly exaggerated.
His character and actions are not at issue; all Presbyterians agree he was a tyrant. They usually also agree that the political power which took his place was little better. M'Crie calls his death "little better than a judicial murder" (p. 226). It was but one tyranny usurping another.
The last line is probably correct. I am not saying those that replaced him were brilliant, only that he got his just deserts as a tyrant.
 
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