Covenanters

Name given to the subscribers (practically the whole of Scotland) of the two Covenants, the National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643. Their object was to band the nation together in defense of its religion against the attempts of the king to impose upon it an episcopal system of church government and a new and less anti-Catholic liturgy. The Covenants as national bonds ceased with the conquest of Scotland by Cromwell but many upheld them throughout the Restoration. The struggle which ensued was a struggle for supremacy as to which should decide the religion of the country, the King or the Kirk. After nearly a century of strife both sides had lost and won. The king had been defeated in his attempts to dictate the religion of his subjects; Presbyterianism became the established religion. But it had been equally proved that the subjection of the State to the Church, the supremacy, political as well as ecclesiastical of the, Kirk, was an impossibility. In this the Covenanters had failed.

New Catholic Dictionary

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