Although Welwood focuses on personal sanctification, searching out the differences between hypocrites and true believers, he does not leave national issues untouched. He shows how God's anger builds in the life of backsliding individuals, churches and nations and how sometimes faithful individuals are swept away in the deluge that ensues as God's wrath is poured out upon the earth.
The situation in Scotland at the time of this sermon (c. 1678) provides a perfect example illustrating this point. The forces of Antichrist (Royalist and Prelatical) were hounding the faithful Covenanters and many were suffering (even unto death) on account of their faithfulness to second Reformation attainments and covenant engagements (in the battle for the crown rights of King Jesus). At this point Welwood seeks to comfort and strengthen those saints suffering under the hand of these wicked, persecuting, 'incarnate devils' -- as Welwood calls them.
Occasional hearing, unlawful authorities in church and state and neutrality in the cause of Christ are all sternly rebuked. There is great edification here as this sermon encourages the Christian in his unrelenting battle against sin and defection (individually and in his duties relative to the church and state).
This sermon is read (by Ruling Elder Lyndon Dohms) from the book Sermons in Times of Persecution in Scotland.
For additional material about the Covenanters, please visit SWRB's home page at the 'Outside Web Link' below.