Posted by Lewis on December 22, 2003
In Reply to: Bought the covenant posted by James Briggs on December 22, 2003
: : In doing genealogical research I have come across the term "bought the covenant". I realize it has something to do with being accepted into a church, but I don't know exactly what is involved. I'm sure someone here knows. Help! Thanks, Nev
: In English law a 'covenant' is a legally binding contract/condition placed upon a situation, eg 'this house may not be sold for another 50 years'. It may be that, in some instances, it is possible to buy this covenant and therefore remove the conditions. I'm not sure about this, but does the concept fit in with your researches?
A covenant is a solemn promise that is supposed to endure although a covenant can be limited in time, or it can be permanent. Unlike a contract, a covenant only needs a one-sided pledge. English land law is full of covenants - which are usually mutual between owners of adjoining land granting rights.
'buying a covenant' is not a common or legal expression. normally one would 'enter into' a covenant but because of the enduring nature and their usual linkage to land, they usually just pass (or expire) with he land. one doesn't 'buy' a covenant - although perhaps one couold 'buy-back' a covenant already given.
However,'covenant' is also a word from religion and it usually comes in two biblical forms - the 'old covenant' (Judaism) and the 'new covenant' (Christian) - these are two 'deals' (promises) the Almighty offered - the new because the old became corrupted and the spirit generally lost. the old was something along the lines of 'you will be my people and I will be your God) whereas the new was a more individual 'if you believe in Me and the sacrifice Jesus made, I will be with you'.
the idea is that the covenant is an open-ended offer.
there is/was a religious sect called the 'Covenantors' (Scottish possibly) and I think they were named after that biblical concept.