Marrow of Modern Divinity and Republication

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Justified

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have some questions in regards to Republication in the book Marrow of Modern Divinity. The book seems to be supporting some sort of republication of the CoW at Sinai. The Republication of the CoW proposed in Marrow does not seem like what we have in modern Republication. Am I right? I will try to bring up the passage if need be, but in one instance Fisher writes, essentially, that the CoW wasn't reinstituted at Sinai in order that Israel could attain righteousness by works, but that they would recognize their exceeding sinfulness and be pointed to the coming Savior for their salvation. His argument seems to be that in between Adam and Moses they (Israel) have began to lose sight of what sin was, so God reinstituted the CoW so that the might see their sin (Rom 5:20). Mr. Fisher explains it better.

Nom. But, sir, were the children of Israel at this time better able to perform the condition of the covenant of works, than either Adam or any of the old patriarchs were, that God renewed it now with them, rather than before?

Evan. No, indeed; God did not renew it with them now, and not before, because they were better able to keep it, but because they had more need to be made acquainted what the covenant of works is, than those before. For though it is true the ten commandments, which were at first perfectly written in Adam's heart, were much obliterated 12 by his fall, yet some impressions and relics thereof still remained; 13 and Adam himself was very sensible of his fall, and the rest of the fathers were helped by tradition; 14 and, says Cameron, "God did speak to the patriarchs from heaven, yea, and he spake unto them by his angels"; 15 but now, by this time, sin had almost obliterated and defaced the impressions of the law written in their hearts; 16 and by their being so long in Egypt, they were so corrupted, that the instructions and ordinances of their fathers were almost worn out of mind; and their fall in Adam was almost forgotten, as the apostle testifies, (Rom 5:13,14), saying, "Before the time of the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Nay, in that long course of time betwixt Adam and Moses, men had forgotten what was sin; so, although God had made a promise of blessing to Abraham, and to all his seed, that would plead interest in it, 17 yet these people at this time were proud and secure, and heedless of their estate; and though "sin was in them, and death reigned over them," yet they being without a law to evidence this sin and death unto their consciences, 18 they did not impute it unto themselves, they would not own it, nor charge themselves with it; and so, by consequence, found no need of pleading the promise made to Abraham; 19 (Rom 5:20), therefore, "the law entered," that Adam's offence and their own actual transgression might abound, so that now the Lord saw it needful, that there should be a new edition and publication of the covenant of works, the sooner to compel the elect unbelievers to come to Christ, the promised seed, and that the grace of God in Christ to the elect believers might appear the more exceeding glorious. So that you see the Lord's intention therein was, that they, by looking upon this covenant might be put in mind what was their duty of old, when they were in Adam's loins; yea, and what was their duty still, if they would stand to that covenant, and so go the old and natural way to work; yea, and hereby they were also to see what was their present infirmity in not doing their duty: 20 that so they seeing an impossibility of obtaining life by that way of works, first appointed in paradise, they might be humbled, and more heedfully mind the promise made to their father Abraham, and hasten to lay hold on the Messiah, or promised seed.

When I see the arguments he gives, I agree. It reminds me of those who believe their is only one CoG. They say that God made an Adamic Administration in the garden, not a CoW. Although they may not use the term CoW, their Adamic Administration is, in essence, our CoW. It appears to be the same thing here, while we may not agree (at least some of us) that it should be coined a republication of the CoW, we most certainly agree that the Decalogue reflects the holy character of God and sets the perfect standards whereby we are judged, and that this law makes us realize our total inability to attain our own righteousness, thus, leading us to Christ, who alone can be our righteousness.

What think ye? I don't agree with modern Republication (from what I've heard), but I can't say I disagree with what Mr. Fisher has to say, whether or not I'd call it a reinstitution/republication of the CoW I don't know. If I am in error brothers, please let me know.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The traditional view held that there was a republication subordinate to the covenant of grace, whereas the modern movement maintains that republication is co-ordinate with the covenant of grace. The one sets forth the unity and continuity of the covenant of grace as administered under Law and Gospel while the other introduces division and discontinuity into the covenant of grace.
 

Justified

Puritan Board Sophomore
The traditional view held that there was a republication subordinate to the covenant of grace, whereas the modern movement maintains that republication is co-ordinate with the covenant of grace. The one sets forth the unity and continuity of the covenant of grace as administered under Law and Gospel while the other introduces division and discontinuity into the covenant of grace.

That basically answers all my questions.

Mr Winzer, a personal theological question, do you hold to either of those views of republication? Also from what I've read in Marrow, and similar to what you've said, Fisher seems to imply that the CoG is still present (maybe not the right words?) in the Mosaic Covenant. Is this correct? (I do understand what you mean by subordinate and co-ordinate, just wondering more is the CoG present in the Mosaic Covenant)
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Mr Winzer, a personal theological question, do you hold to either of those views of republication? Also from what I've read in Marrow, and similar to what you've said, Fisher seems to imply that the CoG is still present (maybe not the right words?) in the Mosaic Covenant. Is this correct? (I do understand what you mean by subordinate and co-ordinate, just wondering more is the CoG present in the Mosaic Covenant)

I think it is necessary to preach the law as a means of convincing the hearer of his inability to maintain the perfect righteousness required by the law and of the sinful pollution of his nature, heart, and life, in order to drive him out of himself that he might be drawn to Christ and His righteousness offered in the gospel. This is what I understand by republication, and find it an useful term when understood in this way.

Is the covenant of grace present in the Mosaic covenant? Definitely. I think those who maintain a co-ordinate republication would also teach the covenant of grace is to be found in the typical ordinances. But I would go further and say the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace. It is the old administration, to be sure (and hence called the old covenant), but an administration of the one covenant of grace nonetheless. The Preface to the Ten Commandments makes this clear. The Ten Commandments follow as divine instruction how to live as the redeemed people of God. They are not given for the purpose of earning one's place among the people of God.
 

Justified

Puritan Board Sophomore
Mr Winzer, a personal theological question, do you hold to either of those views of republication? Also from what I've read in Marrow, and similar to what you've said, Fisher seems to imply that the CoG is still present (maybe not the right words?) in the Mosaic Covenant. Is this correct? (I do understand what you mean by subordinate and co-ordinate, just wondering more is the CoG present in the Mosaic Covenant)

I think it is necessary to preach the law as a means of convincing the hearer of his inability to maintain the perfect righteousness required by the law and of the sinful pollution of his nature, heart, and life, in order to drive him out of himself that he might be drawn to Christ and His righteousness offered in the gospel. This is what I understand by republication, and find it an useful term when understood in this way.

Is the covenant of grace present in the Mosaic covenant? Definitely. I think those who maintain a co-ordinate republication would also teach the covenant of grace is to be found in the typical ordinances. But I would go further and say the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace. It is the old administration, to be sure (and hence called the old covenant), but an administration of the one covenant of grace nonetheless. The Preface to the Ten Commandments makes this clear. The Ten Commandments follow as divine instruction how to live as the redeemed people of God. They are not given for the purpose of earning one's place among the people of God.

Speaking from someone (Fisher) who is a traditional republicationist, do they believe that the Mosaic Covenant, although a republication of the CoW, is also a republication/renewal of the CoG. I get this from this quote:

Ant. And, sir, did the law produce this effect in them?

Evan. Yea, indeed, it did; as will appear, if you consider, that although, before the publishing of this covenant, they were exceeding proud and confident of their own strength to do all that the Lord would have them do; yet when the Lord came to deal with them as men under the covenant of works, in showing himself a terrible judge sitting on the throne of justice, like a mountain burning with fire, summoning them to come before him by the sound of a trumpet, [yet not to touch the mountain without a mediator,] (Heb 12:19,20), they were not able to endure the voice of words, nor yet to abide that which was commanded, insomuch, as Moses himself did fear and quake; and they did all of them so fear, and shake, and shiver, that their peacock feathers were now pulled down. This terrible show wherein God gave his law on Mount Sinai, says Luther, did represent the use of the law: there was in the people of Israel that came out of Egypt a singular holiness; they gloried and said, "We are the people of God; we will do all that the Lord commandeth." Moreover, Moses sanctified them, and bade them wash their garments, and purify themselves, and prepare themselves against the third day: there was not one of them but was full of holiness. The third day, Moses bringeth the people out of their tents to the mountain in the sight of the Lord, that they might hear his voice. What followed then? why, when they beheld the horrible sight of the mountain smoking and burning, the black clouds and the lightnings flashing up and down in this horrible darkness, and heard the sound of the trumpet blowing long, and waxing louder and louder, they were afraid, and standing afar off, they said not to Moses as before, "All that the Lord commandeth we will do; but talk thou with us, and we will hear, but let not God talk with us, lest we die." So that now they saw they were sinners, and had offended God; and, therefore, stood in need of a mediator to negotiate peace, and entreat for reconciliation between God and them; and the Lord highly approved of their words, as you may see, (Deut 5:28), where Moses, repeating what they had said, adds further: "The Lord heard the voice of your word, when ye spake to me, and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee, they have well said, all that they have spoken," viz: in desiring a mediator. Wherefore, I pray you, take notice, that they were not commended for saying, "All that the Lord commandeth we will do." "No," says a godly writer, "they were not praised for any other thing, than for desiring a mediator"; 1 whereupon the Lord promised Christ unto them, even as Moses testifies, saying, "The Lord thy God shall raise up unto thee a prophet like unto me, from among you, even of your brethren; unto him shall you hearken, according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, in the day of the assembly, when thou saidst, Let me hear the voice of the Lord my God no more, nor see this great fire any more, that I die not: and the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken, I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I command him"; and to assure us that Christ was the prophet here spoken of, he himself says unto the Jews, (John 5:46), "If you have believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me"; and that this was it which he wrote of him, the apostle Peter witnesses, (Acts 3:22); and so doth the martyr Stephen, (Acts 7:37). Thus you see, when the Lord had, by means of the covenant of works made with Adam, humbled them, and made them sigh for Christ the promised Seed, he renewed the promise with them, yea, and the covenant of grace made with Abraham.
Specifically the last couple lines.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I get this from this quote:

That appears to me to be a fair reading of the text, especially in light of the fact that he goes on to prove it in answer to the next question. It is noteworthy that he is directing this to the antinomian, who drew too great a contrast between Law and Gospel and turned them into two contrasting covenants of Works and Grace. If one is looking to trace the co-ordinate view of republication to its ancestry the tree will lead back to Antinomista, not Evangelista.
 

Rev. Todd Ruddell

Puritan Board Junior
Further, if the Covenant of Works was republished, and the Israelites received it, saying "All that the LORD has commanded will do, and be obedient" why do we have the Lord treating with them as a people under the Covenant of Grace, when at the base of Sinai they have committed idolatry, they are threatened with death, (the term o the covenant of works upon disobedience) and the Lord deals with them on the basis of a mediator, Moses? If it was a covenant of works, they should have died at the base of Sinai when they made the golden calf. Instead, they were shown grace, and mercy--they were pardoned by the intercession of a mediator, pointing to the intercession of Christ.

I think the point concerning tracing the coordinate view (which seems to be only slightly different than the second use of the Law--revealing sin and driving to Christ) to Antinomista particularly helpful. What is the "Marrow" combating in that line of argument?
 

Justified

Puritan Board Sophomore
Further, if the Covenant of Works was republished, and the Israelites received it, saying "All that the LORD has commanded will do, and be obedient" why do we have the Lord treating with them as a people under the Covenant of Grace, when at the base of Sinai they have committed idolatry, they are threatened with death, (the term o the covenant of works upon disobedience) and the Lord deals with them on the basis of a mediator, Moses? If it was a covenant of works, they should have died at the base of Sinai when they made the golden calf. Instead, they were shown grace, and mercy--they were pardoned by the intercession of a mediator, pointing to the intercession of Christ.

I think the point concerning tracing the coordinate view (which seems to be only slightly different than the second use of the Law--revealing sin and driving to Christ) to Antinomista particularly helpful. What is the "Marrow" combating in that line of argument?

Previous to the section that that excerpt is from, he was explaining that the CoW was reinstituted in order to expose the sinfulness of the people because the law had grown "weak" among them. The republication of the CoW revealed the holy law whereby man must have perpetual obedience to inherit eternal life. Fisher explains that God knew all well that they were unable to keep this, but that God's intention in reinstituting the CoW was not that they may attain eternal life, which was the promise annexed to the CoW in Eden, but, rather, the reinstitution of the CoW would make Israel realize the entire futileness and impossibility of keeping the whole law, thus, being driven to the Seed of the Woman, the Savior-- Jesus Christ, and seeking after obtaining his righteousness by faith.

The section that my excerpt comes from is explaining that the CoW is subordinate to the CoG. Once again, the CoW is to point to the CoG. Here is the section for yourself (not that long): The promise and covenant with Abraham, renewed with the Israelites.
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
Previous to the section that that excerpt is from, he was explaining that the CoW was reinstituted in order to expose the sinfulness of the people because the law had grown "weak" among them. The republication of the CoW revealed the holy law whereby man must have perpetual obedience to inherit eternal life. Fisher explains that God knew all well that they were unable to keep this, but that God's intention in reinstituting the CoW was not that they may attain eternal life, which was the promise annexed to the CoW in Eden, but, rather, the reinstitution of the CoW would make Israel realize the entire futileness and impossibility of keeping the whole law, thus, being driven to the Seed of the Woman, the Savior-- Jesus Christ, and seeking after obtaining his righteousness by faith.

The section that my excerpt comes from is explaining that the CoW is subordinate to the CoG. Once again, the CoW is to point to the CoG. Here is the section for yourself (not that long): The promise and covenant with Abraham, renewed with the Israelites.
When I read the Marrow I understood the idea of republication of the CoW to mean that the Covenant broken was re-proclaimed for the people to know their guilt. It was republished in the sense of being made known again because the people did not know their own sinfulness. It is not the same as the modern republicationists who make republication to mean some sort of re-institution where the CoW is applied specially in some sort of way to the nation of Israel.
 

Justified

Puritan Board Sophomore
Previous to the section that that excerpt is from, he was explaining that the CoW was reinstituted in order to expose the sinfulness of the people because the law had grown "weak" among them. The republication of the CoW revealed the holy law whereby man must have perpetual obedience to inherit eternal life. Fisher explains that God knew all well that they were unable to keep this, but that God's intention in reinstituting the CoW was not that they may attain eternal life, which was the promise annexed to the CoW in Eden, but, rather, the reinstitution of the CoW would make Israel realize the entire futileness and impossibility of keeping the whole law, thus, being driven to the Seed of the Woman, the Savior-- Jesus Christ, and seeking after obtaining his righteousness by faith.

The section that my excerpt comes from is explaining that the CoW is subordinate to the CoG. Once again, the CoW is to point to the CoG. Here is the section for yourself (not that long): The promise and covenant with Abraham, renewed with the Israelites.
When I read the Marrow I understood the idea of republication of the CoW to mean that the Covenant broken was re-proclaimed for the people to know their guilt. It was republished in the sense of being made known again because the people did not know their own sinfulness. It is not the same as the modern republicationists who make republication to mean some sort of re-institution where the CoW is applied specially in some sort of way to the nation of Israel.
That's exactly how I've understood it.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
When I read the Marrow I understood the idea of republication of the CoW to mean that the Covenant broken was re-proclaimed for the people to know their guilt. It was republished in the sense of being made known again because the people did not know their own sinfulness. It is not the same as the modern republicationists who make republication to mean some sort of re-institution where the CoW is applied specially in some sort of way to the nation of Israel.

This was also done e.g. when Christ spoke to the Rich Young Ruler, and the CoW should be "republished" to some degree in this sense whenever the Gospel is preached.

In his Systematic Theology, Dabney points out that the CoW still stands after the Fall. Those who haven't entered the life of the CoG are in Adam by nature, and are still obliged to observe the moral law perfectly for salvation, are subject to the negative sanction of the CoW of the curse, including Hell, for their sin, and yet the positive sanction of the CoW of reward has become for sinners completely hypothetical and out of reach.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
What is the "Marrow" combating in that line of argument?

Antinomista questioned the belief that the covenant of grace was renewed with the people of Israel and is the same in substance with the new covenant, and quoted Jeremiah in an attempt to show there are two covenants differing in substance. From an Antinomian perspective, the law and the old covenant are one and the same and the abrogation of the old covenant entails abrogation of the law in every respect.
 
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