Marrow on Covenant of Works at Sinai, and Westminster on Original Sin

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PeterR

Puritan Board Freshman
I have been reading Andy Wilson's "The Marrow of the Marrow of Modern Divinity" and came across something that puzzles me. I'll quote from the original Marrow, Chapter 2; Section 2; 3.

"Nom. But yet, sir, methinks it is somewhat strange that the Lord should put them upon doing the law, and also promise them life for doing, and yet never intend it.

Evan. Though he did so, yet did he neither require of them that which was unjust, nor yet dissemble with them in the promise; for the Lord may justly require perfect obedience at all men's hands, by virtue of that covenant which was made with them in Adam; and if any man could yield perfect obedience to the law, both in doing and suffering, he should have eternal life; ..."


Yet the Westminster Confession (Chapter 6, III) speaks of the guilt of original sin being imputed to us:

"They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation."

So surely even if someone was able to keep the law, according to the Westminster Confession it wouldn't work because we are born guilty. Is God saying "If you were able to keep the law, you would live"? Isn't that what Nomista means by saying "never intend it" and what Evangelista denies by saying "nor yet dissemble"?

What I'm saying is, according to the Westminster Confession, not only is it an impossibility (which is, perhaps, the point of the Law being our Schoolmaster to bring us to Christ), but even if it wasn't impossible we would still be guilty.

Are there any alternatives to this apparent contradiction that do not contradict the Bible?
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
It's subtle, but he mentions "both in doing and suffering." The doing is fulfilling the conditions of the covenant of works, and the suffering is satisfying the penalty for the broken covenant of works. The "suffering" part is where guilt (imputed or otherwise) would be satisfied. At least, that's the way I read it, which doesn't seem to contradict the Westminster Confession.
 

PeterR

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you, Albert. That's interesting - I hadn't noticed that, and maybe it means what you describe. Maybe it is well-known to you from the context of other writings what it means. Or did you just work that out?
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
I've been recently reading through The Marrow, so I've actually been pondering what is said in it quite a bit recently! A little bit up from the end of the first chapter, on the covenant of works, evangelista talks about the payment of a double debt, which is why we can't save ourselves by the covenant of works. Here's the section:

nomista: But, sir, had it not been possible for Adam both to have helped himself and his posterity out of his misery, by renewing the same covenant with God, and keeping it so afterwards?

evangelista: No, by no means; for the covenant of works was a covenant no way capable of renovation. When he had once broken it, he was gone for ever; because it was a covenant between two friends, but now fallen man was become an enemy. And besides it was an impossible thing for Adam to have performed the conditions which now the justice of God did necessarily require at his hands; for he was now become liable for the payment of a double debt, viz. the debt of satisfaction for his sin committed in time past, and the debt of perfect and perpetual obedience for the time to come; and he was utterly unable to pay either of them.

A bit in the beginning of the second chapter, before your quote, we read evangelista describing the work of Christ, and how He stands in for us satisfying the covenant of works by paying both debts. This is where the "suffering" language is connected with the debt of satisfaction (for man's guilt). Here's that portion (I bolded the double debt concept):

...Whereupon there was a special covenant, or mutual agreement made between God and Christ, as is expressed (Isa. 53:10), that if Christ would make himself a sacrifice for sin, then hi should 'see his seed, he should prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord should prosper by him.' So in Psalm 89:19, the mercies of this covenant between God and Christ, under the type of God's covenant with David, are set forth: 'Thou spakest in vision to thy holy One, and said, I have laid help upon One that is mighty': or, as the Chaldee expounds it, 'One mighty in the law.' As if God had said concerning his elect, I know that these will break, and never be able to satisfy me; but thou art a mighty and substantial person, able to pay me, therefore I will look for my debt of thee. As Pareus well observes, God did, as it were, say to Christ, what they owe me I require all at thy hands. Then said Christ, 'Lo, I come to do they will! in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, o my God! yea, thy law is in my heart' (Ps. 40:7-8). Thus Christ assented, and from everlasting struck hands with God, to put upon him man's person, and to take upon him his name, and to enter in his stead in obeying his Father, and to do all for man that he should require, and to yield in man's flesh the price of the satisfaction of the just judgment of God, and, in the same flesh, to suffer the punishment that man had deserved; and this he undertook under the penalty that lay upon man to have undergone. And thus was justice satisfied and mercy by the Lord Jesus Christ; and so God took Christ's single bond; whence Christ is not only called the 'surety of the covenant for us' (Heb. 7:22), but the covenant itself (Isa. 49:8). And God laid all upon him, that he might be sure of satisfaction; protesting that he would not deal with us, nor so much expect any payment from us; such was his grace.

And thus did out Lord Jesus Christ enter into the same covenant of works that Adam did to delver believers from it...

Then, you have the discussion which follows of tracing the covenant of grace historically. The question nomista poses in the portion originally quoted was about the Mosaic administration, and why God would give Israel the covenant of works, knowing that Israel could not meet its demands. The answer, as evangelista describes it, is that it was given to show them their insufficiency and drive them to Christ, who could meet the demands. At the bottom of the paragraph that is quoted, you see evangelista write:

...in short, to make them see the terms under which they stood, that so they might be brought out of themselves, and expect nothing from the law, in relation to life, but all from Christ. For how should a man see his need of life by Christ, if he do not first see that he is fallen from the way of life? and how should he understand how far he had strayed from the way of life, unless he do first find what is that way of life?

Which then occasions the question: was God making a covenant of works? And the answer is no. So how could God give them a promise of life by the covenant of works? Because, even as fallen and condemned having broken the covenant of works, that covenant is still binding upon men for their obedience: thus the law is exposing their current status already under the covenant of works, and its demands. Not establishing a new covenant of works or promising a way of escape from it. And that existing status is shown by the portion of evangelista which you originally quoted: "the Lord may justly require perfect obedience...by virtue of that covenant which was made with them in Adam."

So the terms of the covenant of works are not made, but rather reminded, in order to point Israel to Christ through the giving of the law. Not to put them in a hopeless situation, but to show that the hopeless situation they are already in, and destroy their presumption of obedience.

Not sure if that's helpful! Boston's notes are illuminating on various parts of the discussions, and help prompt questions and ways of thinking about what is said.
 

PeterR

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, that is helpful. My feeling (not meant to be doctrinally precise) is that the Covenant of Grace is, in a way, the Covenant of Works, but with Christ fulfilling it, which is such a complete change that it is a "New Covenant".
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's probably worth noting that the view advanced by Boston and the Marrow that the Mosaic Covenant is a republication of the Covenant of Works is something of a minority view historically among Presbyterians.
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, that is helpful. My feeling (not meant to be doctrinally precise) is that the Covenant of Grace is, in a way, the Covenant of Works, but with Christ fulfilling it, which is such a complete change that it is a "New Covenant".

Boston actually makes this point explicitly in one of his notes: for Christ, it is a covenant of works, but for us, it is a covenant of grace.

It's probably worth noting that the view advanced by Boston and the Marrow that the Mosaic Covenant is a republication of the Covenant of Works is something of a minority view historically among Presbyterians.

I'd be interested in sources on this! As far as I understood, Boston (and the Marrow) viewed the Mosaic covenant as an administration of the covenant of grace. This is definitely different than modern republication, and just seems to be a restating of WCF 7:4-6 and 19. But I could be misunderstanding, and also am unaware of other historical sources that show majority / minority views on the issue.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Boston actually makes this point explicitly in one of his notes: for Christ, it is a covenant of works, but for us, it is a covenant of grace.



I'd be interested in sources on this! As far as I understood, Boston (and the Marrow) viewed the Mosaic covenant as an administration of the covenant of grace. This is definitely different than modern republication, and just seems to be a restating of WCF 7:4-6 and 19. But I could be misunderstanding, and also am unaware of other historical sources that show majority / minority views on the issue.
Yes, republication is the idea that while the Mosaic administration was an administration of the Covenant of Grace, the Covenant of Works was nevertheless repeated to them in a subservient way in order to bring them to an understanding of their need for grace. So for Boston the ten commandments are in some sense a repetition of the covenant of works made with Adam, and if Israel keeps them they will receive certain benefits.
The opposing view would be that the ten commandments are, considered in themselves, the moral law of God, not belonging by necessity to either the covenant of grace or of works, that they have a two-fold employment in Scripture, either in the covenant of works or the covenant of grace, and that in the Mosaic economy they are employed only as the law of the covenant of grace. As God said to Abraham in his covenant of grace (Gen. 17), "walk thou before me, and be thou holy". The non-republication view is present in John Ball's Treatise on the Covenant of Grace (1640) and pretty much any other period work on Covenant Theology by a Presbyterian. The Republication/legal Moses view was popular among Independents/Congregationalists, and is accordingly present in the writings of John Owen.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
I have been reading Andy Wilson's "The Marrow of the Marrow of Modern Divinity" and came across something that puzzles me. I'll quote from the original Marrow, Chapter 2; Section 2; 3.

"Nom. But yet, sir, methinks it is somewhat strange that the Lord should put them upon doing the law, and also promise them life for doing, and yet never intend it.

Evan. Though he did so, yet did he neither require of them that which was unjust, nor yet dissemble with them in the promise; for the Lord may justly require perfect obedience at all men's hands, by virtue of that covenant which was made with them in Adam; and if any man could yield perfect obedience to the law, both in doing and suffering, he should have eternal life; ..."


Yet the Westminster Confession (Chapter 6, III) speaks of the guilt of original sin being imputed to us:

"They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation."

So surely even if someone was able to keep the law, according to the Westminster Confession it wouldn't work because we are born guilty. Is God saying "If you were able to keep the law, you would live"? Isn't that what Nomista means by saying "never intend it" and what Evangelista denies by saying "nor yet dissemble"?

What I'm saying is, according to the Westminster Confession, not only is it an impossibility (which is, perhaps, the point of the Law being our Schoolmaster to bring us to Christ), but even if it wasn't impossible we would still be guilty.

Are there any alternatives to this apparent contradiction that do not contradict the Bible?
Fisher in the Marrow generally follows the position set forth in the Westminster standards as to the Covenant of Works. But there are some subtle differences. It's somewhat confusing and difficult to catagorize his views. Fisher ends up affirming in some places of The Marrow the position set forth in the Westminster standards, which is the view that the covenant at Sinai was indeed part of the Covenant of Grace. He affirms they were the same in substance. In other places, he seems to contradict himself, aligning the Law at Sinai with the Covenant of Works. In my study of The Marrow and of republication in general, I found Fisher to hold a mixed view of Sinai; that is, in some respects it belonged to the Covenant of Grace, in other respects it belonged to the Covenant of Works. In particular, Fisher seems to be a proponent of the mixed view that distinguishes the covenant of works from the covenant of grace in the mosaic covenant by the TYPE of Law that was giving: IE, the moral law of Exodus 20 was a republication of the Covenant of Works; whereas the ceremonial Law beginning in Exodus 24 was the Covenant of Grace. Another thing that adds to the confusion is Boston's footnotes, which largely align with Fisher's particular view but at times differ as well. Boston seems to hold a slightly different form of the mixed view, arguing the difference between the covenant of works and grace in the mosaic covenant had to do with the FUNCTION of the Law: IE, for unbelievers it functioned as a covenant of works; for believers at Sinai it functioned as a covenant of Grace. These positions are commendable and close to the position set forth in the Westminster Confession, but do differ. For a more detailed discussion: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/be37d2_7ab3ef3bbc9149f1bd9b65d05fe9e1c9.pdf and https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/be37d2_527984d255de482e9f21b1fee8e43e64.pdf

Edit: To be clear, neither Fisher nor Boston subscribed to Republication. They explicitly both declare Sinai to be part of the Covenant of Grace. But they also make other statements that align the Law at Sinai with the Covenant of Works. Having said that, though, they would argue not that it was a strict republication of the Covenant of Works but rather a reiteration of it. Big difference. But this is why I see both Fisher and Boston as being proponents--not of republication--but of the mixed view. Part of the confusion though may be that The Marrow first appeared in 1645, which was still very early on. Theologians were still trying to get their terminology down. The later Puritans ran with Fisher and helped to clarify how the Covenant of Works related to Sinai and how it didn't. Francis Roberts' later work in 1657 brings crystal clarity to Sinai in a way that is expressly and wholly consistent with the Westminster standards. I agree with 99.4% of what Fisher says in the Marrow. The rest may be because he viewed the Law in a slightly different way; but it just as easily may be simply a difference in terminology and how he used his words.

- - -

This was what I found:

Edward Fisher (The Marrow of Modern Divinity) in some places seems to hold this view; namely, that the Mosaic Covenant was a renewal of the original Covenant of Works: “Evan: [The 10 Commandments] were delivered to [Israel] as the covenant of works” (p53; cf. 53-65). But if we read him carefully, we discover that he is actually a proponent of the Mixed View (dealt with below). His assertion is not that the Mosaic Covenant was given as a covenant of works—but rather that the Decalogue, or 10 Commandments, were given as a covenant of works. Fisher later clearly differentiates his position from the Republication View, writing that after the giving of the Decalogue, “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.” (pp67ff). In other words, according to Fisher, the 10 Commandments were given as a covenant of works, but after the Israelites were laid low for their sin as exposed by the Decalogue; beginning with the book of the covenant (Exodus 20:22-23:33) and the ceremonial laws, God renews with them the Covenant of Grace. This is confirmed by what Fisher says later in The Marrow: “the old covenant, in respect of the outward form and manner of sealing, was temporary and changeable; and therefore the types ceased, and only the substance remains firm. . .And their covenant did at first and chiefly promise earthly blessings, and in and under these it did signify and promise all spiritual blessings and salvation; but our covenant promises Christ and his blessings in the first place, and after them earthly blessings. These, and some other circumstantial differences in regard to administration, there were betwixt their way of salvation, or covenant of grace, and ours; which moved the author to the Hebrews, Hebrews 8:8, to call theirs old, and ours new; but, in regard to substance, they were all one and the very same. . .in these covenants Jesus Christ is the subject matter of both, salvation the fruit of both, and faith the condition of both; therefore, I say, though they be called two, yet they are but one. . .” (pp71-72).

And:

Fisher writes: “the moral law did teach and show them what they should do, and so what they did not; and this made them go to the ceremonial law; and by that they were taught that Christ had done it for them; the which they believing, were made righteous by faith in him.” (pp73-75). The quotes in and of themselves are rich, beautiful and true; we would only disagree with where Fisher takes his conclusions. Fisher in fact does go on to declare that the old covenant at Sinai and the new covenant were indeed “in regard to substance. . .all one and the very same. . .[for] in these covenants Jesus Christ is the subject matter of both, salvation the fruit of both, and faith the condition of both.” (pp71-72). This immediately makes us think of Fisher as indeed a Dichotomist, viewing the Mosaic Covenant as in substance nothing different than the Covenant of Grace. But when Fisher declares that “in regard to substance, they were all one and the very same” (p71), it seems he is not speaking of the Mosaic Covenant as a whole (including also the Decalogue), but only of “their way of salvation, or covenant of grace, and ours;” that is, the portion of the mixed dispensation of the Mosaic Covenant that revealed the Covenant of Grace—not, it seems, the entire dispensation as a whole. This is so because it's quite clear reading pp53-65 of The Marrow that Fisher views the Decalogue to be given as a renewal of the Covenant of Works: “Ant: But whether were the ten commandments, as they were delivered to them on Mount Sinai, the covenant of works, or no? Evan: They were delivered to them as the covenant of works.” (p53). And again: “And in Deut. 4:13, Moses, in express terms, calls it a covenant, saying, 'And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments, and he wrote them upon tables of stone.' Now, this was not the covenant of grace. . .” (p58). Further, when it is asked of Evangelist whether any godly and modern writers agree with him on this point, Fisher cites Mr. Pemble and Mr. Walker, both of whom, as we have referenced under the Republication View, clearly see Sinai as a Covenant of Works. Fisher quotes Walker as saying: “the first part of the covenant, which God made with Israel at Horeb, was nothing else but a renewing of the old covenant of works.” (p60). It was only then, after God had renewed the Covenant of Works with Israel through the Decalogue, and had humbled them, that the Lord “renewed the promises with them, yea, and the covenant of grace made with Abraham.” (p67). When it is asked, “I pray, sir, how doth it appear that the Lord renewed that covenant with them?” Evangelist answers: “It plainly appears in this, that the Lord gave them by Moses the Leviticus laws, and ordained the tabernacle, the ark, and the mercy-seat, which were all types of Christ. . .” (p67). This is also how Fairbairn understands Fisher (see Revelation, p156). Thus, it seems Fisher viewed the Mosaic Covenant as mixed—the Moral Law given as a Covenant of Works, the Ceremonial as the Covenant of Grace.
 
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Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Fisher in the Marrow generally follows the position set forth in the Westminster standards as to the Covenant of Works. But there are some subtle differences. It's somewhat confusing and difficult to catagorize his views. Fisher ends up affirming in some places of The Marrow the position set forth in the Westminster standards, which is the view that the covenant at Sinai was indeed part of the Covenant of Grace. He affirms they were the same in substance. In other places, he seems to contradict himself, aligning the Law at Sinai with the Covenant of Works. In my study of The Marrow and of republication in general, I found Fisher to hold a mixed view of Sinai; that is, in some respects it belonged to the Covenant of Grace, in other respects it belonged to the Covenant of Works. In particular, Fisher seems to be a proponent of the mixed view that distinguishes the covenant of works from the covenant of grace in the mosaic covenant by the TYPE of Law that was giving: IE, the moral law of Exodus 20 was a republication of the Covenant of Works; whereas the ceremonial Law beginning in Exodus 24 was the Covenant of Grace. Another thing that adds to the confusion is Boston's footnotes, which largely align with Fisher's particular view but at times differ as well. Boston seems to hold a slightly different form of the mixed view, arguing the difference between the covenant of works and grace in the mosaic covenant had to do with the FUNCTION of the Law: IE, for unbelievers it functioned as a covenant of works; for believers at Sinai it functioned as a covenant of Grace. These positions are commendable and close to the position set forth in the Westminster Confession, but do differ. For a more detailed discussion: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/be37d2_7ab3ef3bbc9149f1bd9b65d05fe9e1c9.pdf and https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/be37d2_527984d255de482e9f21b1fee8e43e64.pdf

Edit: To be clear, neither Fisher nor Boston subscribed to Republication. They explicitly both declare Sinai to be part of the Covenant of Grace. But they also make other statements that align the Law at Sinai with the Covenant of Works. Having said that, though, they would argue not that it was a strict republication of the Covenant of Works but rather a reiteration of it. Big difference. But this is why I see both Fisher and Boston as being proponents--not of republication--but of the mixed view. Part of the confusion though may be that The Marrow first appeared in 1645, which was still very early on. Theologians were still trying to get their terminology down. The later Puritans ran with Fisher and helped to clarify how the Covenant of Works related to Sinai and how it didn't. Francis Roberts' later work in 1657 brings crystal clarity to Sinai in a way that is expressly and wholly consistent with the Westminster standards. I agree with 99.4% of what Fisher says in the Marrow. The rest may be because he viewed the Law in a slightly different way; but it just as easily may be simply a difference in terminology and how he used his words.

- - -

This was what I found:

Edward Fisher (The Marrow of Modern Divinity) in some places seems to hold this view; namely, that the Mosaic Covenant was a renewal of the original Covenant of Works: “Evan: [The 10 Commandments] were delivered to [Israel] as the covenant of works” (p53; cf. 53-65). But if we read him carefully, we discover that he is actually a proponent of the Mixed View (dealt with below). His assertion is not that the Mosaic Covenant was given as a covenant of works—but rather that the Decalogue, or 10 Commandments, were given as a covenant of works. Fisher later clearly differentiates his position from the Republication View, writing that after the giving of the Decalogue, “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.” (pp67ff). In other words, according to Fisher, the 10 Commandments were given as a covenant of works, but after the Israelites were laid low for their sin as exposed by the Decalogue; beginning with the book of the covenant (Exodus 20:22-23:33) and the ceremonial laws, God renews with them the Covenant of Grace. This is confirmed by what Fisher says later in The Marrow: “the old covenant, in respect of the outward form and manner of sealing, was temporary and changeable; and therefore the types ceased, and only the substance remains firm. . .And their covenant did at first and chiefly promise earthly blessings, and in and under these it did signify and promise all spiritual blessings and salvation; but our covenant promises Christ and his blessings in the first place, and after them earthly blessings. These, and some other circumstantial differences in regard to administration, there were betwixt their way of salvation, or covenant of grace, and ours; which moved the author to the Hebrews, Hebrews 8:8, to call theirs old, and ours new; but, in regard to substance, they were all one and the very same. . .in these covenants Jesus Christ is the subject matter of both, salvation the fruit of both, and faith the condition of both; therefore, I say, though they be called two, yet they are but one. . .” (pp71-72).

And:

Fisher writes: “the moral law did teach and show them what they should do, and so what they did not; and this made them go to the ceremonial law; and by that they were taught that Christ had done it for them; the which they believing, were made righteous by faith in him.” (pp73-75). The quotes in and of themselves are rich, beautiful and true; we would only disagree with where Fisher takes his conclusions. Fisher in fact does go on to declare that the old covenant at Sinai and the new covenant were indeed “in regard to substance. . .all one and the very same. . .[for] in these covenants Jesus Christ is the subject matter of both, salvation the fruit of both, and faith the condition of both.” (pp71-72). This immediately makes us think of Fisher as indeed a Dichotomist, viewing the Mosaic Covenant as in substance nothing different than the Covenant of Grace. But when Fisher declares that “in regard to substance, they were all one and the very same” (p71), it seems he is not speaking of the Mosaic Covenant as a whole (including also the Decalogue), but only of “their way of salvation, or covenant of grace, and ours;” that is, the portion of the mixed dispensation of the Mosaic Covenant that revealed the Covenant of Grace—not, it seems, the entire dispensation as a whole. This is so because it's quite clear reading pp53-65 of The Marrow that Fisher views the Decalogue to be given as a renewal of the Covenant of Works: “Ant: But whether were the ten commandments, as they were delivered to them on Mount Sinai, the covenant of works, or no? Evan: They were delivered to them as the covenant of works.” (p53). And again: “And in Deut. 4:13, Moses, in express terms, calls it a covenant, saying, 'And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments, and he wrote them upon tables of stone.' Now, this was not the covenant of grace. . .” (p58). Further, when it is asked of Evangelist whether any godly and modern writers agree with him on this point, Fisher cites Mr. Pemble and Mr. Walker, both of whom, as we have referenced under the Republication View, clearly see Sinai as a Covenant of Works. Fisher quotes Walker as saying: “the first part of the covenant, which God made with Israel at Horeb, was nothing else but a renewing of the old covenant of works.” (p60). It was only then, after God had renewed the Covenant of Works with Israel through the Decalogue, and had humbled them, that the Lord “renewed the promises with them, yea, and the covenant of grace made with Abraham.” (p67). When it is asked, “I pray, sir, how doth it appear that the Lord renewed that covenant with them?” Evangelist answers: “It plainly appears in this, that the Lord gave them by Moses the Leviticus laws, and ordained the tabernacle, the ark, and the mercy-seat, which were all types of Christ. . .” (p67). This is also how Fairbairn understands Fisher (see Revelation, p156). Thus, it seems Fisher viewed the Mosaic Covenant as mixed—the Moral Law given as a Covenant of Works, the Ceremonial as the Covenant of Grace.
The theologians I'm aware of that describe their view as republication also believe in a mixed economy.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
My understanding is there are four main views: 1) republication; 2) subservient view; 3) mixed view; and 4) westminster view.
I agree that there are four main views. I believe that 2) is often termed "republication" though. For example Scott Clark refers to his own view as such.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Don't confuse the Marrow/Boston view of republication with the modern views of republication. Basically, Boston treats the Sinai administration like a huge application of the first use of the law, exposing our sin and inability and driving us to Christ. Boston called it a "subservient" covenant in the Marrow notes (if I remember correctly), but it is operating within the covenant of grace, functioning as a tutor, not as a means of gaining eternal life (like the original covenant of works). Hope that helps.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Don't confuse the Marrow/Boston view of republication with the modern views of republication. Basically, Boston treats the Sinai administration like a huge application of the first use of the law, exposing our sin and inability and driving us to Christ. Boston called it a "subservient" covenant in the Marrow notes (if I remember correctly), but it is operating within the covenant of grace, functioning as a tutor, not as a means of gaining eternal life (like the original covenant of works). Hope that helps.
Modern Klinean republicationists don't view the law as a means of gaining eternal life.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
Don't confuse the Marrow/Boston view of republication with the modern views of republication. Basically, Boston treats the Sinai administration like a huge application of the first use of the law, exposing our sin and inability and driving us to Christ. Boston called it a "subservient" covenant in the Marrow notes (if I remember correctly), but it is operating within the covenant of grace, functioning as a tutor, not as a means of gaining eternal life (like the original covenant of works). Hope that helps.
Patrick! Glad to see you here brother. Jon Bonker here :D
 

PeterR

Puritan Board Freshman
I wondered whether Fisher's view might help understand the apostle Paul's negativity (in some aspects) towards the law. I tended to feel that despite the initial context of circumcision in Galatians, "the law" sounded as though it was more general than just the ceremonial law. So I questioned, was he just talking about the unbelieving Jew's beliefs about the Sinai law, which did not regard it as part of a Covenant of Grace? But if there was actually meant to be an element of Covenant of Works, might that make things different?
 
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