Thomas Boston: A refutation of the Arminian denial of the covenant of works

Status
Not open for further replies.

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I shall confirm this great truth, and evince the being of such a covenant. It is altogether denied by the Arminians that there was any such covenant, and amongst ourselves by Professor [John] Simson, that it was a proper covenant. The weight of this matter lies here, that if the covenant made with Adam was not a proper covenant, he could not be a proper representing head; and if he was not, then there cannot be a proper imputation of Adam’s sin unto his posterity. None could over dream, but there must be a manifest difference betwixt covenants between God and man, and those between men and men. There is no manner of equality betwixt God and man; God could require all duty of men without any covenant; yea, they have nothing but what is from him, and so owe it to him.

But those things do not hinder, that, upon God’s condescending to enter into a covenant with man, there may be a proper covenant betwixt them. Though all similitudes here must halt; yet let us suppose a father to propose to his son, that if he will obey his orders, and especially in one point give him punctual obedience, for instance, labour his vineyard, he will give him a certain sum of money; and the son having nothing to labour it with, the father furnishes him with all things necessary thereto; the son accepts of this proposal. Can any man say that there is not a proper bargain, or covenant, in this case betwixt the father and his son, although the son was tied by the bond of nature to obey his father’s commands in all this antecedently to the bargain, and though he has nothing to labour it with, but what he has from the father? Let him perform his father’s orders now according to the covenant, and he can challenge the sum as a debt, which he could not do before. For proof of this, consider, …

Here is a concurrence of all that is necessary to constitute a true and proper covenant of works. The parties contracting, God and man; God requiring obedience as the condition of life; a penalty fixed in case of breaking; and man acquiescing in the proposal. The force of this cannot be evaded, by comparing it with the consent of subjects to the laws of an absolute prince. For such a law proposed by a prince, promising a reward upon obedience to it, is indeed the proposing of a covenant, the which the subject consenting to for himself and his, and taking on him to obey, does indeed enter into a covenant with the prince, and having obeyed the law may claim the reward by virtue of paction. And so the covenant of works is ordinarily in scripture called ”the law,” being in its own nature a pactional law. …

For more, see Thomas Boston: A refutation of the Arminian denial of the covenant of works.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top