Sam Renihan’s blog Particular Voices has been living up to its tagline in delivering, “Interesting bits and pieces of 17th century literature.” Here is a round-up of what we haven’t gotten around to posting in the last couple of weeks:
This man is one in number, at one time, but varying in succession.
From Thomas Beard’s “The Pope of Rome is Antichrist” (1625).
From David Dickson’s commentary on the WCF, “Truth’s Victory over Error.”
From Thomas Manton’s “18 sermons on the second chapter of the second epistle to the Thessalonians.”
The covenant of grace was revealed through it, but it was not the covenant of grace. It never perfected anyone’s conscience. It effected quite the opposite, in fact.
Paul uses the old covenant to illustrate the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. But the old covenant, though it be a covenant of works, is not the covenant of works, nor is it the covenant of grace.
…Perhaps we should follow this rubric to get some clarity on the covenant of grace. As Reformed Baptists, we should demand that we talk about the covenant of created supernatural special saving effectual grace. Anything less than that, and what do you have?
If you’re going to talk about the covenant including the non-elect and giving non-efficacious blessings and benefits to those non-elect within the covenant, you must speak of the covenant of created supernatural common and saving grace. So then, which is it?
Should we “temporize” so as not to offend? Isaac Watts answers that we should “stand up for the defence of the Gospel in the full glory of its most important doctrines, in the full freedom of its grace, and in its divinest and most evangelical form” because “the cross of Christ, by the promised power of the Spirit, may vanquish the vain reasonings of men.”
This principle can be applied in a variety of ways. For example, for a certain concept to be present in a text, the word or name that sums up that concept does not have to be present. As one former professor of mine used to say, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a cow. Not.”
From Thomas Beard’s “Antichrist, the Pope of Rome.”