“Biblical Elders & Deacons” by Nehemiah Coxe [Free eBook Friday]

Coxe Elders Deacons Book

Biblical Elders and Deacons
by Nehemiah Coxe D. 1688

[Download in .ePub .mobi & .pdf formats]

Chapel Library:

Christ’s will as revealed in Scripture is the pattern for the church, and Nehemiah Coxe unfolds aspects of that pattern that relate to church leadership. “The edification and beauty of the Church is much concerned in her order, not such an order as superstition will dictate, or litigious nicety contend for, but such as sets her in a conformity with Christ’s will; and particularly the filling up of the offices which He has appointed, with persons duly qualified for the administration of them, and the regular acting both of officers and members in their respective positions.”

Pages: 32.


I. Exposition

II. Appointment of Deacons

III. Appointment of Elders

IV. A Pastor’s Duty toward His People

V. The People’s Duty toward Their Pastors

VI. Conclusion


Now on Kindle: “Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ” $9.99/£6.53

Out in hardback since 2005, now available on Kindle:

cov theo coxe owen kindle

Covenant Theology:
From Adam to Christ

Nehemiah Coxe (Author), John Owen (Author), Ronald Miller (Editor), James Renihan (Editor), Francisco Orozco (Editor)

$9.99 | £6.53 ]


This is a reprint of Nehemiah Coxe, probably the co-editor of the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/89), on “A Discourse of the Covenants that God made with men before the law” and John Owen’s “An Exposition of Hebrews 8:6-13, wherein the nature and differences between the Old and New Covenants is discovered.” It contains an Introduction by James M. Renihan, “Why is this reprint important?” and an appendix by Richard C. Barcellos, “John Owen and New Covenant Theology: Owen on the Old and New Covenants and the Functions of the Decalogue in Redemptive History in Historical and Contemporary Perspective.” Coxe was a leading Particular Baptist theologian in his day. He intended to write on the Mosaic and New Covenants but when Owen’s Hebrews commentary came out, Coxe directed his readers to Owen. Coxe covers the covenant of works, the covenant with Noah, and the covenant(s) with Abraham. Owen focuses on the Mosaic (Old) and New Covenants.


Pastor Tom Ascol
Pastor Tom Ascol

This volume brings together wonderful insights from two faithful church leaders of an earlier generation with helpful analyses from competent teachers of today. The result is a valuable resource for students, academics, and pastors.

Thomas K. Ascol, Ph.D.
Editor, Founders Journal

Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin
Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin

More times than I can count…I have heard Reformed theology defined in such a way that it excludes those who hold to believer’s baptism. This valuable work will help set the record straight.

Michael A. G. Haykin, Th.D.
Author of Kiffin, Knollys and Keach–Rediscovering our English Baptist Heritage

Nehemiah Coxe’s work on the covenant is an important piece of writing by a significant seventeenth-century Particular Baptist theologian. Its republication is long overdue. This work is an important resource for twenty-first-century Reformed Baptists.

Robert W. Oliver, Ph.D.
Author of History of the English Calvinistic Baptists 1791-1892


Nehemiah Coxe was a leading Particular Baptist pastor and theologian of the seventeenth century. He was probably the co-editor of the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/89).

John Owen, a leading Congregational paedobaptist of the seventeenth century, is well-known for being the ‘Prince of the Puritans.’ J. I. Packer says, “In his own day he was seen as England’s foremost bastion and champion of Reformed evangelical orthodoxy.”


Print Length: 398 pages
Publisher: RBAP
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Lending: Enabled

‘John Owen & New Covenant Theology’ appendix from ‘Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ’ now online [HTML | PDF] by Richard Barcellos

Covenant Theology From Adam to ChristOne of the appendices from the book “Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ” [from RBAP] is now available to read online (though we have featured it before on our NCT page, it is now available in HTML and an easier to read PDF).

It is the appendix by Richard Barcellos, “John Owen and New Covenant Theology: Owen on the Old and New Covenants and the Functions of the Decalogue in Redemptive History in Historical and Contemporary Perspective.”

If one reads some of the difficult sections of Owen’s writings, either without understanding his comprehensive thought and in light of the theological world in which he wrote, or in a superficial manner, some statements can easily be taken to mean things they do not. When this is done, the result is that authors are misunderstood and sometimes, subsequent theological movements are aligned with major historical figures without substantial and objective warrant. Two such instances of this involve John Owen and New Covenant Theology (NCT).

John G Reisinger
John G Reisinger

John G. Reisinger claims that Owen viewed the Old Covenant as “a legal/works covenant.” He goes on and says:

“This covenant was conditional because it was a legal/works covenant that promised life and threatened death. Israel failed to earn the blessings promised in the covenant. But under the New Covenant, the Church becomes the Israel of God and all her members are kings and priests (a kingdom of priests). Christ, as our Surety (Heb. 7:22), has kept the Old Covenant for us and earned every blessing it promised.”

The reader of Owen’s treatise on the Old and New Covenants in his Hebrews commentary, however, will quickly realize that Reisinger’s comments above do not give the full picture of Owen’s position…

Tom Wells is one of the authors of the 2002 book New Covenant Theology
Tom Wells is one of the authors of the 2002 book New Covenant Theology

Another NCT advocate, Tom Wells, claims that John G. Reisinger “has adopted John Owen’s view of the Mosaic and New covenants, without adding Owen’s ‘creation ordinance’ view of the Sabbath.”14 Wells also claims that Owen held a mediating position on the relationship between the Mosaic and New Covenants and that Owen’s position is substantially that of Reisinger and hence, NCT…

Read the rest online [HTML] or in PDF format:

Download (PDF, 655KB)

Did 17th Century Particular Baptists hold to the Covenant of Works? They (Coxe, Collins, Keach & more) Answer [Particular Voices]

Sam Renihan:

About 6 months ago I mentioned that I wanted to give a peppering of particular snippets from Particular Baptists who held to the covenant of works. The point of this peppering was to bolster the general assertion that the Particular Baptists held to the covenant of works and the specific assertion that the confession teaches this.


Below you will find numerous authors who endorse the covenant of works. This list primarily includes those who explicitly name and embrace the covenant of works. There are many other places where Adam is referred to as a “Public head” or we are said to have “fallen in him.” I included a few of those. Similarly, there are many places where the Mosaic covenant is said to be a covenant of works, which presupposes at the very least the category of a covenant of works. Most of these references have been left out (there are many). It is also worth noting that in such a polemical context: 1. I have never seen a paedobaptist accusing the Particular Baptists in any point related to the covenant of works, and 2. I have never seen a Particular Baptist reject the covenant of works or argue against a paedobaptist on that point.


Did the Particular Baptists hold to the covenant of works? Ask them.

At this point, I would say, Sam gives us a plethora of examples (from the likes of Hercules Collins, Nehemiah Coxe, Benjamin Keach, Samuel Richardson, Christopher Blackwood, Thomas Patient, John Bunyan, Thomas Collier, Edward Hutchinson, Thomas DeLaune, Philip Cary, Isaac Marlow, William Collins & more.)

Here is a sampling:

Nehemiah Coxe, A Discourse of the Covenants, 1681:


Hercules Collins, Believers Baptism From Heaven, 1691:
Hercules Collins, Believersbaptism from Heaven, 126Benjamin Keach, The Everlasting Covenant, 1693
Benjamin Keach, The Everlasting Covenant, 7


Approved by the Elders of the Baptized Churches, Most likely arranged by William Collins, The Baptist Catechism, 1695
Baptist Catechism Questions 15 and 19

Read the rest.

Covenantal Merit in the 1689; Form & Matter + Promise & Promulgation = Particular Baptist Federal Theology [Sam Renihan]

The book by Andrew A. Woolsey that is mentioned
The book by Andrew A. Woolsey that is mentioned

In the last four Particular Voices post, Sam Renihan serves up a lot of info on Covenant Theology and our Confession of Faith [1689] from the voices of the past, as well as his takeaways. The first of these four post is Covenantal Merit in The Confession of Faith:

Recently I have been reading this excellent work by Andrew Woolsey. In one section on the primary sources behind the Westminster Confession of Faith, Woolsey shows the strong influence of John Ball on the confession in general and chapter seven in particular. What I want to point out is the concept of covenantal merit at play in paragraph one of the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession. The two confessions are very similar here.


One of his takeaways:

Narrowing our focus to the London Confession, the confession confesses that God promised the reward of life to man through covenant. There was no other way man could have earned it. In other words, chapter seven confesses the covenant of works. Trace the reward of life in chapters 6, 19, and 20 and you will find this assertion further substantiated.

The following three post are more inter-related. He begins in the fourth and most recent post:

In the previous two posts, we have looked at the distinction between form and matter. The first post dealt with this distinction in relation to the republication of the law of the covenant of works in the Mosaic covenant. The second post dealt with this distinction more broadly, and showed the direction that the Particular Baptists would take this distinction in order to say that though the promise of the new covenant (the gospel) was made known in all of redemptive history, it was not formally established as a covenant until Christ’s death.


To refresh, in light of the formal/material distinction, just because the law is present in a given covenant, it does not mean that this covenant is the covenant of works. Conversely, just because the promise (the gospel) is present in a given covenant, it does not mean that this covenant is the covenant of grace.


In this post, I want to continue along similar lines in order to show the differences between Particular Baptist federal theology and that of their Paedobaptist brothers. I want to do this by showing how the same argumentation was employed, only with completely opposite arguments.

Here are the three post:

Formal and Material Republication in the Confessions of Faith

Form and Matter in Covenant Theology

Form and Matter + Promise and Promulgation = Particular Baptist Federal Theology

DONT FORGET! S. California Reformed Baptist Pastors Conference Is This Thursday! [Events]



The Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors Conference is on this Thursday 10/24 Feat. G.K. Beale, Dr. Richard Barcellos, and Dr. James Renihan You can still register here  

Conference Fee: $75 (Student -$30) (Fee includes conference materials, literature, and refreshments) Single Day Sessions: $20/day (to be paid at the door) Single Evening Sessions: $10/night (to be paid at the door) **If you plan to be a partial registrant, please register and state the day/evening you plan to attend in the comments**

Also see the schedule below:


SCRBPC 2013 


Thursday, October 24 – Saturday, October 26



Dr. G. K. Beale

Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology

Westminster Theological Seminary

Philadelphia, PA


Dr. Beale will be lecturing on Christology in the Book of Revelation and other themes related to the Book of Revelation.

Dr. Beale’s speaking schedule is as follows:


Session 1 (lecture): Thursday night, October 24  – 7:00-8:15pm*

Session 2 (lecture): Friday morning, October 25 – 9:00-10:15am

Session 3 (lecture): Friday morning, October 25 – 10:45am-12:00pm

Session 4 (lecture): Friday night, October 25 – 6:30-7:15pm

Session 5 (Q&A**): Friday night, October 25 – 7:45-8:45pm


*Evening sessions are open to the public for $10.00 per night.

** Questions will be taken from full conference attendees only, limited to the content of the lectures, and must be submitted to Richard Barcellos in writing by Friday, October 25, 12:30pm.




Dr. James M. Renihan

Dean and Professor of Historical Theology

Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies

Escondido, CA


Dr. Richard C. Barcellos

Pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church

Palmdale, CA


Session 6 (lecture): Saturday morning, October 26 – 9:00-10:15am

“The scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God),” James M. Renihan

Session 7 (lecture): Saturday morning, October 26 – 10:30am-11:45am

“Christ as Scopus Scripturae: John Owen, Nehemiah Coxe, and our Lord Jesus Christ,” Richard C. Barcellos

Interview #18: Sam Renihan – Recovering a Covenantal Confessional Heritage + More


On episode 18 of our podcast, we interview Sam Renihan about Recovering a Covenantal Confessional Heritage. We get into the authors of our confession, why the 1689 chapter 7 “of God’s Covenant” is different than that of the Westminster and Savoy documents, and how we should move forward from here.

After that, we talk about some Reformed Baptist headlines and give you a preview of next week’s episode featuring Jeff Johnson on his book The Fatal Flaw of the Theology Behind Infant Baptism.


Books & Sites Mentioned:

Headlines Mentioned:


Credopedia.org – A wiki dedicated to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, commonly called the 1689, and theology in accordance with the doctrines contained therein.

Post-Interview Music:

Wintersun – Sons of Winter and Stars (Instrumental)

Particular Voices 7 Day Roundup: WCF Textual History, Coxe, Keach & More

Looks like Sam Renihan has posted more than normal in the last 7 days. So I thought I would just round them all up here:


The textual history of the Westminster Confession of Faith

Alexander Mitchell, in The Westminster Assembly (1883), tells us a little bit about the textual history of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Contrary to popular assumption, the Westminster Confession as we know it today is not authentic in the sense that it is not the parliamentary approved version. The Westminster Assembly was called by Parliament, and was thus accountable to Parliament for authorization of its work. As you will see below, the version we know today is the version that was illegally reprinted and distributed in Scotland. The parliamentary approved version makes edits which Mitchell points out below…

Apparently, the Scots had a hard time submitting to the civil magistrate.


What does this mean? Your copies of the Westminster Confession of Faith are illegal!


Was there an old covenant administration of the covenant of grace?

What is the covenant of grace? From Nehemiah Coxe’s “A Discourse of the Covenants…”

To the authors of the late confession of faith

In 1678, Joseph Whiston, a very polemical writer, took a break from fire-breathing to speak a word of encouragement to the authors of the second London Baptist Confession. From Whiston’s “Infant Baptism Plainly Proved.” Guess who replied to Whiston in 1681? Perhaps, an author of the confession?

When was the institution or outward administration of the Covenant of Grace first established?

From Benjamin Keach’s “The Everlasting Covenant.” Keach tells us that though the Covenant of Grace had been made known since the fall of man, it was not established, nor did it have an outward visible administration until the life and death of Jesus Christ. Click the image for a larger version…

The old and new covenants differ in substance

From Nehemiah Coxe’s “A Discourse of the Covenants…”

Nehemiah Coxe vs. the Federal Vision by Patrick McWilliams

Patrick McWilliams compares quotes from The Federal Vision Profession against the covenant theology of Nehemiah Coxe.

Read below or listen to the 7 min. read out

Covenant Theology From Adam to ChristLately I’ve been reading Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ, by Nehemiah Coxe & John Owen. While reading Coxe’s section on “The Covenant of Grace Revealed to Abraham,” I found one portion in particular which struck a chord in my mind due to recent developments in the Federal Vision controversy. It seems that Coxe, writing over 300 years ago, faced heretical views about baptism, union with Christ, and interest in the Covenant of Grace which bear a striking resemblance to current Federal Vision teachings.

From the Joint Federal Vision Profession:

The Sacrament of Baptism


We affirm that God formally unites a person to Christ and to His covenant people through baptism into the triune Name, and that this baptism obligates such a one to lifelong covenant loyalty to the triune God, each baptized person repenting of his sins and trusting in Christ alone for his salvation. Baptism formally engrafts a person into the Church, which means that baptism is into the Regeneration, that time when the Son of Man sits upon His glorious throne (Matt. 19:28).



Union with Christ and Imputation


We affirm Christ is all in all for us, and that His perfect sinless life, His suffering on the cross, and His glorious resurrection are all credited to us. Christ is the new Adam, obeying God where the first Adam did not obey God. And Christ as the new Israel was baptized as the old Israel was, was tempted for 40 days as Israel was for 40 years, and as the greater Joshua He conquered the land of Canaan in the course of His ministry. This means that through Jesus, on our behalf, Israel has finally obeyed God and has been accepted by Him. We affirm not only that Christ is our full obedience, but also that through our union with Him we partake of the benefits of His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement at the right hand of God the Father.





We affirm that apostasy is a terrifying reality for many baptized Christians. All who are baptized into the triune Name are united with Christ in His covenantal life, and so those who fall from that position of grace are indeed falling from grace. The branches that are cut away from Christ are genuinely cut away from someone, cut out of a living covenant body. The connection that an apostate had to Christ was not merely external.

For more quotes, from Federal Visionist Jeffrey Meyers (PCA elder in good standing), see here:

– Jeffrey Meyers – Baptism and the Forgiveness of Sin

– Jeffrey Meyers – Justified by Means of Their Baptism

Nehemiah Coxe rejected the idea of a partial, conditional, or temporary interest in the Covenant of Grace/New Covenant. He correctly understood that Christ’s atoning work was accomplished on behalf of His elect, and the only ones who have any interest in the gracious covenant by which His saving, cleansing, atoning, justifying gifts are communicated are those sheep for whom He shed His blood. And those sheep He will never forsake, or permit to wander off to their eternal doom. Discussing the Covenant of Grace revealed to Abraham, Coxe writes:

The sum of all gospel blessings is comprised in this promise. Therefore it will follow that the proper heirs of this blessing of Abraham have a right (not only in some, but) in all the promises of the new covenant. This is true not in a limited sense, suspended on uncertain conditions, but in a full sense and secured by the infinite grace, wisdom, power, and faithfulness of God. Accordingly, they are in time made good to them all. And this will be more manifest if we consider that all the blessings of this covenant redound on believers by means of their union and communion with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is both the Head and Root of the new covenant, and the Fountain from which all its blessings are derived to us. Since these blessings were entirely purchased by him, so are they entirely applied to all that are in him and to none other.


Therefore, I conceive the limiting of a new covenant interest to the grant of an external and temporary privilege only, to be utterly inconsistent with the promises of the covenant itself (such as these: Isaiah 54:13; 59:21; Jeremiah 31:33, 34; Ezekiel 36:26, 27 with Hebrews 8 and many others of like import). Neither will these texts admit of another notion lately insisted on for the commendation of paedobaptism, namely:


“That the infant seed of believers, during their infancy, have all of them a certain and definite interest in the covenant of grace by virtue of which they are completely justified before God from the guilt of original sin, both originans and originatum [Footnote from CT:FATC editors: Originating and originated. Original sin has two aspects: peccatum originale originans, originating original sin, which is Adam’s act of disobedience itself; and peccatum originale originatum, originated original sin, which is the stain or defect in the individual’s nature which is transmitted to him at his conception.]. And yet when they come to years of discretion they may, (yea must) by their actual closing with or refusing the terms of the covenant, either obtain the continuation and confirmation of their covenant interest, or be utterly and finally cut off from it and so perish eternally in their ignorance of God and rebellion against him” [Footnore from CT:FATC editors: This is an unknown reference but is probably from Whiston’s Infant Baptism Plainly Proved.]


As the promises of the covenant will not admit of any such partial interest, neither can this opinion co-exist with the analogy of faith in other respects. For either the stain of original sin in these infants is purged and the dominion of concupiscence in them is destroyed when their guilt is pardoned, or it is not. If it is, then the case of these infants in point of perseverance is the same with that of adult persons who are under grace by their actual faith. Then a final apostasy from the grace of the new covenant must be allowed possible to befall the one as well as the other, notwithstanding all the provisions of the covenant and engagement of God in it to make the promise sure to all the seed. But this the author will not admit. He may say that their guilt is pardoned by their natures are not renewed, nor the power of original corruption destroyed so that sin will not have dominion over them. It will then be replied that despite their supposed pardon, they remain an unclean thing, and so are incapable of admission into the kingdom of glory. But the truth is that none are at any time justified before God except those whom Christ has loved and washed from their sins in his own blood (Revelation 1:5). None are washed by him but those that are in him as the second Adam. It is by union to him as the root of the new covenant that the free gift comes on them to the justification of life [Footnote: Romans 5:14 and following.]. And none can have union to him but by the indwelling of his Holy Spirit. Wherever the Spirit of God applies the blood of Christ for the remission of sins he does it also for the purging of the conscience from dead works to serve the living God. As certainly as any derive a new covenant right from Christ for pardon, they also receive a vital influence from him for the renovation of their natures and conforming their souls to his own image. And therefore to assert that the grace of Christ is applied to some for the remission of sins only, or that the guilt of any sin can be pardoned to any person and yet that sin retain its dominion over him, is (so far as I can discern) both unscriptural and incoherent with the doctrine that is according to godliness (pp. 81-82).

[Listen to the 7 minute read out]


Hermeneutics, Typology & Our Baptist Forefathers

Some snippets from our Baptist forefathers on Typology and Hermeneutics in general, from Sam Renihan’s Particular Voices blog:

Sam Renihan’s Particular Voices Blog With Nehemiah Coxe Snippets

Martin Marprelate, on his blog, points out the blog we were talking about on podcast #3 with Pascal Denault:

American theologian Sam Renihan has an interesting new blog, named Particular Voices [Interesting bits and pieces of 17th century literature.].


It consists of snippets from Puritan writers, mostly Particular Baptists… Many of them are on covenant theology; some of these are very interesting indeed. It is a folly of our age to imagine that those who went before us have nothing helpful to say to us.

The site is: http://pettyfrance.wordpress.com/

To give you a taste if the site, here are the snippets he’s obtained from Nehemiah Coxe: