A new post at the Particular Voices blog entitled, “The covenant of works in the 1677 London Baptist Confession” begins:
When comparing the Second London Baptist Confession to its parent documents, questions are raised as to why certain changes were made. A recurring question revolves around the place of the covenant of works in the confession. In his book, “Covenant Theology: A Reformed and Baptistic Perspective,” Greg Nichols dedicated an appendix to the “Adamic Covenant.” In that appendix, Nichols commented on the covenant of works in the Second London Baptist Confession. He noted that:
“LCF completely omits WCF 7:2 without defining a pre-fall covenant. It also deletes “covenant of works” from LCF 19:1″
“Further, LCF deleted the doctrine of the covenant of works from LCF 6:1, which was based in part on the First London Confession of 1644 (LCF1:4) and in part on the Savoy Declaration.”
“Thus, LCF intentionally deleted WCF 7:2 entirely and revised LCF 7:2 to accommodate this deletion. It also intentionally deletes the phrase “covenant of works” when employing WCF 19:1 and SD 6:1. However, it does not remove every vestige of this doctrine. Nevertheless, these deletions are significant and strategic. They express distance. The Baptist fathers do not deny a pre-fall covenant with Adam. Yet, at the very least, they decline to confess a covenant of works, as defined in WCF 7:2, 19:1 and in SD 6:1. Thus, the covenant of works doctrine does not have the same prominence in LCF that it has in the Westminster Standards and Savoy Declaration.”
In a footnote, he says “LCF 20:1 begins: “The covenant of works being broken by sin,” a verbatim quote of SD 20:1. The correct explanation for this inconsistency is not clear to me.”
Nichols does not quote a single Particular Baptist author in defense of his conclusions. For further reference on “subsequent development” of this topic in the LBCF tradition he suggests Gill, Dagg, and Boyce.
This post will offer evidence that the Second London Baptist Confession does not “decline to confess a covenant of works, as defined in WCF and SD.” It will offer evidence to the contrary. It will also offer reasons for the “deletions.”