I pointed out in a previous post on Johannes Vanderkemp (c. 1700) that “old-school” Dutch Reformed theology had a robust view of the Covenant of Works. There was another “huge” Dutch theologian writing at that same time: Wilhelmus a Brakel. In 1700, he published his massive dogmatics, The Christian’s Reasonable Service. In his day and following, a Brakel was a giant. In the 18th century alone, this 4-volume dogmatics was reprinted 20 times!
So what does he say about the Covenant of Works?
“Acquaintance with this covenant is of the greatest importance, for whoever errs here or denies the covenant of works, will not understand the covenant of grace, and will readily err concerning the mediatorship of the Lord Jesus. Such a person will very readily deny that Christ by His active obedience has merited a right to eternal life for the elect. This is to be observed with several parties who, because they err concerning the covenant of grace, also deny the covenant of works. Conversely, whoever denies the covenant of works, must rightly be suspected to be in error concerning the covenant of grace as well.”
Clarity. Precision. No equivocation or ambiguity. Outstanding!
Wilhelmus a Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service trans. Bartel Elshout (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books), 355.