Last year, I purchased John Newton’s Works for my winter reading. This winter, I purchased The Works of Thomas Brooks for that purpose. John Newton’s works contain mostly letters and sermons/addresses, while Brooks’ works is more of a collection of his books (such as Precious Remedies, Apples of Gold, A String of Pearls, Heaven on Earth, A Cabinet of Jewels, and so forth). I have read some of these works of Brooks in book form, but not nearly all of them. So I’m excited to work through this set in the next few months.
For now, I’ll put a few excerpts from The Golden Key, found in volume 5 of Brooks’ works. As you’ll see, these “premises” have to do with the covenant of works and the covenant of grace (Note: I’ve edited it to keep it brief. You’ll have to read the full essay for Scripture references and further discussion).
“1) God hath commonly dealt with man in the way of a covenant; that being a way that is most suitable to man, and most honorable for man, and the most amicable and friendly way of dealing with man.”
“2) All men are under some covenant or other; they are either under a covenant of works, or they are under a covenant of grace. All persons that live and die without an interest in Christ, they live and die under a covenant of works; such as live and die with an interest in Christ, they live and die under a covenant of grace.”
“3) The covenant of grace was so legally dispensed to the Jews that it seems to be nothing else but the repetition of the covenant of works; in respect of which legal dispensations of it, the same covenant, under the law, is called a covenant of works; under the gospel, in regard of the clearer manifestation of it, it is called a covenant of grace. But these were not two distinct covenants, but one and the same covenant diversely dispensed.”
“Let us cast our eyes upon the springs from whence the covenant of grace flows, and the we cannot but strongly conclude that the covenant of grace is a sure covenant. First, from the free grace and favor of God. The former covenant was not sure, because it was of works; but this covenant is sure, because it is of grace, and rests not on any sufficiency in us, but only on grace. Secondly, the covenant of grace springs from the immutable counsel of God. Thirdly, the covenant of grace springs form the purpose of God, resolving and intending everlasting good unto us. The gracious purpose of God is the fountain-head of all our spiritual blessings.”
“That free, that rich, that infinite, that sovereign, and that glorious grace of God that shines in the covenant of grace tells us that our eternal state shall never be judged by a covenant of works; and that the lack of an absolute perfection shall never damn a believing soul, and that the obedience that God requires at our hands is not a legal, but an evangelical obedience.”
This is just a small taste of a larger excellent essay on the covenant of grace. I love how Brooks is biblically solid, confessionally sound, and very pastoral. Stay tuned for more from Thomas Brooks.
rev shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)