Oliver Heywood on the two covenants contrasted (2)

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... 6. The first covenant, and this new gospel covenant differ [materia] in the matter, or good things promised, in the former God promised life only, “Do this and live”; he did not promise continuance of life absolutely, but upon condition of man’s obedience, nor yet his restitution in case he fell, for fall once, and fall finally, there is no recovery by virtue of that old covenant. But now by this gospel covenant, God promiseth many rich blessings which in this our fallen state are needful for us, as pardon of sin, reconciliation, adoption, sanctification, means of grace, daily supports, perseverance, a crown of glory ; God gives grace and glory by virtue of it, and what tends to both, and that immutably without failure or defectibility; see Jer. xxxi. 34—36. xxxiii. 20, 21. Isa. liv. 9, 10.

7. They differ [conditionibus] in the conditions of both; indeed some say obedience is the condition on man’s part under both covenants, but surely not the same obedience, the former required personal, perfect, absolute, and perpetual obedience to the commands, both moral and positive, without any deviation to the right-hand, or to the left, if he failed in the least punctilio, he was under the curse, Gal. iii. 10; and this obedience must be performed by strength of grace received in his first creation; since man was able to perform it, this condition was highly reasonable. But in the gospel covenant the great condition is faith; a free acceptance of the offered grace, an unfeigned faith, which is not an antecedent condition to the making of the covenant, but subsequent, or intermediate for man’s laying hold, and receiving the benefits thereof; yea, God promiseth and worketh what he requires; all faith, repentance, and new obedience, are the gifts of free grace; grace doth all, Rom. iv. 16. ...

For more, see Oliver Heywood on the two covenants contrasted (2).