It is a matter of the greatest moment, that we learn distinctly to consider the covenant of grace, either as it is in its substance or essence, as they call it, or as it is in divers ways proposed by God, with respect to circumstantials, under different economies. If we view the substance of the covenant, it is but only one, nor is it possible that it should be otherwise. There is no other way worthy of God, in which salvation can be bestowed upon sinners, but that discovered in the Gospel. Whence the apostle, Gal. 1:7, has beautifully said, which is not another. And that testament, which was consecrated by the blood of Christ, he calls everlasting, Heb.13:20, because it was settled from eternity, published immediately upon the fall of the first man, constantly handed down by the ancients, more fully explained by Christ himself and his apostles, and is to continue throughout all agesm and, in virtue of which, believers shall inherit eternal happiness. But if we attend to the circumstances of the covenant, it was dispensed at sundry times and in divers manners, under various economies, for the manifestation of the manifold wisdom of God...
We therefore maintain, agreeable to the sacred writings, that to all the Elect, living in any period of time, 1st. One and the same eternal life was promised. 2ndly. That Jesus Christ was held forth as one and the same author and bestower of salvation. 3rdly. That they could not become partakers of it in any other way, but by a tru and lively faith in him. If we demonstrate these three things, none can any longer doubt, but that the covenant of grace must be, as to its substance, only one from the beginning. For, if the salvation be the same, and the author of it the same, the manner of communion with him the same, it is certain the covenant itself cannot be more than one. Herman Witsius, Economy of the Covenants III.II.I & II
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