Grace in the Garden?

Following up the discussion at Meet the Puritans Samuel Rutherford explains as follows (note particularly his third point):

In all pactions between the Lord and man, even in a Law-Covenant there is some outbreakings of grace.  It is true, there was no Gospel-Grace, that is a fruit of Christ’s merit in this Covenant.  But yet if grace be taken for undeserved goodness: There are these respects of grace.  1. That God might have given to Adam something inferior to the glorious image of God, that consists in true righteousness, knowledge of God, and holiness, Gen 1:26, Eph 4:24, Col 3:10 … 2. Being and dominion over the creatures is of undeserved goodness … 3. The Covenant of Works itself, that God out of sovereignty does not command, is undeserved condescending; that God bargains for hire, do this and live, whereas he may … [as] Sovereign Lawgiver … charge and command us, is overcoming goodness.  Law is honeyed with love, and hire; it is mercy that for our penny of obedience, so rich a wage as communion with God is given…”
Samuel Rutherford, The Covenant of Life Opened: Or, A Treatise on the Covenant of Grace (Edinburgh: Robert Broun for Andrew Anderson), 35.

Brings a helpful balance to this debate I think.  Whatever the exact view of the word “grace” in reference to the garden of Eden surely the substance of what Rutherford says is correct.

The blog will hopefully be up and running again now.  It has been a very busy time trying to finish off the thesis, work as hectic as ever and the general rush of life!

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