[K:JNWTS 28/1 (May 2013): 16]

John Ball on Covenant Blessings[1]

Under this covenant [the covenant of God with Israel], the natural seed of Abraham bore the face of the church and state, and God had promised abundance of temporals[2], and of spiritual a scantling[3]; but all [persons] under the outward administration of the covenant, were not in like manner partakers of the blessings promised in covenant. For some had their part in temporal blessings only, and the outward ordinances; others were partakers of the spiritual blessings promised. But whatever good thing any of them enjoyed either temporal or spiritual, it was conferred upon them freely according to the covenant of grace, and not for the dignity of their works. It is true, the promise is conditional, if they obey, they shall reap the good things of the land: but obedience was not a causal condition, why they should inherit the land . . . So that herein there appears no intexture[4] of the covenant of works with the covenant of grace, nor any moderation of the law to the strength and power of nature for the obtaining of outward blessings. But rather that God out of his abundant goodness is pleased freely to confer outward blessings promised in the covenant upon some that did not cleave to him unfeignedly, that he might make good his promise unto the spiritual seed, which by word and oath he had confirmed unto the fathers.   

[1] The quotation is from Ball’s A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace: wherein the gradual breakings out of Gospel-grace from Adam to Christ are clearly discovered, the differences betwixt the Old and New Testament are laid open, divers errors of Arminians and others are confuted; the nature of Uprightness, and the way of Christ in bringing the soul into Communion with himself: together with many other points, both doctrinally and practically profitable, are solidly handled (1645) 142. We have modernized spelling as necessary and added explanations in [ ].
Online here: http://books.google.com/books?id=Fvk2AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+ball+covenant&ei=EslZSY_sJ47ClQSP94DECQ#PPA92,M1

John Ball (1585-1640) was a Puritan theologian whose work on the covenant of grace was published at the time of the meeting of the Westminster Assembly (June 12, 1645) by Simeon Ash with commendation from five additional members of the Assembly—Edward Reynolds, Daniel Cawdrey, Edmond Calamy, Thomas Hill and Anthony Burgess. "Because his treatise appeared during the sitting of the Westminster Assembly, just at the time when it set itself to framing the confession, and because it moreover borrowed from Ball in the standards, one naturally supposes that his influence can be detected in its formulation of the doctrine of the covenant" (Geerhardus Vos, "The Doctrine of the Covenant in Reformed Theology," in Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation (1980) 241).

[2] i.e., temporal blessings.

[3] very small amount; cf. OED.

[4] intermixture; weaving in.