Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

133 Dispensation


The act of dealing out any thing. The two different methods of revealing the truths of the Gospel before and after Christ’s death are called the Old and New Testament Dispensation. The dealing of God with his creatures in his providence is called a dispensation. The state of supernatural or revealed theology may also be divided into six dispensations. 1. From the fall of Adam to the flood.–2. From Noah to the giving the law.–3. From that time to the time of David and the prophets.–4. From David to the Babylonish captivity.–5. The period from that, to the time of Christ, finishes the Old Testament dispensation.–6. From Christ to the end of time, the Gospel dispensation. The superiority of the fast dispensation, as Dr. Watts observes, appears, if we consider that it contains the fairest and fullest representation of the moral law; and which is more particularly explained here than in any of the former dispensations.–2. In this dispensation the Gospel or covenant of grace is revealed more perfectly and plainly than ever before; not in obscure expressions, in types and carnal metaphors, but in its own proper form and language.–3. The rites and ceremonies under this dispensation are preferable to those in former times, and that in this respect: they are fewer, clearer, and much more easy.–4. The Son of God, who was the real mediator through all former dispensations, has condescended to become the visible mediator of this dispensation.–5. This dispensation is not confined to one family, or to one nation, or to a few ages of men, but it spreads through all the nations of the earth, and reaches to the end of time.–6. the encouragements and persuasive helps which Christianity gives us to fulfil the duties of the covenant, are much superior to those which were enjoyed under any of the former dispensations.

Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.

Charles Buck on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary