FIrst for the word Testament, it doth signifie the last Will of a man which he makes before his death, and leaves behinde him either in word or writing, testified by seales and▪ witnesses; By vertue of which Will hee doth dispose his lands and pos∣sessions which he hath purcha∣sed, and all his goods which he hath gathered in his life time, and doth bequeath them as hee himselfe will, and to whom hee thinkes fit, either freely or with Page 12 condition, to have and hold them after his death, and not be∣fore; This is the true and pro∣per meaning of the Word, and thus it is used by the Apostle, Hebr. 19. 16. And because the Apostle there cals the Covenant Christs Testament, and also else∣where in his Epistles where∣soever hee doth speake of the Old and New Covenant, that is, of the Covenant of the Law and of the Gospell, doth use the Greeke word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, even the same which there he useth for the last Will and Testament of a Testator, where∣upon it comes to passe, that the Bookes of the Law and the Prophets, before Christ, and the Covenant in them are called the New Testament, and that very fitly in some respect, I meane in respect of Christ the Mediator. For the truth is, that the Cove∣nant of Grace more obscurely revealed to the Fathers in the writings of the Law and Pro∣phets, Page 13 and more plainely in the Gospell and writings of the A∣postles, was never in force, nei∣ther could be ratified but by the death of Christ. It was before his comming sealed by his Blood in Types and Figures; and at his Death in his Flesh it was fully sealed and ratified by his very Blood it selfe actually, and indeed shed for our sinnes, and in this respect it may be fit∣ly called the Testament. Because as a Testament is not inforce till the Testator be dead, and where a Testament is, there the death of the Testator must come be∣tween to ratifie it; So it is with the Covenant of Grace, and the promises therein made unto us. Christ hath performed and pur∣chased all things necessary for us, & doth freely give to us him∣self, his righteousness, and all his treasures, as a man gives his Lands and Goods in his last Will, but they cannot be of force to bring us to heaven, till Page 14 his death come betweene as a sa∣tisfaction for sin also; It is as ne∣cessary that Iustice should be sa∣tisfied for sinne by his Death, as righteousnesse of life performed, and salvation purchased by him for us. Secondly, as a man doth seale his Testament when hee seeth or imagineth that his death is at hand; So Christ at his last Supper, by instituting the Sa∣crament of his Body and Blood, and by the outward Signes and Seales therein contained, did seale to his Church the Cove∣nant of Grace. Thus in respect of CHRIST the Media∣tour, God and Man, the Cove∣nant of Grace, and the writings, Old and New, wherein it is contained, are called Testa∣ments. But in respect of God the Father, and in respect of God, considered simply, or as the Maker of the Covenant with man, and the party betweene whom and man the Covenant is made; the Covenant and the Page 15 Writing, Old and New, wherein it is comprehended, can in no case be called a Testament, be∣cause a Testament is of no force without the Testators death. But God the Father never dyed, nor can die, neither God simply considered, nor God the Maker of the Covenant with Man, and the other party in it wch is op∣posed to Man. Only Christ dyed as hee was Mediatour, God and Man, and as he was made a part∣ner with Man, and stood on his side in the Covenant, and as he is the Testator, and free giver of his Word in the Old and New Testament, and of his graces and gifts therein promised; so they are called Testaments, and in no other respect at all.
From the word Testament thus expounded, wee may easily collect and gather what is the nature of a Testament, and both the agreement, and the true and maine difference betweene the Old and New Testament, and Page 16 the Writings contained in both.
First, we see that they both agree in this, that they are the Writings and Instruments of one and the same Christ, and his last Will, in which, and by which hee doth give himselfe to his Church withall his righte∣ousnesse and obedience, and all the blessings which thereupon depend, and they are both sealed by his Blood, and ratified by his death. This is manifest by the exposition of the word before laid downe, wherein is shewed, that both the Old and New Writings of the Covenant are called by the name of Testa∣ments, only in respect of Christ the Mediatour, and as they are sealed by his Blood, and ratified by his Death, and he is the Te∣stator in them as hee is Media∣tour. If either of them bee not sealed, ratified and proceed from him as Mediator, it is no Testa∣ment at all; to call it a Te∣stament, Page 17 is to say that Christ is the Testatour, and his Death comes betweene to make it of force; And to say that he is not the Testatour, or that it is not ra∣tified by his Death, is to say, it is no Testament. But all Christi∣ans grant that both the Old and New Writings of the Covenant are Testaments. Therefore it is manifest even by their names that Christ is Testator in both, that the Legacies given are his gifts, even himselfe and all his treasures, and inheritance, that his Blood healeth, and his Death ratifieth both, and thus in sub∣stance they agree; being of one Christ, of the same things, both confirmed by one Death, they must needes bee one, and confirme one another, and run one way; if they go divers waies, they must needs destroy one an∣other; if they destroy not one another, it is plain they go both one way, and do confirme and illustrate each the other, which Page 18 wee see evidently. The diffe∣rence then betweene them, is onely in circumstance, and in quality, not in substance.
First, the Old Testament did bequeath unto the Fathers, righteousnesse of life, expiation of sinne, adoption of sonnes, and eternall salvation, and happiness in, and through Christ the Me∣diatour promised, being not yet come in the flesh, but onely seen a farre off, and apprehended by faith, as the Apostle sheweth, Hebr. 11. But the New Te∣stament gives and bequeathes all these unto us, in, and through Christ, being already come in the flesh, and having actually performed all things for us.
Secondly, The Old Testa∣ment was more darke and ob∣scure, not opened but to few, till the Testators death, and did not beget ordinarily so much know∣ledge and faith as the New doth, and therefore it was a weaker meanes of Grace, and did con∣vert Page 19 but few unto Christ. But the New is so plaine, that it may beget knowledge in children, and therefore by it the Spirit works more powerfully.
Thirdly, The Old Testament was sealed and ratified typically by the Blood and Death of Christ, and by types of them to come. The New is ratified by his Death in very deed, and in it selfe, and to us it is sealed in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper by tokens and remembrances of his death already past and ful∣filled.
Fourthly, the Old Testament, Christ the Eternall Word in his Godhead spake to the Fathers, and published by Moses and the Prophets: But the New Te∣stament hee publishd by him∣selfe, immediately as hee was Godincarnate, and appeared in our Nature, and by his Apostles and Evangelists, taught by his owne mouth, as appeares, Hebr. 1 2.
Page 20Fiftly, the Old Testament, in respect of the outward forme and manner of sealing and sig∣nifying was temporary, and changeable, and therefore the types are ceased, and onely the substance remaines firme: But the New is unchangeable, and the seales thereof are commemo∣rative, and shall shew the Lords Death untill his comming a∣gaine.