The manifold vvisedome of God In the divers dispensation of grace by Iesus Christ, In the Old New Testament. In the covenant of faith. workes. Their agreement and difference. By G. Walker, B.D. pastor of Saint Iohn the Evangelist in Watlingstreet.
Walker, George, 1581?-1651.

CHAP. III.

THese and such like diffe∣rences, the former Exposi∣tion of the word Testament may easily admit. For both the Old and the New may be Testa∣ments of Christ, that is, con∣veyances, and bequeathings of all his graces and blessings, and may both bee ratified by his Death, and yet differ in these and such like respects. But as for di∣vers other differences wch many Page  21 learned men have set down, they are utterly overthrowne by the exposition of the word Testa∣ment, and by the true agreement which from thence I have before gathered.

This therefore shall be the* first use which I will make of these instructions, even to over∣throw some other differences which the Schoolmen have de∣vised betweene the Old and New Testament. One is, that the Old Testament is tempora∣ry and mutable; The New eter∣nall and unchangeable. This cannot stand, for if the Old Te∣stament be a Testament, it must needs bee the Testament of Christ the Mediatour, & if it was ever in force, it was ratified by the Death of him the Testator (as is proved before.) But if it was made of force by the Death of Christ, how can it be change∣able, surely in no case, except Christs Death be made voide and of no force, wherefore the Page  22 truth is, that though the Old Testament be in quality and cir∣cumstance changeable, and be changed in respect of the out∣ward forme and manner of sea∣ling it unto men; and whereas before it was darke and obscure, it is now become bright and cleere by the comming of Christ, and the rising up of the Sunne of Righteousnesse, and by the fulfilling of the Promi∣ses, and the Doctrine of the Gospell in the New Testament. Yet it is not changed in sub∣stance, it loseth not the essence & being of a Testament, but is still Christs Instrument by which he doth give and bequeath all his treasures and benefits unto us, as well as by the New; Yea, it is all one with the New in substance; it is the New folded up; and the New is the Old opened and unfolded. Those Legacies which Christ gave to the Fathers by the Old, are not made void, but are rather perfe∣cted Page  23 by the New. And that which the Old gave by promise, the New giveth by actuall per∣formance. The Types which are in themselves abolished, doe stand firme for ever in the things by them signified, which are the substance of them; and therefore the Ceremonies of the Old Testament, are truely cal∣led Ordinances of Eternity, Ex∣od. 12. 14. and in divers other places.

Thus we see the vanity of this first difference. Another diffe∣rence which they make, is, That the New Testament was sealed with the Blood of Christ; the Old with the Blood of Bul∣locks, Goats, and other sacrifi∣ces. This also cannot stand with the former Doctrine; for if the Old Testament be Christs Te∣stament, and hath been of force at any time; it was of force by vertue of Christs Death com∣ming betweene (for otherwise no Testament is in force, but by Page  24 the death of the Testator.) And so it is sealed by Christs Blood. Now it is manifest by the for∣mer Doctrine, that it is the Te∣stament of Christ, and hath been in force to the Fathers (as all true Christians confesse), and therefore it was sealed, not by the blood of Bullocks onely, but also by Christs Blood, and so this difference is not true. But because the words of the Apo∣stle seeme to justifie it, Hebr. 9. let me shew how farre it may be admitted, and wherein it is faulty. First, it is certaine that the Old Testament was out∣wardly sealed at the first, and so long as it stood alone in force by the blood of Bullocks and other Sacrifices onely: But inwardly by the Blood of Christ onely, which was signified and repre∣sented in the blood of Sacrifi∣ces. And at length when Christ came, and by the plaine Do∣ctrine of the Gospell had ex∣plained it, then it was together Page  25 with the New, sealed outwardly by Christs Blood shed unto death on the crosse. But the New was at the first outwardly sealed by the Blood of Christ, and is now ever since daily to us outwardly sealed by the Sacra∣ments, and inwardly by Christs Blood therein signified: But to say that the Old Testament was not at all, nor at any time sealed with Christs Blood, but onely by the blood of Bullocks and Sacrifices, and that the New Testament onely was sealed with Christs Blood, is to make a false difference. For verily the Old Testament being nothing else but the New folded up, and the New the Old opened to all; the sealing of the New by Christs Blood, was the sealing of the Old also: yea, as our Sacraments, and the outward Signes of Bread and Wine are true outward Signes conse∣crated to signifie Christs Death past; so were the Sacrifices of the Law and the Old Testament true Signes, con∣secrated to signifie Christs Death to come; and as ours Seale the New Testament, so did they Seale the Old. Page  26 As with our right outward Sealing, there goeth the inward Sealing of Christs Blood; so also with those outward Seales rightly understood, and used. And therefore as it is ab∣surd to say that the New Testament is sealed onely by Bread and Wine, and Water, when we administer and receive the Sacraments, because wee use no other outward Signes; so it is absurd to say of their Sacrifices, that in them there is no Sealing, but by blood of Beasts sacrificed; and thus wee see the vanity of this difference also.

The third difference which the Schoolemen make, and which onely the Papists doe hold, is, that the Old Testament did onely promise eter∣nall blessings, and the eternall inhe∣ritance, and did foreshew them in Types, as in the blood of Sacrifices, Christs Blood, in the promised Land, the inheritance of Heaven, and such like: but it did not give them till CHRIST the Testator was dead. But the New Testament doth promise, and also give and exhi∣bit Page  27 the things promised. This diffe∣rence is very false and impious, and is easily confuted by the former Do∣ctrine, and by the whole Scriptures. For that which onely promiseth, and giveth not, is not a Testament, it is ne∣ver in force, neither ratified at all; for being in force by the Testators Death, it must needes give as well as promise. If the Testators Death never come betweene, then it is no Testament. But the Old is a Testament, and was in force, and did give, and doth give Grace, as well as promise it.

This the whole Scriptures shew; for the Legacies promised and given in Christs Will, are Himselfe, with all his benefits which doe accompany him.

First, his Conception and Birth, most holy without spot, to sanctifie our conception in sinne, and our un∣cleane birth.

Secondly, His perfect righteous∣nesse of life, to make beleevers righte∣ous.

Thirdly, His Death and Sufferings, Page  28 to ransome them from eternall death, and Hell, by satisfying for their sinnes.

Fourthly, His Spirit, with all sa∣ving Graces, as Faith, and such like, by which they come to have Com∣munion with him of his Son-ship, inheritance, righteousnesse, and right to all blessings, Temporall, and Spi∣rituall.

Now though Christ was onely promised in the Old Testament, that he should come, and obey, and suffer for mans redemption; but was not actually exhibited, nor did obey and suffer till the dayes of the New Testament: yet his Manhood, Birth, Obedience, and Death, were then as effectuall to save the faithfull, as now they are; And in that respect hee is called the Lambe slaine from the be∣ginning of the world. Also by the Words of promise in the Old Testa∣ment, Christ communicated & gave his Spirit to Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, and all the faithfull in the Old Testament, wch Spirit wrought in them Faith and perfect Commu∣nion Page  29 with Christ, of his person so farre, as to make them sonnes and heires of God, of his Death for remis∣sion of their sinnes; of his righte∣ousnesse for their justification, and of all saving Graces needfull to Salvati∣on. This appeares by Enoches trans∣lation into glory, that hee might not see death, and by Eliahs taking up into Heaven, by vertue of Christs Re∣surrection and Ascention, who is the first fruites from the beginning: Also by that which is said of Abraham, that hee by beleeving came to bee counted righteous: And by that which David saith to himselfe, That God is his portion, Psal. 16. and with him hee had all things to make him blessed. Therefore this difference is a blasphemous and wicked fiction, excluding the Church of the Old Testament from Heaven, and all frui∣tion of Christs benefits, and from all saving graces, as Regeneration, Re∣mission of sinnes, Iustification, and Redemption, which are the blessings promised and given in the Old Te∣stament.

Page  30The fourth difference is, that the New Testament is the end of the Old, and the Old is but a meanes to obtaine the New. This is confuted, first by the Doctrine before; for they which are both in substance, one, and the same Testament, can∣not the one be the end of the other. But so are these two, as I have before shewed: and it is most manifest by the agreement betweene them, that as the Old confirmes the New, and serves to move men to receive it; So the New being imbraced, serves to give light to the Old, that men may see into the true meaning of it, and rightly under∣stand it; and so here is no difference, in this respect they are both alike.

Secondly, the Scripture is plaine, (even in the places which they cite to prove this difference, to wit, Rom. 10. 4. and Gal. 3. 24. and teacheth plain∣ly that Christ is the end of both, and both serve joyntly for this one and commō end, to bring men to Christ, and to perfect communion with him: and therefore the New is no otherwise the end of the Old, than Page  31 the Old is the end of the New, and so this difference is false and erroni∣ous.

The fift difference is, that the Old Testament was given onely to the naturall Israelites; the New to all the world: which is here by the for∣mer Doctrine proved false. For if the Old Testament is the Will of Christ, as Mediatour, who gave him∣selfe for all the Nations of the world, and is one in substance with the New, and giveth the same Legacies, as is before shewed, surely they were both given to all Nations, even the Old as well as the New, else what shall we say of Iob, and the godly and the faithfull of his Countrey and Age, mentioned in his Booke, who had the promises sealed with bloody sacrifices, and yet were not of the Na∣tion of Israel? Onely here is the dif∣ference; the naturall Israelites had the keeping of the Old Testament, and the Oracles of God committed to them for a time, to wit, from Moses untill Christ: And yet even then it was lawfull for them to teach the Page  32 Word, and make knowne the pro∣mises to strangers of all Nations, and to convert them, and to receive them into the Church; And many were converted, and joyned themselves to to the God of Israel: As Rahab of Iericho, a Canaan itesse, Ruth of Moab, Ebedmelech of Ethiopia, and divers others. But the New Testa∣ment is committed to no speciall people, but published to all the world and among all Nations: So now is the Old also, and serves ever since Christ, for the instruction of all Na∣tions of the Gentiles. Therefore this difference is false. To these the Ie∣suites have added three differences more, which are so grosse, and abo∣minable, that they need no confutati∣on. One is, that the New Testament went before the Old, because the pro∣mises of Christ went before the gi∣ving of the Law, 430 yeeres. Heere they shew much ignorance; for the Old Testament consists of the pro∣mises, as well as of the Law, and the promises are the chiefe things in it; so that the promises and it go together, Page  33 and they are no more before it, then it is before it selfe. If they will per∣versly by the Old Testament under∣stand onely the Law of Moses, ha∣ving no respect to the promise of Christ, they are in a grosse errour. For that can in no wise be called the Testament of Christ, it hath nothing to do with the Mediator, he doth not by it bequeath any thing to his Church.

Another difference is, that the Old Testament, did not quicken any, nor give Spirituall blessings, but onely Temporall; but the New Testament doth give Life and Spirituall bles∣sings, even the Kingdome of Hea∣ven. The Old gave but the shadow, the New gives the substance, the Old the shell, the New the Kernell. This is also a mistaking of the Old Testa∣ment, for the bare Letter of the Law, without respect to Christ. Other∣wise their speech is most abominable. For God by the promises in the Old Testament did quicken many, and bring them to Christ, and to all grace and blessednesse in him, as we Page  34 see in Abraham, David, and the holy Prophets. So that if they doe by the Old Testament understand aright all the writings of Moses and the Pro∣phets before Christ, they are in a blasphemous errour. If onely they meane by the Old Testament, the Law without any promises of Christ, then it is no Testament, and so they erre grosly to call it so.

The last difference is, that the New Testament makes men sonnes, and brings them also to the state of sons: but the Old doth make none sonnes, except by vertue of the New, neither doth it bring any to the state of sons, but all under it lived as children un∣der bondage, as the Apostle speakes, Galat. 4. This is also proved to be false by the former Doctrine; for whosoever are in Christ are sonnes, and whosoever have the spirit of Adoption, are sonnes of God, and in the state of sonnes. Now the Old Testament did bring all the faithfull Fathers to Christ, and to true fellow∣ship* and communion with him, otherwise none of them could have Page  35 been saved, neither could it have been a Testament, one in substance with the New. Yea, the Scripture testifieth plainely, that the faithfull under the Old Testament were sons of God, for Isa. 63. v. 16. they are brought in thus speaking to God; Doubtlesse thou art our Father, though Abraham bee ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not. Thou, O Lord, art our Father, and our Redeemer, thy Name is from everlasting, And Isa. 64. 8. and Ierem. 31. 9. I am a Father to Israel (saith God) and Ephraim is my first borne: and yet all these had no other meanes to bring them thus neere to God, but the Old Testament wherefore wee see there is 〈◊〉 such difference be∣tweene the Old and New Testament, as many would have us to beleeve, onely they differ in some circum∣stances, and in quality, as in plaine∣nesse of revelation, and such like be∣forenamed; and yet now the diffe∣rence is not so great, when the Old is laid open and expounded by the New, and daily more and more Page  36 explained to us. And so much for the first Vse.

Secondly, this truth well conside∣red,* is of speciall use to make us esteeme and reverence the Old Testa∣ment as well as the New, and so to respect and honour the New, that in the meane time we doe not neglect or lightly esteeme the Old Testa∣ment. Let blasphemous Heretiques say what they will, let some of them call it a killing letter, and the mini∣stry of death, and make the Prince of darkenesse the Author of it, and others blaspheme it, as a covenant onely of carnall and earthly promi∣ses: Yet let all true Christians ho∣nour and embrace it as the Word of the most High, holy, and onely true God, and the Testament of Christ sealed with his Blood, and ratified by his Death, in which the Fathers found salvation, and eternall life, as our Saviour sheweth, Ioh. 5. 39.

Thirdly, this Doctrine serves to* teach and direct us in the right way both of understanding and expound∣ing the obscure prophesies of the Old Page  37 Testament, and confirming, by the Old, the most doubtfull things re∣hearsed in the New; for the Pro∣phets of old spake of Christ, and of all things which are recorded in the Gospell concerning his Death, and sufferings for our Redemption: & if any should doubt of the things writ∣ten in the Gospell, concerning the ignominious death and sufferings of Christ, as being too base for the Son of God to suffer; the Old Testa∣ment will confirme all, and will shew ye that God himselfe from the begin∣ning foretold Christs death, when he said, that the Serpent should bruise his heele; and by the slaughter and bloo∣dy sacrifices of Beasts, in Types fore∣shewed the same.

The Prophets also from Moses, in all the Scriptures, foretold what∣soever Christ did or suffered in the flesh for mans Redemption; as our Saviour shewed to the two Disciples in the way to Emaus. And as the* New Testament is confirmed by the Old; so the Old receives cleere light from the New, & that which in it was Page  38 more obscurely foretold, is by the fulfilling thereof in the New, made most cleere and evident: wherefore let us receive them both as one and the same Testament in substance, and that of one and the same Christ. If we make them both look one way, & in expounding them make Christ the matter & subject of both, we shall not erre, nor be deceived, but in both together we shal see Christ most fully revealed, so far as is needfull for us to know him, and the true way to salva∣tion, in him our Saviour & Redeemer.