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.


IN the Old Testament, the Lord first made this Covenant with Adam, but in very darke, obscure, and generall termes, and in Types and figures, even sacrifices wch were seales of it unto him and his poste∣rity. The words of the Covenant were these, That the seed of the wo∣man should breake the Serpents head, & the Serpent should bruise his heel,Page  59 that is, Christ made man of the Seed of a Woman; and being by the Old Serpent, the Divell, and by the gene∣ration of Vipers persecuted, and put to an ignominious death, should dis∣solve the Workes of the Divell, and destroy sinne, by satisfying for it to the full. The sacrifices which God added to this promise, further to illu∣strate and confirme it, were clean and fat-fed Beasts, wch the Lord comman∣ded them to consecrate, slay, and to offer up to him by burning and con∣suming part thereof; and the rest, they themselves who were his Priests and Sacrificers, did eate. That the Lord taught Adam to sacrifice, appeares by the practise of Cain and Abel, and by their offrings which they brought to God, being undoubtedly taught by their father, Gen. 4. Yea, it may be gathered from the Coates of Skinnes which God made, and therewith cloathed our first Parents, Gen. 3. 21. Those skinnes could be no other, but of Beasts slain and offered in sacrifice. For, before Adams fal, beasts were not subject to mortality, nor slaine; the Page  60 slaughter, and killing of Beasts, and mans eating of their flesh, came in by sinne, and after mans fall. In inno∣cency mans meat was fruit of Trees, and Herbes bearing seed, Gen. 1.

The first right which God gave to man to eat flesh, was after the pro∣mise, and after that Beasts were con∣secrated to be sacrificed as Types of Christ, and of his Death. Now these sacrifices of Beasts did shew the na∣ture of the Covenant, and the man∣ner of mans reconciliation; chusing of cleane and harmelesse Beasts, shew∣ed that Christ should be pure and ho∣ly in himselfe, like a Lambe without spot; The consecration of them shew∣ed that Christ should in his concepti∣on be sanctified, and take our nature, and our sinnes upon him, that hee might be our Redeemer, and our Sa∣crifice. The killing of the Beasts, and the burning of the fat, and some parts of them, signified the manner of Christs reconciling of us, and wor∣king our peace, even by his Death, and passing through the fire of Gods wrath. Gods cloathing of AdamPage  61 and his wife with their skinnes, sig∣nified that Mans sin and shame is co∣vered with Christs satisfaction, and the faithfull are to be cloathed with the robe of his Righteousnesse.

The liberty which God gave man to eate flesh of Beasts, which hee might not before sacrifices were or∣dained, sheweth that we gaine more by Christ, than we lost in Adam. This was the first making and revea∣ling of the Covenant.

Afterwards the Lord renued this Covenant with Noah, Gen. 6▪ 10. and did further reveale it in another Type, namely, the saving of Noah and his family in the Arke, which was borne up by the flood of Waters; Which Arke signified the Church: The saving of them onely who were in the Arke, shewed that salvati∣on is found onely in the Church of Christ, and none can be saved but they who by faith cleave to Christ, and are members of his body in the true Church: The water bearing up the Arke, and so saving it and them that were in it, signified that the Page  62 and faithfull are saved by the washing of Regeneration, Tit. 3. 5. The Bap∣tisme of the Spirit, and that Laver of Christs Blood, which outward Bap∣tisme signifieth, 1 Pet. 3. 21.

Thirdly, the Lord renued this Co∣venant with Abraham, and did somewhat more plainely reveale it unto him.

First, by promise, that in him all the Families of the Earth should be blessed, and the promised seed and Saviour should come of him, Gen. 12. 3. and 22. 18.

Secondly, by shewing the way to life and happinesse, even justification by Faith, apprehending Christ, and seeking righteousnesse for a shield, & for reward in him alone. Gen. 15. 1, 6.

Thirdly, by Oath, Gen. 22. 16.

Fourthly, by the promise of the Land of Canaan to him, and to his Seed, which was a Type of the hea∣venly Canaan, and did praefigure the Countrey which is above, Gen. 15. 18.

Fiftly, by the seale of the Cove∣nant of Grace, to wit, circumcision, Page  63 which signified that Gods faithfull people must be circumcised in their hearts, and have the fore-skinne of fleshly lusts cut away by mortificati∣on of the Spirit, Gen. 17.

Sixtly, the offering up of Isaac, the sonne of promise, on Mount Moriah, by Gods appointment, did praefigure and foreshew, that by the offering up of Christ, the promised Seed, in the same place, all Nations should be sa∣ved, Gods wrath pacified, and per∣fect obedience fulfilled.

Lastly, by the outward forme, and ceremony of a solemne oath and co∣venant which passed betweene God and Abraham, Gen. 15. 17. For there we reade, that the Lord commanded Abraham to take an heifer of three yeeres old, a shee goat of three yeeres, and a ramme of three yeeres, and a turtle Dove, and young Pigeon, and he divided them in the midst, & laid each peece, one against another. And it came to passe, that when the Sun went downe, and it was darke, behold a smoaking Furnace, and a burning Lampe, that passed betweene those Page  64 pieces. Now this was the forme of taking a solemne oath among the Chaldeans and the Hebrewes, insti∣tuted by God himselfe, as appeares, Ierem. 34. 18. where it is said, That when the children of Israel made a Covenant to let their servants goe free, they cut a Calfe in twaine, and passed betweene the parts of it: this was the ceremony of an oath and co∣venant; and this God ordained, for he calls it there, His Covenant. And hereupon it is, that in the Old Testa∣ment, the Hebrew word which is used for making of a Covenant, is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (which signifies, to cut asunder) as appeares, Deut. 5. 2. and divers other places, which sheweth that Co∣venants were solemnly made by sacrifices of beasts divided.

Now this dividing of the Beasts in two parts, did signifie and teach two things.

First, that there was a division made betweene God and men, by sinne.

Secondly, the division of the Co∣venant of Grace, into two parts, the Page  65 Old and New Testament. The comming, and passing betweene sig∣nified,

First, that God and men must be reconciled, and the Covenant sealed and confirmed betweene them by a Mediatour.

Secondly, that Christ the Media∣tour was to come in the middest of yeeres, betweene the time of the Old, and the time of the New Testament, to knit and linke both in one, and to confirme both. But in that God came betweene the parts, like a smoaking Furnace, and a burning Lampe, to confirme the Covenant, and to ••ale it to Abraham at that time▪ this signified,

First, that Christ the Mediatour, comming betweene God and men, should be God clouded in our fraile nature, which is but like a vapour and smoake; that he should passe through the Furnace of afflictions, and yet in his life should be a burning and shi∣ning Lampe, pure and perfect in righteousnesse and holinesse,

Secondly, that the Lord in those Page  66 times did reveale himselfe and his Sonne more obscurely, like a smoa∣king Furnace in smoake and cloudes, and like a burning Lampe, which is but dimme in comparison of the light of Christ the Sunne of Righte∣ousnesse, risen up in the Gospell, and the brightnesse of Gods glory shi∣ning in the face of Iesus Christ.

Besides these wee reade of divers other renuings, and explanations of this Covenant; as that with David, recorded, Psal. 89. 3, 28, 34 verses; where the Lord promised that Christ should come of the seed of David, and should be a King for ever. And many promises of speciall lessings which God of old promised, are called Covenants. But the speciall and principall Covenant which is especially called the Old, and is di∣stinguished from the New Covenant of the Gospell, is Gods making and renewing of the Covenant with Is∣rael, partly by his owne mouth, and partly by the ministery of Moses on Mount Horeb, which is mentioned Exod. 19. 20. For that Covenant is Page  67 a mixt Covenant, partly of the Co∣venant of Workes, which is the Old Covenant, partly of the Covenant of Grace, which was made after the fall.

First, God sent Moses to the peo∣ple to aske whether they would obey the Lords voyce, and keepe all his Commandements, that they might thereby live and be blessed. They answered all together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will doe. Thereupon the Lord came downe upon Mount Sinai, in fire and smoake and with terrible Thunders and Lightnings, and the sound of a Trumpet, and spake unto them the words of the Law immediately with his owne mouth, promising life to them that kept it, and threatning death to the breakers thereof,

Now this was but a repeating, and renewing of the first Covenant of Workes, to be performed by every man in his owne person, for the ob∣taining of life. In this therefore there was no Mediatour betweene God and the people.

The Reasons why the Lord thus Page  68 began with Israel, and first renewed the Old Covenant, were divers.

The first, was their pride, pre∣sumption,* and hardnesse of heart; they presumed that they could doe all that the Lord would command them, and therefore he gave them his Law to shew them their duty; that they assaying to fulfill it, and find∣ing their owne insufficiency, might bee humbled and brought downe from vaine confidence in their owne Workes.

Heere the Lord did deale with them, as wise fathers deale with their foolish & vain boasting sons, who do promise largely that they will do any thing which their fathers will com∣mand them, and that by their merits they will bind their fathers to love them, and to give them the inheri∣tance. In such a case, a wise father will put such a boasting sonne to the triall, and will put him to a taske which he knoweth that he is unable to goe through; not because hee be∣leeves, or hopes that his sonne can performe it (being through his own Page  69 intemperance disabled) but for this end, to make him see his owne folly and insufficiency. And so the Lord did deale with Israel.

Secondly, the Lord gave the Law,* which is the rule of righteousnesse, and withall shewed the punishment due to the transgressors of it; that it might be as the rod of a Schoolema∣ster, to drive them to Christ, to learne the saving knowledge, and way of life in him, as the Apostle speakes, Gal. 3. and to make them out of feare renounce themselves, and seeke mercy in him.

Thirdly, to teach them and us, that* howsoever it is impossible for us to be saved by the Law, by reason of our sinfull flesh, and our corruption which hath utterly disabled us, that we cannot obey it; yet the Law is still in force, and requires perfect righteousnesse; and without the righ∣teousnesse of the Law fulfilled by Christ for us, we cannot be justified nor saved, according to that saying of the Apostle, Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one Page  70 that beleeveth, Rom. 10. 4. For these and such like reasons God gave the Law.

But when the people of Israel heard the Law, which was the Cove∣nant of Workes to be performed in their owne persons, and that imme∣diately from God himselfe, it is said that they were sore afraid, and being not able to abide the sight of Gods glory, nor the sound of his voice, they cryed out, Why should we die? and hereupon they began to desire a Me∣diator, even Moses, saying, Goe thou & hear the Lord, & speak thou to us, Exod. 20. 19. and Deut. 5. 25, 26, 27. This was some good beginning; the Law began to take effect, and to drive them towards a Mediator. And there∣fore the Lord said, They have well spo∣ken all that they have said, to wit, in desiring a Mediatour; & added with∣all, O that there were in them such an heart, that they would feare mee, and keepe my Commandements al∣wayes: that it might be well with them and their children! Which words shew the Will and Minde of Page  71 God, wishing after a sort their in∣crease and continuance in this good minde and feare of him, and seeking to keepe his Commandements, in, and by a Mediator. Whereupon hee proceedes to deale with them by a Mediator, and to renue the Covenant with them, by appointing divers fi∣gures of Christ, as Sacrifices, Rites, Ceremonies, the Tabernacle, the Arke of the Covenant, and the Mer∣cy Seat; in all which, as in Types, he did reveale Christ, though ob∣scurely, unto them, and shewed that sinne was to be expiated and purged away by his Death.

Afterward, also when they came into the land of Moab, he did renue the Covenant of Grace in more plain termes, than he did on Mount Ho∣reb; insomuch that by reason of the greater plainnesse, it is called an∣other Covenant, Deut. 29. 2. There he told them, that Christ should bee their Rocke, Deut. 32. 4. and that the Word, his Gospell, was among them.

Now because of the first part of Page  72 this Covenant, to wit, the ten Com∣mandements which God spake first, and after gave them written in two Tables, which are called by the name of Covenant, Deu. 4. 13. and 9. 9. and indeed are the summe of the Old Co∣venant which God made with men in the Creation;

This Covenant, which God made with Israel, is called the Old Cove∣nant, and the Covenant of the Law, and is opposed to the Covenant of the Gospell, that is, to the Covenant, as it is now revealed in the writings of the Evangelists and Apostles, and plainely preached and published over all the world.

Thus much for the Old Cove∣nant.