CHAP. I. A briefe Treatise con∣cerning the agreement and difference betweene the Old and New Testament; the first Covenant betweene God and Man, in Innocency, which is the old Covenant of Works: and the New Covenant made with Mankinde, in Christ, which is called the Covenant of free Grace; also betweene the Law and the Gospell.
IT is an Ancient custome which hath beene for many Ages in use among the lear∣ned before the entrance into the large Exposition of the Gospell of Christ in the New Testament, to premise and Page 2 lay downe by way of prepara∣tion, the nature, difference, and agreement between the Old and New Testament, the Cove∣nant of Workes, and the Cove∣nant of Grace, the Law and the Gospell, the Prophets and the Evangelists. And surely if wee doe rightly consider the end and use of this practise, and the profit and benefit which may arise from the knowledge of the nature of these beforehand, and of the true difference and agree∣ment betweene them, we cannot but judge those learned men worthy of imitation; and that it will be profitable for us to walke in the same steps when like occasion is offered. For the knowledge of the true diffe∣rence of the Old and New Te∣stament, the Covenant of Workes, and the Covenant of Grace, the Law and the Gospel, will not only give us great light, for the right understanding of divers particular speeches used Page 3 in the New Testament by the Evangelists and Apostles, but also may keepe us from many dangerous errours, and enable us to answer the Objections of the Adversaries which they make out of the words of the Apostles and Prophets, wrong∣fully wrested and misconstrued according to their owne foolish imaginations. As for example, sometimes the Apostles exhort us to observe the things which by Tradition have beene delive∣red unto us, and command to observe the good orders and Or∣dinances established in the Churches. Now a man not knowing the difference be∣tweene the Old and New Te∣stament, the Law and the Gos∣pel, when hee heares such spee∣ches, may imagine that in those words he is injoyned to observe the Traditions and Ordinances of Moses, and so may with the seduced Galatians fall into a great errour. So in some places Page 4 of the Apostles we read, That they who are borne of God sin not, That they who sin are of the Devill, That they who sinne wilfully after that they have received the knowledge of the truth, can have no sacri∣fice for their sinne, And that he who beleeveth not is condem∣ned already.
These things when a man heares or reades, who is igno rant of the difference betweene the Law and the Gospell; hee may imagine with our new up▪ start Heretiques, That every sinne which a man willingly commits, doth prove him to be a childe of the Devill, destitute of all grace: And that when men are once called and justified, they cannot willingly sinne any more. And many such errours he may runne into: but if he un∣derstandeth that sinne in those places signifieth sinne against the Evangelicall Law, the two Commandements of the Gos∣pell, Page 5 which commands us to be∣leeve and repent, and not every sinne against any Commande∣ment of the Law▪ hee cannot bee deceived. For sinne against the Gospell, is when a man being before called to beleeve and pro∣fesse the Gospell, and having re∣ceived the Commandements thereof, which injoyne repen∣tance of all sinne, and beleefe in this Iesus Christ whom the Go∣spell preacheth, doth afterwards rebell against these two Pre∣cepts, that is, falls into infideli∣ty and impenitency, which is wilfull Apostacy. Now these sinnes none can commit who is borne of God, or hath any true saving grace in him; and if wee thus understand sinne, wee shall not be deceived. So likewise the Evangelists and Apostles do tell us, that if we doe such and such good workes we are righteous, if wee call on the Name of the Lord wee shall be saved; and our Saviour saith, that he will Page 6 pronounce them the blessed of his Father, and will say to them, Come, inherit the Kingdome: for yee fedde mee when I was hungry, and visited mee in prison: In that yee did these things to my little ones. And againe, Many sins are forgiven her, for shee loved much. If wee know not the difference be∣tweene the Law and the Gos∣pell, we may by these speeches be moved to thinke that men are justified and saved by their workes, and may merit heaven by good deeds, as the Iewes and Papists doe beleeve. But if wee know, that by good deeds and righteous workes, the Evange∣lists and Apostles doe common∣ly meane not simple workes of obedience to the Law, but works done by a true saving and justi∣fying faith, he cannot be decei∣ved. For such workes have these two prerogatives above all others. First, in that they are fruits of a justifying faith, which Page 7 can never faile, and doe proceed from the spirit of repentance, which makes us one with Christ, sonnes of God in him, and abides in us, as an immor∣tall seed, they are infallible to∣kens of our justification, and do assure unto us the Crowne of glory which Christ hath pur∣chased for us, and the kingdome of heaven which is the inheri∣tance of sons. And therefore we may truely say, that he which doth such workes is righteous, and shall be saved, and injoy all blessednesse, not meaning that they make him righteous or merit Heaven; but that they are the evidences of his right to heaven. And the more they are, and the greater and more excel∣lent, the more they testifie a mans union and communion with Christ by a lively faith, and give more assurance of a greater reward. Secondly, being the workes of a man that is justified by faith, and hath perfect com∣munion Page 8 of Christs righteous∣nesse, they have all their spots and staines cleansed and covered with the robe of Christs righte∣ousnesse, and all their defects thereby supplyed to the full, and so they are perfect righteous workes, as well as the doer of them is a perfect righteous man, not in themselves, but by vertue of Christ his obedience, which is communicated and imputed to the worker of them, and in him to them also. They are righte∣ous, and are so called, not actual∣ly or effectually, but passively; that is, not for making the doer of them righteous, but by the doers receiving of Christs righ∣teousnesse by that faith whereof they are fruits; which righte∣ousnesse doth supply all their defects, and makes them righte∣ous, not by reason of a naturall change in themselves, or altera∣tion of their nature, but by spi∣rituall communion which they have of it, together with the Page 9 doers of them. Thus if we un∣derstand these words in the E∣vangelicall sense, we cannot bee deceived, but may know the truth, and how to answer all gainesayers. I could bring ma∣ny Instances of this nature, but these are sufficient to shew, that before wee can sufficiently ex∣pound & rightly understand the Gospell, it is meet that we should know, and be able to shew the nature, and also the agreement and difference betweene the Law and the Gospell, and be∣tweene the Old and New Testa∣ment. Wherefore before I come to the particular expounding of the Gospell of Saint Iohn, which I have undertaken, I will follow the steps of the learned of for∣mer times, and will endevour to shew briefely the agreement and difference betweene the Old and New Testament, betweene the Old Covenant of Workes, and the New Covenant of Grace, and betweeen the Law & the Go∣spell Page 10 in the first place. And in so doing I will labour to reform some things which they have done before me, and to handle this point a little more distinct∣ly. For whereas the most part of them doe confusedly com∣pare the Law and the Gospel to∣gether without distinction of the words: and while they la∣bour to make the Gospell more glorious by all meanes, they doe put too great a difference be∣tweene it and the Law, which hath beene a cause of much er∣rour to many, and even of vili∣fying and contemning the Old Testament and the Law; My desire and purpose is, first to shew the severall acceptations and the true sense and meaning of the words; and then to de∣clare the true agreement and difference, and to make those differences which are observed by others to agree together so far as truth will suffer, and to cut off all vaine and needlesse diffe∣rences. Page 11 This doing, I hope I shall reserve to each their due reverence and respect; God shall have his glory by both the Law and Gospell; Your hearts shall be enabled with love of both, and you better enabled to understand the true meaning of the Gospell, and to feele the power thereof in your soules.
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.
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.
CHAP. IIII. Of the word Covenant, and of the na∣ture of a Covenant, and the agree∣ment and difference betweene the old and new Covenant.
THe second thing which comes to be considered, is the Cove∣nant betweene God and Man; where we are to shew what the word Cove∣nant signifieth, what is the nature of Page 39 a Covenant, and the agreement and difference between the Old and New Covenant. The word Covenant, in our English tongue, signifieth, as we all know, a mutuall promise, bargaine and Obligation betweene two par∣ties, and so likewise doth the Hebrew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, signifie most commonly: But the derivation of the Hebrew word, and of the Greeke, is of speciall use, to shew the nature of the Covenant which they principally signifie, and what speciall things are therein re∣quired. I will therefore first insist upon it a little. Secondly, I will shew the severall sorts of Covenants which the words signifie, and will briefly describe all the Covenants betweene God and Men. Thirdly, out of the severall descriptions I will gather the agreement and difference betweene the Old and the New Co∣venant. And lastly, I will make some use and application of these conside∣rations to our selves.
First the derivation of the words of it, if it be rightly considered, may Page 40 give us great light. The Hebrew word Berith, is of some derived from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Barar, to purifie, and to purge out Drosse, Chaffe, and all uncleannesse, and to choose out, and separate the pure from the impure, the gold and silver from the drosse, and the pure Wheate from the Chaffe. The rea∣sons of this derivation, are two. One, because God, in making the Cove∣nant of naturall life, did choose out man especially with whom he would make the Covenant. And in the Covenant of Grace he doth chuse out the multitude of the Elect, even his Church and faithfull people, whom he did separate by Predestina∣tion, and Election, from all eternity, to be an holy people to himselfe in Christ. The other reason is, because in a true, and lawfull Covenant, both parties must be of pure hearts, free from all deceit and Sophistry, and must deale faithfully, and meane plainely and sincerely in every point and article.
Others derive the word Berith of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Bera, which signifieth both to Page 41 Elect or choose, and also to divide or cut asunder. The reasons wch they give, are two. The first, because Co∣venants are not made but betweene choise persons, chosen out one by an∣other, and about choise matters, and upon choise conditions, chosen out and agreed upon by both parties. The second, because God made the first Covenant of Grace, and sealed it by sacrifices of Beasts, slain, divided, and cut asunder, and the choise fat and other parts offered upon the Altar; and in making of great and solemne Covenants, men in Old time were wont to kill and cut asunder sacrifi∣ced Beasts, and to passe betweene the parts divided, for a solemne testimo∣ny, Gen. 15. 17. and Ier. 34. 18▪ Others derive the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which signifieth to eate and refresh ones selfe with meate, whereof there is some reason, to wit, Because the Old Covenant of God, made with Man in the Creation, was a Cove∣nant wherein the Condition or Law was about eating; That Man should eate of all Trees and Fruits, except of Page 42 the Tree of Knowledge of good and evill. And in the solemne making and scaling of the Covenant of Grace in Christ the blessed Seed, the publique Ceremony was slaying and sacrificing of Beasts, and eating some part of them, after the fat and choise parts were offered up and burnt on the Altar. For God by vertue of that Covenant gave Man leave to eat the flesh of Beasts, which hee might not doe in the state of innocency, be∣ing limited to Fruits of Trees, and Hearbes bearing Seed, for his meate, Gen. 1. 29. So also in solemne Cove∣nants betweene men, the parties were wont to eate together; as appeares, Gen. 31. 46.
To these, two other derivations may be added; one, that Berith may be derived of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which signifieth to create, whereof there is good reason; to wit, because the first state of creati∣on was confirmed by the Covenant which God made with Man, and all creatures were to be upheld by means of observing of the Law and Condi∣tion of that Covenant. And that Co∣venant Page 43 being broken by Man, the world made subject to ruine, is up∣held, yea, and as it were created a∣new by the Covenant of Grace in Christ.
The other derivation is of the Hebrew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which signifieth fat: because in the Covenant of Grace, God promiseth to Man the fat of Heaven, and of the Earth, that is, the most excellent blessings which Heaven and Earth can afford: and Man offereth up to God the fat of his soul, & of all his goods, that is, the most precious things which he hath, besides the sweet and most excellent and precious sacrifice which Christ offers up for him to God.
These are the divers derivations of the word Berith, which I have ob∣served out of the writings of the lear∣ned, to which I have added these two last.
And because this word doth well agree with the sound and significati∣on of all the words of which it is de∣rived by severall learned men, so that if wee should make choise of any one Page 44 derivation, we might seeme to reject and despise others which stand with as good reason; I hold it th• safest and surest way to account of this word, as of a speciall word invented and given by the Spirit of God him∣self, who sees and knowes all circum∣stances of every thing at once, and that it is purposely framed out of all the words before named, and includes in it the sum of them all, being, as it were, the quintessence of them all di∣stilled together into one perfect sense. And howsoever it may seeme strange to some, at the first blush, that one word should be derived of ma∣ny, and receive a mixt signification from them all; yet if they better consi∣der it, they shall see good reason for it, and shall finde that it is no rare thing in holy▪ Scripture, for one word to signifie in one place divers things, and one word to be derived of many, and to borrow the severall significa∣tions of them all.
The proper name of the Prophet Samuel, is derived of foure Hebrew words, the first Shaal, which signi∣fies Page 45 to Aske; the second Hu, which signifies Him; the third Min, which signifies Of; the fourth El, which sig∣nifies God, And it is said, 1 Sam. 1. 20. that his Mother called him She∣muel, that is, one asked of God, be∣cause shee said, I asked him of the Lord. So the Prophet Isaiah called his sonne by Gods appointment Sheariashub, wch is derived of seve∣rall words which signifie, A remnant shall returne. And the Prophet Iere∣my, by inspiration of Gods Spirit, told Pashur the persecuting Priest, that his name should be Magormissa∣bib, terrour round about, or on eve∣ry side, because the Lord would make him a terrour to himselfe, Ier. 20. 3. Now if one name may by the testimo∣ny of Gods Spirt be derived of di∣vers words, and borrow a mixt sense from them all, as the word Samuel, which is derived or compounded of foure words, and doth hold the signification of them all, though it includes but one letter of some of them; much more may wee thinke that the word Berith is derived of all Page 46 the words before named, and in∣cludes in it the sense and signification of them all, as well as it includes a syllable at least of every one of them; this is one strong and invincible rea∣son. Secondly, wee have good rea∣sons of every derivation, as I have al∣ready shewed. Thirdly, the deriving of the word, from all, and not from one onely, doth reconcile in one, all the severall opinions of the Learned, and justifies their several derivations, without rejecting, or offering any wrong, or disgrace to any. Fourth∣ly, the Greeke word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by which the Septuagint in their Greeke translation doe expresse the Hebrew word Berith, and which the Evange∣lists and Apostles in the New Testa∣ment doe use to signifie a Covenant, is derived of the Greeke word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which hath divers of the significations of the Hebrew words, of which Berith is derived; for it sig∣nifies, to set things in order and frame, to appoint orders, and make Lawes, to pacifie and make satisfa∣ction, and to dispose things by ones Page 47 last Will and Testament. Now to compose and set things in order, is to uphold the Creation; to walke by Orders & Lawes made & appointed, is to walk by rule, & to live & to deal plainely, and faithfully, without de∣ceit. To pacifie and make satisfacti∣on includes sacrifices and sinne-offe∣rings. To dispose by Will and Te∣stament, implies choice of persons and gifts; for men doe by Will give their best and most choise goods to their most deare and most choise friends. Thus the Greeke which the Apostles use in the New Testa∣ment to signifie a Covenant, to ex∣presse the Hebrew word Berith, wch is used in the Law and the Prophets, doth confirme our derivation of it from all the words before named. And this derivation of the Hebrew and Greeke names of a Covenant being thus laid downe and confir∣med by these reasons, is of great use:
First, to shew unto us the full signi∣fication of the word Covenant, and what the nature of a Covenant is in generall.
Page 48Secondly, to justifie the divers ac∣ceptations of the Word, and to shew the nature of every word in particu∣lar; and so to make way for the knowledge of the agreement, and dif∣ference betweene the Old and New Covenant.
First, there we see that this Word signifies all Covenants in generall, both Gods Covenant with men, and also the covenants which men make among themselves. For there is no∣thing in any true Covenant, which is not comprised in the signification of this Word▪ being expounded accor∣ding to the former derivations.
Heere also we see what is the na∣ture of a Covenant in generall, and what things are thereunto required.
First, every true Covenant presup∣poseth a division, or separation.
Secondly, it comprehends in it a mutuall promising, and binding be∣tweene two distinct parties.
Thirdly, there must be faithfull dealing, without fraud, or dissem∣bling, on both sides.
Fourthly, this must be betweeene choice persons.
Page 49Fiftly, it must be about choyce matters, and upon choice conditions, agreed upon by both.
Sixtly, it must tend to the well-or∣dering and composing of things be∣tweene them. All these are manifest by the significations of the words from which Berith is derived. But I hold it not so needfull to stand up∣on the nature of a Covenant in gene∣rall. I therefore come with speed to the divers acceptations of the Word, and to the description of every speci∣all, and particular Covenant, which is needfull to be knowne of us.
FIrst, the Hebrew word Berith, (as also the names of Cove∣nant, in the Greeke, and English tongue) signifies a Covenant be∣tweene God and Men.
Secondly, it signifies the Cove∣nants of men among themselves, as Gen. 21. 27. It signifies the Covenant betweene Abraham, and Abimelech,Page 50 and Gen. 31. 44. the Covenant be∣tweene Iacob and Laban. But here I have little to doe with Covenants betweene men. The Covenant which I am to insist upon, is betweene God and Men.
First, the Covenant of naturall life and blessings, which God made with Man in the creation.
Secondly, the Covenant of Grace, which God made with Man in Christ, after Mans fall. In the Cove∣nant of Nature, the parties were, God the Creator, and Man the Creature, made after Gods Image and like∣nesse, and so not contrary to God, nor at enmity with him, but like un∣to God, though farre different, and inferiour to God, in Nature and sub∣stance. The promises on Gods part were these, That Heaven and Earth, and all creatures should continue in their naturall course and order, wherein God had created and placed them, serving alwayes for mans use, and that man should have the benefit, and lordship of them all, and should live happily, and never see death. Page 51 The condition on Mans part, was obedience to Gods Law, and subje∣ction to God his Creator in all things; and this he was to expresse by obeying Gods voyce in every thing which he had already, or should at any time command, more especial∣ly in abstaining from the Tree of good and evill. The Signe and Seale which God gave to Man, for the con∣firmation of this Covenant, was the Tree of Life, which was to man a Sa∣crament, and pledge of eternall Life on earth, and of all blessings needfull to keepe man in life. The receiving of this Seale, was mans eating of the Tree of Life. The end of this Cove∣nant, was the upholding of the Crea∣tion, and of all the creatures in their pure naturall estate, for the comfort of man continually.
This was the first Covenant which God made with man, and this is called by the name Berith, Iere. 33. 20. where God saith, If you can breake my Covenant of the day and night, and that there shall not be day and night in their season, then may al∣so Page 52 my Covenant with David be bro∣ken.
In these words he speakes plainly of the promise in the creation, That day and night should keepe their course, and the Sunne, Moone, and Starres, and all creatures should serve for mans use. This though man did breake on his part, yet God, being immutable, could not breake it, nei∣ther did hee suffer his promise to faile; but, by vertue of Christ pro∣mised to man in the New Covenant, doth in some good measure conti∣nue it, so long as Mankinde hath a being on earth.
The Covenant of Grace, is that which God made with man after his fall, wherein of his owne free Grace and Mercy, hee doth promise unto Mankinde a blessed Seed of the Wo∣man, which by bruising the Serpents head, that is, destroying the power and workes of the Devill, should re∣deeme Mankinde, and restore all that beleeve in that blessed Seed Christ, to a more happy and blessed estate, then that which was lost. In Page 53 this Covenant the parties were God Almighty offended by Mans sinne, and provoked to just wrath; and man by his wilfull transgression now become a Rebell and enemy against God, and deserving eternall death; so that here is great contrariety, sepa∣ration, opposition, and cause of en∣mity betweene the two parties, and betweene them there was no possibi∣lity of peace and reconciliation, with∣out a fit and all sufficient Mediator necessarily comming betweene.
The things which God promi∣seth in this Covenant, and for his part performeth, are admirable, farre surpassing mans reason.
The first, is the All-sufficient Me∣diatour Christ, his owne eternall Sonne, whom God promised imme∣diately after mans fall, and who did then begin, actually, to mediate for man, and did undertake to become Man, and by a full satisfaction made in Mans nature, to Gods▪ infinite Iustice, and just Law, and a perfect and full ransom paid for mans Re∣demption to purchase pardon of all Page 54 mans sins; to justifie, and make him righteous, and to reconcile him to God.
The second, is the Spirit to be gi∣ven to man, and shed on him through Christ the Mediatour, Gal. 3. 14. and Tit. 3. 6.
The third, is spirituall▪ Life, derived frō Christ, & wrought in man by his quicking spirit, together with all gra∣ces and blessings thereto belonging.
The fourth, is union, and commu∣nion with Christ of all his benefits, as of his Son-ship, to make all regene∣rate men sonnes of God, and heires of eternall life, glory, and all blessings, of his satisfaction and sufferings for re∣mission of all their sins; of his righte∣ousnesse for justification.
The fift, is a true right to the na∣turall life which Adam lost, to the Creatures made for mans use, and to all earthly blessings which are given him to possesse and injoy in this life.
The sixth, is sanctification and holinesse, whereby man is fitted to see and enjoy God, Matth. 5. 8. and Hebr. 12. 14.
Page 55The last, which is the end of all, is the eternall life of glory, in the frui∣tion of God in Heaven.
In this Covenant there is not any condition or Law to bee performed on mans part by man himselfe, as in the first old Covenant, of Nature; and therefore it is called the free Cove∣nant of Grace, and not of Workes. The perfect obedience, righteous∣nesse, and satisfaction of Christ, which he performed to the whole Law, for man, in Mans nature, though it stands in the place of eve∣ry mans perfect obedience to Gods Law in his owne person, and his sub∣jection to the whole revealed will of God, which was the condition of the Old Covenant of Works, and when man is partaker of it by communion with Christ, he is more perfectly ju∣stified, and made worthy of life eter∣nall, than man in the state of nature could have beene by his owne per∣fect obedience, and personall righte∣ousnesse performed in his owne per∣son; Yet it cannot so properly bee called, A condition of the New Co∣venant Page 56 of Grace which God hath made with Mankinde (because God imposeth it not as a condition to bee performed by every man in his per∣son) but is one of the blessings pro∣mised in the New Covenant. So likewise, the Gifts, Graces, and Workes, and Fruits of the Spirit, which are required to be in man, to make him an actuall partaker of Christ, and of life and salvation in him, whether they be outward, as the word preached and heard, the Sa∣craments given and received, and the like; or inward, as Faith, by which Christ is received, and applied; Re∣pentance, Love, Hope, and other sa∣ving Graces; they are all free gifts of God, he gives them to us, and by his Spirit workes in us both to will and to doe; and without his Grace continually assisting us according to his promise, wee cannot performe any thing which is mentioned in the Gospell, as a conditionall meanes of life and Salvation in Christ. And therefore this Covenant is foedus gra∣tuitum, a most free Covenant of Page 57 Grace, wherein no condition is pro∣pounded to man, to be performed by any power of his owne, for the obtai∣ning of life: but God of his owne free Grace promiseth all blessings, and for his owne sake gives them; and also all power to receive and en∣joy them. And the end and use of this Covenant, is not any gaine which God seeketh to himselfe, nor any good which he can receive from man, or any creature, but onely the making of man perfectly blessed in the fruition of himselfe and all his goodnesse, and so gathering to himselfe all things in Christ. This Covenant is that which is called, the Covenant of Peace, and is most high∣ly extolled, and commended in all the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament. And howsoever the substance of this Covenant hath beene alwayes one and the same from the beginning, even from the se∣venth day of the world, wherein God first promised Christ the bles∣sed Seed, and so shall be for ever; yet because the circumstances are di∣vers, Page 58 and the manner of revealing the promise, and of sealing it, is far diffe∣rent in the Old, and New Testament; hereupon it comes to passe, that the Spirit of God doth distinguish it into the Old and New Covenant; and as it was revealed, and sealed to the Fa∣thers under the Law, cals it the Old Covenant; and as it is now revealed and sealed under the Gospell, cals it the new Covenant, Ier. 31. 31. & 2 Cor. 3. 6. And both these are called by the name 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Hebrew, and by the name of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Greeke Text.
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.
THe New Covenant which was foretold by the Prophets, Isa. 42. 6. Ier, 31. 31. Zach. 9. 11. it is the Covenant which God hath now made by the preaching of the Page 73 Gospell in this New Testament. It is the Covenant of all happinesse, all blessings, and all salvation in Christ, plainely preached and revealed, sea∣led also and confirmed, not by Blood of Christ in Types and Figures; but by the very Blood it selfe bodily shed on the Crosse for our sinnes; and by the two plaine Sacraments of Bap∣tisme, and the Lords Supper, this is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the New Covenant, Ierem. 31. 31. and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Luke 22. 20. and 2 Cor. 3. 6. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a bet∣ter Covenant, Hebr. 7. 22. For in it the Lord reveales his promises so plainley and cleerely, that all men may see and know the way to life. And howbeit in this Covenant there is nothing expressed wch was not im∣plyed and included in the general ob∣scure promises made unto Adam, and unto Abraham & David, and the rest of the Fathers in old time; And al∣though Iesus Christ the perfect Savi∣our, and Eternall Redeemer, God and Man, with all his righteousnesse, obedience, and full satisfaction, and all his benefits, blessings, gifts and Page 74 graces, which serve to bring men to perfect blessednesse and salvation; and which are fully expressed in the Covenant of the Gospell, were darkely and obscurely of∣fered unto the Fathers, and were ap∣prehended by their faith, in that Co∣venant which God made with them: Yet certainely this Covenant, as it is now renewed by the comming of Christ, and by the preaching of the Apostles and Evangelists, may justly be called a New Covenant, and is truely so called, both by the Prophets and Apostles, for divers good rea∣sons and considerations.
First, because there is as great diffe∣rence* betweene this Covenant thus revealed, and the Covenant as it was revealed before Christs incarnation, as there is betweene an old darke house builded up strong, but yet without any whiting or painting, having very few doores or windowes in it, and those either very narrow, or else shut up with boords, or stop∣ped with Bricks and Morter, that few can enter in, save such as are already Page 75 within it; and when they are there, they have but small light, and some none at all: there is (I say) as great a difference betweene the Covenant, as it was revealed to the Fathers, and the same Covenant be∣ing now renewed with us, as there is betweene such an old darke house, and the same house when it is repai∣red from the very foundation, and is all whited over within and without, all painted and beautified, and trim∣med from the roofe to the foundati∣on, and is made full of faire and wide doores on every side, for all sorts of people to enter into it; and hath many large windowes made in every roome, whereof none is stopped up; but all are glazed with pure Crystall Glasse, through which the light of the day, and the bright beames of the Sunne doe shine most comfortably. This difference will appeare most evidently to us, if wee compare the Old and New Testament together, and observe the diversity of Revela∣tion.
The Covenant which God made Page 76 with the Fathers before Christ, was a sure house builded on Christ, and founded on Gods eternall Truth. It was a safe shelter against all raine and soule weather of affliction, and all stormes of temptations, and did shrowd the Fathers from the scorch∣ing heate of an evill conscience, and the fiery flames of Hell and the De∣vills fury: but it had few doores, and those narrow ones, such as few could enter through, to wit, onely the natu∣rall Israelites, who were all included in it by the promise made to Abra∣ham, and those who were circumci∣sed Proselytes. The windowes of it were few also, and those were the darke promises of Christ, wch yeelded but little light, shadowed over with Types and Figures, as with a vaile of obscurity. It had no glorious or∣naments to allure men a farre off; It was not whited, nor painted, nor set forth with variety of pleasant pictures which might delight people: but it rather appeared all bloody with the blood of Bulls, Goates, Rammes and Lambs, like a slaughter house, and all Page 77 blacke and smoaky with the conti∣nuall offering of burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the smoaky fumes of Incense: Yea, so many were the ce∣remonies to be observed, and so heavie and intolerable was the bur∣den of them, that it appeared unto all that passed by, to be rather a Shop to worke and labour in, a Mill to grinde in, and an house of correction, then any place of rest, or pleasant and comfortable habitation. But this Co∣venant, as it is now renewed with us under the Gospell, is much altered, and made like an house repaired and renewed throughout from the top to the foundation. The Rocke Christ upon which it is built, is now set forth in all his glorious colours; all all the Mosse of ceremonies which did over-grow and cover him, is ta∣ken away; hee now shines like Ivory, Crystall and Adamant, most finely polished. The Truth of God in his promises, which is the ground of our Faith, is now made manifest and clear by the comming of CHRIST and by the fulfilling of his Word Page 78 which he spake from the beginning; and now we dare boldly relie and rest on Gods Word, in sure hope and con∣fidence that his Truth will never fail. The Ministeriall foundations, to wit, the writings of Moses and the Pro∣phets, are now by the light of the Gos∣pell changed as it were from rough and unhewen stones, and made like smooth polished Marble. The foure Gospels are, as it were, foure doores made in the foure sides of this square house, looking towards the foure winds of Heaven, ready to receive all men from all the foure corners of the earth. The many Sermons of Christ and his Apostles in the New Testa∣ment, are as so many Windowes, through which, as through Crystall Glasse, much heavenly Light is con∣veyed and derived unto us, even from heaven, from the throne of God; the sweet promises, and many and di∣vers gifts of the Spirit, as Know∣ledge, Faith, Tongues, gifts of Hea∣ling, Prophecying, Miracles, and the like, are as pleasant and delight∣some Pictures and Ornaments, able to Page 79 draw, allure, and delight the hearts of all men. And the many outward bles∣sings of peace and plenty wch follow the preaching and profession of the Gospell where it is received, are as it were a glorious painting & whiting, which doth make this house glorious a far off, and fils and enflames all that passe by with admiration and love of it. Now there is none so obstinate, nor so strict in speech, but hee will grant, that an house so altered and re∣newed throughout, (as I have before shewed) may truely be called, though not another, yet a new house; be∣cause it is repaired, renued and beauti∣fied in all parts, though the founda∣tion and substance of the walls, and the Timber be the same. And therefore none can deny but that the Covenant of Grace now under the Gospell, though it be the same in sub∣stance and matter with that made to the Fathers, and hath the same foun∣dation; yet being thus altered, renew∣ed, and beautified, may justly be cal∣led, though not another, yet a new Covenant at least, and a better Cove∣nant.
Page 80Secondly, the Covenant of Grace* which before GOD made with Abraham and his seed, and which was inforce onely among the Israe∣lites before the comming of Christ, is now by the preaching of the Apo∣stles made with all Nations, and all the people of the world are received into it, or at least have it offered unto them; and there is free accesse made unto all through the new doores which are now made in every side of the Covenant (as is before noted.) This is manifest by the very mission of the Apostles, and the Commission which our Saviour Christ gave unto them▪ Matth. 28. in these words, Goe teach all Nations.
Now experience teacheth us, that when an house is not onely repaired, but also inlarged every way, and the foundation of it is stretched out an hundred times more then before, it may truely even in respect of it selfe be called a new house. And when new inhabitants come to dwell in an house wherein they never dwelt before, though the house hath beene Page 81 long built, and is old in it selfe; yet to them it is a new habitation, and men in such cases call their houses new houses. Therefore by the same rea∣son it followes necessarily, that the Covenant of Grace which was made with the Fathers, being now by the comming of Christ, the light of the Gospell, and more plentifull gifts of the Spirit, much enlarged, and made capable of all Nations, and Christ the foundation of it being stretched out to all the world; it may even in it selfe be called a new and better Co∣venant. Also in respect of the new people which are received into it, it may be called a new Covenant, though in it selfe it were no whit al∣tered or enlarged at all.
Thirdly, where the seales of a Co∣venant* are made new, and the old are taken away, and where the manner of sealing is altered and quite inverted, there we may call it a new Covenant, though the substance be the same. Experience teacheth this; For when a man that hath a I ease of twenty yeares in an house, gives it up, and Page 82 takes another of the same terme in more full and plaine words, or when upon some defect which he findes in his deed of sale, either in the forme of conveyance, or in the sealing and the witnesses, hee gives up his former deed, and takes another of the same land sealed with other seales, and te∣stified by other witnesses; this wee call a new deed, though the land be the same, and the purchase all one in substance and true meaning. Now thus it is betweene the Covenant of Grace now under the Gospell, and the same Covenant before the com∣ming of Christ. Though this is the same in substance, and the salvation promised is the same, even that wch is onely in Christ: yet the manner of sealing is much altered and inverted, and the outward seales also. The Covenant had before many seales, as Circumcision, the Passeover, and all the Sacrifices, Ceremonies, Types and Figures of the Law: now it hath onely two, Baptisme and the Lords Supper. The old Seales were darke and obscure, and had Christs image Page 83 but dimly imprinted into them: The new have a more lively resemblance of Christ. In Baptisme there is the print of the whole Trinity, The Fa∣ther, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost. And the signes in the Lords Supper are so like unto the Body and Blood of Christ, that they are called by the same name. Before the Gospell the Covenant was first sealed typically by Christs Blood; and at last by the Blood it selfe. Now the Cove∣nant is first sealed by the Blood of Christ it selfe, and afterwards, to the end of the world, it is sealed to us by evident signes and remem∣brances of Christs death, given by himselfe as pledges to us.
The old seales were mutable; the new are unchangeable. The old sealing was much in outward shew, and very little inwardly by the spirit; The new is little in outward shew, but more by the inward worke of the spirit. The word of the covenant is now more abundantly written in mens hearts, according to the word of the Lord Ier. 31. 33. This is the new Page 84 Covenant, I will put my law in their inward parts, and will write it in their hearts. Which words are to be un∣derstood thus; not that the fathers had not the word written in their hearts, but that it was not so deeply written, nor in the hearts of so many, as now it is. Wherefore the seales and the manner of sealing being so much renewed, and inverted, we may true∣ly call this a new Covenant. Thus you see the description of the new Covenant now under the Gospel, and the true reasons why it is called the new Covenant, even when it is com∣pared with the Covenant made with the Fathers, which was the same in substance with it.
But if we compare it with the Co∣venant of Nature, which is the Cove∣nant of Works, and of the Law made with Man in the Creation; then it must of necessity be called new, be∣cause that went before it, and was in the time of mans innocency; this came in after the fall; that promised naturall life, this promiseth spirituall also; that tended to hold up the Page 85 Old Adam, this to build up the New.
So likewise, if this new Covenant of the Gospell be compared with the Covenant which God made with Israel in the Wildernesse, it may true∣ly and must necessarily be called new. For that was a mixt Covenant, mixt of the Covenant of Nature and of Grace, and contained in the Law, which is the Covenant of Workes; and the faith of the promise which is of the Gospell and of Grace (as is before shewed.) And therefore in respect of the first part of that Cove∣nant which promised life to the doers of the Law, this is truely a new Covenant, differing in substance from it; and indeed the Apostles doe call this Covenant of the Gospell a new Covenant, especially and chiefly in comparison of these two Covenants, even that of pure nature, and that mixt Covenant of the Law.
NOw having largely described the Covenant of the Gospell, I proceed, for our better satisfaction, to shew more fully, plainely and di∣stinctly, the true agreement and diffe∣rence which is betweene the first Co∣venant of Nature, and the second Covenant which is the Covenant of Grace, and betweene the old and new publishing of the Covenant of Grace.
And first for orders sake I will shew how the Covenant of Nature and Grace doe agree, and differ.
Secondly, because the Covenant of Grace hath beene solemnly publish∣ed three divers wayes.
First, more darkly and obscurely to the Fathers, from Adam untill the giving of the Law.
Secondly, after a mixt manner to the Israelites, by the Ministery of Moses.
Thirdly, now at last most plainely Page 87 and purely since the coming of Christ in the flesh, by the Gospell preach∣ed and published to all Nations. I will shew how this last publishing of the Covenant, which is so glorious, that it is called the New Covenant by a speciall prerogative, doth agree with, and differ from the two former publications made, the one with the Fathers, Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the rest; the other with the Israelites in the Wildernesse. The cleer know∣ledge of which things may yeeld much fruit, profit and comfort, to the hearts and soules of true Christians.
CHAP. IX. The agreement of the Covenant of Nature, which is called the first, with the Covenant of Grace, which is called the second Co∣venant.
FIrst, these two Covenants doe* agree betweene themselves, and that in three respects; First, the par∣ties Page 88 are in substance the same in both Covenants. In the the first Cove∣nant of Workes God was the one party, and Adam the other; And in the second, the parties are still the same in Nature and substance, to wit, God and Adam, with all man∣kinde his posterity.
Secondly, they doe agree in divers* of the promises and conditions. In the first God promised unto man life and happinesse, Lordship over all the creatures, liberty to use them, and all other blessings which his heart could desire to keepe him in that hap∣py estate wherein he was created: And man was bound to God to walke in perfect righteousnesse, to observe and keepe Gods comman∣dements, and to obey his will in all things which were within the reach of his nature, and so farre as was re∣vealed to him. In the second also the promise on Gods part is life and happinesse, with all blessings thereto requisite, Lordship over the creatures, liberty to use them, and a true right and title to them all, and in lieu of Page 89 these he requires of man perfect righ∣teousnesse and obedience to his will and law, in every point and title, as our Saviour Christ saith, Mat. 5. 18.
Thirdly, as the one had seales an∣nexed* unto it for confirmation, so al∣so hath the other. The seale of the first Covenant was the Tree of Life, which if Adam had received by ta∣king and eating of it, while hee stood in the state of innocency, before his fall, he had certainely beene establi∣shed in that estate for ever; and the Covenant being sealed and confir∣med betweene God and him on both parts, he could not have beene sedu∣ced and supplanted by Satan, as some learned men doe thinke, and as Gods own words seem to imply, Gen. 3. 22. The seals of the second Covenant are the Sacraments, as Circumcision, and such like in the Old Testament, and the Sacraments of Baptisme and the Lords Supper in these dayes of the Gospel; wch whosoever hathonce tru∣ly received, and is inwardly circum∣cised as well as outwardly, & washed with the Laver of Regeneration, and Page 90 baptised into Christ, and hath true communion with him of his Body and Blood, that man can never fall, for the seed of God abideth in him, 1▪ Iohn 3. 9.
CHAP. X. The difference betweene the Covenant of Nature and of Grace.
BVt as they agree in these things, so they differ divers wayes. First, though the parties are in substance the same, yet in other respects they differ.
First, in the Covenant of Nature,* the parties God & man were friends. God was the Creator, man was his Creature made after Gods image. God was mans good Lord, and man was Gods good servant. God loved man, and man loved God with all his heart; there was not any least occasi∣on of hatred or enmitie betweene them, but all causes of love. But at the making of the Covenant Page 91 of Grace, God and Man were fallen out and become enemies. God was provoked to just wrath, and his un∣changeable justice required, that man should die, and be consumed by the fire of Gods just wrath: And man was become a rebell, and an enemy, and traitor to God, and had conspired with the Devill against his Lord and King. God was to man a consuming fire, and man was as straw and stub∣ble before him, by meanes of his sin∣full corruption.
Secondly, in the Covenant of Na∣ture,* God revealed himselfe to man, as one God, Creator and Governour of all things, infinite in Power, Wise∣dome, Nature and substance. But in the Covenant of Grace God revea∣led himselfe one infinite God, and three persons distinguished, not one∣ly a Lord and Creator, but also a mercifull Redeemer, not onely in unity of essence, but also in trinity of persons.
Thirdly, in the Covenant of Na∣ture* God was one party, and man alone was another: But in the Cove∣nant Page 92 of Grace, God is on both sides. God simply considered in his essence, is the party opposite to Man. And God the second person, having taken upon him to be incarnate, and to worke mans redemption, was on mans side, and takes part with man, that he may reconcile him to God, by bearing mans sinnes, and satisfy∣ing Gods justice for them. Thus they differ in respect of the parties.
Secondly they differ in respect of mediation; for in the Covenant of nature man needed no mediatour to come betweene God and him; he was pure, upright and good, created after Gods image, the nearer he came to God, the greater was his joy and comfort, Gods presence was a de∣light unto him. But in the Cove∣nant of grace, because man by sinne, rebellion, corruption and enmity, was separated and alieuated in his mind, nature and disposition from God, therefore mā could not come unto God to enter into Covenant with him, but by a perfect, pure and holy Mediator, infinit in power and favour with Page 93 God, that he might prevaile with him, and pacifie his wrath, and yet of mans nature and substance; that in and by the nature which had sinned, satisfaction might be made for sinne. Without such a Mediatour, there could bee no Covenant made be∣tweene God and man. If man, being ever since the fall filthy and corrupt, should in his owne person come near to God, who is to him a devouring and consuming fire, he as stubble and straw should presently be consumed, and perish at the presence of God. And therefore in making this Cove∣nant, a perfect Mediatour is necessa∣rily required, both to come betweene God and man, and to make perfect satisfaction to Gods just Law in the behalfe of miserable and sinfull man, and to worke his reconciliation and attonement.
Thirdly, they differ exceedingly* in the promises and conditions. First, the promises of God in the Cove∣nant of nature, were onely naturall life, and earthly happinesse, with all blessings necessary thereunto. But in Page 94 the Covenant of grace God doth promise, over and above naturall life and felicity on earth, spirituall life and blessings by the communion of his holy and eternall spirit; not only the spirituall life of grace in this world, but also of everlasting glory in the world to come, in the presence of his glorious Majestie. Secondly, in the first Covenant God did not pro∣mise to give life, but to continue life being before already given: But in the second Covenant be promiseth to raiseman from the dust of death and eternall damnation in hell (into which he was fallen head-long by transgression) unto the light of life, and that blessednesse in heaven, of which his nature was never capable before, no not in the state of innocen∣cy. Thirdly, in the first Covenant the promised portion and possession, was of the earth and of all visible creatures which were fit to serve for mans use. But in the second Cove∣nant God promiseth heaven, and himselfe who made the heaven, to bee the God, the shield and reward of the Page 95 faithfull, and their portion and in∣heritance. Genesis 15. 1. Psalm. 16. Fourthly, in the first Covenant God promised and gave to man power over all living creatures, to have them as a Lord at his command, and to use them for his delight, and to rule, not to kill and eat them. But in the second Covenant God gave them to him for sacrifice, yea and also to serve for his food and nourishment.
The fourth difference ariseth from* the conditions which God requires at the hands of man and on mans be∣halfe, for all these great and wonder∣full blessings. In the first Covenant God required of man perfect righte∣ousnesse and obedience to his whole law and will, so farre as it was in mans power by nature, and revealed unto him, and this he would have man to performe by himselfe in his owne person. But in the second Covenant he requires, on mans behalfe, a more excellent obedience and righteous∣nesse performed to the whole Law more plainely and fully revealed, and greatly enlarged, and that not by man Page 96 himselfe or any meere creature; but by mans Mediatour Iesus Christ, God and man in one person, who is the end of the law for righteousnesse to every one that beleeveth. Rom. 10. 4.
Now there is wonderfull differ∣ence betweene these two. The righ∣teousnesse required in the first Cove∣nant, was only the righteousnesse of a pure naturall man, and able to save him onely who performed it; but the righteousnesse of the second Co∣venant, is the righteousnesse of a per∣fect, pure and holy man filled with the holy Ghost, which Adam had not in innocency; yea the righteous∣nesse of that man, who is one person with God, and so it is the righteous∣nesse of God, as the Apostle calls it, 2 Cor. 5. 21. and is of value to justifie not onely those who have communi∣on of it, but also a whole world of men besides, if they were made parta∣kers of it. Secondly, the righteous∣nesse of the first Covenant was onely simple actuall obedience to the Law, flowing from naturall uprightnesse; But the righteousnesse of the second, Page 97 consists of habituall holinesse, and of obedience both active and passive to the precepts and penalties, com∣mands and threatnings of the Law; it hath in it both the sacrifice of righteousnesse, and also perfect satis∣faction for sinne by voluntary sub∣mission to sufferings and death.
Thirdly, the righteousnesse of the first Covenant consisted onely in obedience to the morall Law: But the righteousnesse of the second is obedience both to the morall and ceremoniall Law. For our Saviour Christ was circumcised, presented in the Temple, did eate the Passeover, and observed all the ceremoniall ordi∣nances of God, yea and was bapti∣zed by Iohn (as the Gospel testifieth), and that not for himselfe (for he was free borne, without sinne, and needed not to offer sacrifice, or to be circum∣cised or washed) but onely to fulfill all righteousnesse, and to supplie the defects of the Fathers in their obedi∣ence to Gods ceremoniall ordinances of old, and also our defects in our baptisme and other Evangelicall or∣dinances: Page 98 so much he himselfe testifi∣eth, Math. 3. 15. Rom. 15. 8.
Fourthly, in the first Covenant God did not promise unto man a righteousnesse performed to his hand by a surety and intercessour; but on∣ly gave man naturall strength and power to performe the righteousnesse which he required of him; but yet such mutable strength, that the de∣vill by sudden tempration might pre∣vent him before he was confirmed, and so pervert and supplant him: But in the second Covenant God gives both the righteousnesse per∣formed to our hands, and also his ho∣ly spirit which workes in us faith and strength of grace to receive and enjoy it; yea, by dwelling in us as Gods im∣mortall seed, doth unite us to Christ, and bring us to communion of all his benefits, as his sonship, righteousnesse, satisfaction and the rest, and all this God doth both promise and give freely, so that this is foedus gratuitum, a most free Covenant.
The fifth difference is in the seales;* for though in this, both covenants a∣gree, Page 99 that seales were annexed to them, yet they differ in the seales and man∣ner of sealing, both inward and out∣ward. The seale of the first Covenant was the tree of life: But the seales of the second Covenant were the Sab∣bath of the seventh day, sacrifices cir∣cumcision, and the passeover in old time; and now the sacraments of Baptisme, and the Lords supper. The seale of the first Covenant was but a pledge to confirme man in naturall life, and in naturall beleefe and assu∣rance. But the seals of the second have the holy Spirit of God inwardly wor∣king with them, and by them.
Lastly, they differ in successe, effect,* strength, and perpetuity. The first Covenant had no good successe, it never tooke effect to save any one of Adams sons; yea it is abolished, on∣ly the law and condition of it stands firme in the matter and substance of it (being Gods immutable will, and eter∣nall rule of righteousnesse) to wit, that without perfect obedience to Gods revealed will, man shall never come to eternall life, but is under the Page 100 jawes of death. But the second Co∣venant, being made in such a perfect Mediator, and sealed with the blood of Iesus Christ, God and man, which is of infinit and eternall value, hath had good successe from the begin∣ning, hath taken effect in all ages, and is of force and vertue for ever world without end.
NOw the consideration of these* differences serves to shew Gods infinit mercy and wonderfull bounty to miserable man; In that by Adams fall he tooke occasion to be more good unto us, and when we were be∣come his enemies, did more exercise and shew his goodnesse, and give greater grace unto us. If God had re∣nued againe after mans fall the first Covenant of naturall life, it had been a great favour: but as if that were but a little in his eyes, he makes a better Covenant, even an eternall, and that of better promises, even promises of Page 101 spirituall life and eternall blessednesse in heaven, Also if God and man be∣ing by mans fault become utter ene∣mies extremely contrary one to ano∣ther, God had yeelded so farre as to accept of a Mediator hired by man to speake for him; surely it had been great mercy and clemency: for we see that earthly Kings will admit no in∣tercessors for rebells and traytors, ex∣cept feare and necessity drive them unto it. But God in this point shew∣ed mercy beyond all that reason could imagine or expect; when man fled from God, and had no minde, will or inclination to sue for mercy, God sought after him, and offered freely to him a Mediatour not of the ordinary rank of creatures, but his owne Sonne out of his bosome, and that not to speake, plead, or intreat on∣ly for man; but also to be incarnate and made man under the law, and subject to the curse thereof in mans stead, and by yeelding himselfe vo∣luntarily to a cursed death, to make a full satisfaction for mans sinne. O heavens blush, and O earth be a sto∣nished Page 102 at this, to see the sonne of God thus abased for Gods enemies; well might the sunne hide his face when this Mediatour suffered, as the Gospel testifieth. And yet the Lords bounty stayeth not here; he goeth further, & when man neglecteth & despiseth this his bounty, and neither will nor can desire or seeke to be partaker of it, he sendeth his word to call him, and his spirit to convert him and change his heart, and not only to make him hunger, and thirst after Christ and his righteousnesse; but also to unite him to Christ, and to bring him to communion of all his benefits and heavenly treasures. Thus the more that we have multiplied our rebellion and trangression against God to pro∣voke him to wrath, the more hath he magnified his mercy, and enlarged his bounty towards us; and the more that sinne hath abounded in men, the more hath his grace abounded to∣wards them. O let us now at length, when he hath done all these things for us, remember our selves, and turne unto him with sorrow and repentance Page 103 for our sinnes past, let us labour to re∣deeme the time formerly mis-spent in vanity, by double thankfulnesse and obedience; and yet when we have done all we can, let us to his glory professe, that we are unprofitable∣nesse, we have not done halfe our dutie, and if we have any mind to glory and rejoyce, let us glory and tri∣umph in the Lord, and give him all laud and praise for ever and ever.
CHAP. XII. The agreement betweene the Covenant of grace, as it was revealed to the Fathers of the old Testament; and the same renewed and more fully explained in the Gospell.
AFter the agreement and differ∣ence betweene the Covenant of nature and the Covenant of grace plainly laid open, I proceed to shew how the second Covenant, to wit, the Covenant of grace doth agree and differ in respect of the divers publi∣shings and promulgations of it in the Page 104 old and new testament. The Revela∣tion of it in the old Testament, I have reduced to two heads: The one is that by which it was revealed to the Fa∣thers before the Law, and renewed in divers ages; as first, to Adam, second∣ly, to Noah, thirdly, to Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob; The other is the revealing and renewing of it with Israel in the wildernesse, in the giving the law by the Ministery of Moses, after which it continued in one stay untill the coming of Christ: With these two my purpose is now to compare the Covenant as it is now fully revealed in the Gospel; And first with the Covenant as it was revealed to the Fathers before the Law: That old, and this new doe agree divers wayes.
First the parties in generall are the* same in both Covenants. In the Co∣venant with the Fathers, the one par∣tie was God offended by mans sinne, and provoked unto wrath and dis∣pleasure by his rebellion, and so made a consuming and devouring fire unto him. And the other party was man Page 105 by meanes of his fall and corruption now made a rebell and enemy unto God, and as stubble and drosse before his presence. And in the Covenant, as it is revealed in the Gospel, the parties are still the same, even God offended, and man the sinner and offender.
Secondly, they agree in this, that a Mediatour is required in both be∣tweene the parties God and man so* farre separated, and standing at so great a distance, for to make up the breach and the league between them, being at so great odds. And both have one Mediatour, Iesus Christ the promised seed, who alone in heaven and earth is able to stand before the devouring fire, and to make atone∣ment betweene God and man. For that seed of the woman which in the first making of the covenant was pro∣mised to Adam to break the serpents head, Gen. 3. that seed which was promised to Abraham and Isaac, in whom all the Nations of the earth should be blessed, Gen. 12. and 22. that Shiloh which Iacob spake of in his blessing of Iudah, Gen. 49. He Page 106 was the Mediatour in the Covenant betweene God and the Fathers before the law; And he is no other but Ie∣sus Christ, who came in the fulnesse of time; who by having his heel brui∣sed in his sufferings, hath broken the serpents head, that is, destroyed the workes of the devill; who by his A∣postles, Gal. 3. 9. hath called all nati∣ons to the participation of Abrahams blessing, and to justification by faith in him, and who was made and born of a woman a pure virgin by the po∣wer of the holy Ghost, Luk. 1. 35. and is now and ever hath beene, yesterday and to day and the same for ever▪ a perfect redeemer and eternall Media∣tour of the Covenant now under the Gospel, as appears, Ioh. 8. 56. and 14. 6. Ephes. 4. 16. Heb. 13. 8.
Thirdly, in both these Covenants* the substance of the promises is one and the same. As we have the promise of spirituall Life by the Communi∣on of the holy Ghost, both of the life of grace in this world, and of the eter∣nall life of glory in the world to come; so had all the Fathers from the Page 107 beginning. As we have the promise of a true right and title to all earthly blessings also in Christ; so also had they. As God is given to us in Christ to be our portion; So he by Cove∣nant gave himselfe to them to be their God. As we have Christ God and man given unto us to be our Sa∣viour, and his righteousnesse and o∣bedience, with all the merits of his death, to be apprehended by faith for our justification; so had they from the first time of the promise. All this the Apostle sheweth most plainly, Heb. 11. where he sheweth that the forefa∣thers did by faith receive not onely earthly blessings, as the Land of Ca∣naan, deliverance from enemies and oppressors, safety from the flood; but also they embraced the promises of a better life, and of a better coun∣try, even an heavenly, and God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city▪ ver. 16. They received Iesus Christ by saith, and did so firmely beleeve in him, that they esteemed reproach for his sake greater riches then all earthly trea∣sures,Page 108 vers. 26. they by faith became heires of his righteousnesse, vers. 7. and Act. 15. 11. we (saith the Apostle) beleeve to be saved by the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, even as they.
Fourthly, the Covenant made* with the Fathers agrees with the Co∣venant now under the Gospell, in one and the same condition on mans behalfe, to wit, the perfect righteous∣nesse of the Law, and perfect obedi∣ence to the whole revealed will of God, performed not by every beleever himselfe, but by his Mediatour Iesus Christ, God and man, in mans na∣ture. This righteousnesse was made theirs, and is made ours by one and the same meanes, even by communi∣on of the Spirit, and by true faith laying hold upon it, applying it, and offering it up to God. Both the righ∣teousnesse and the meanes by which it is made ours, are free gifts and gra∣ces of God both to the Fathers and us. Neither they were, nor we are suffi∣cient of our selves, or fit to performe any thing for salvation, or to re∣ceive salvation when it is offred free∣ly; Page 109 all our will, all our sufficiency, and all our fitnesse is of God, and ever hath beene. And therefore how∣soever Christ his righteousnesse and satisfaction made unto God in the nature of man, may in respect of Christ our head be called a conditi∣on of salvation which God required on mans behalfe: yet in respect of us and the Fathers also, it is rather a part of the blessing, and one of the free promises in the Covenant, and at our hands God requires no conditi∣on at all, but such as he himselfe doth freely of his grace performe and worke in us and for us. And there∣fore as the Covenant which God hath now made with us, so also that Covenant with the Fathers before the Law was foedus gratuitum, a free Covenant of Grace.
Fiftly, the Covenants both Old* and New agree in the Seales divers wayes.
First, as in that Old, so in this New, outward Seales and Signes are required for to seale and confirme them.
Page 110Secondly, as their seales did signi∣fie* the shedding of Christs Blood, and his cursed death for mans sinne, also mortification and sanctification; so doe the seales of Baptisme and the Lords Supper, which are annexed to our Covenant. As their Seales did both teach the manner of mans re∣demption, and also did serve to con∣firme their faith in it; so doe ours both set before us Christs death and obedience, and our communion with him, and also confirme our faith and confidence in him. As their Sacra∣ments were parts of their profession, and were testimonies of their love to God, and were accounted Gods wor∣ship; so are ours. As their Sacra∣ments did distinguish them from Pa∣gans, Infidels and all strange Sects; so doe ours. As their Sacraments had God their Authour; so ours. Ours and theirs are both Seales of the righteousnesse of Faith, both are effectuall to beleevers onely, both have the same effects, increase of faith, hope, confidence, love, charity among men, and the like. Thus farre the•e Page 111 two Covenants agree in the Seales.
Lastly, they agree in the generall* successe, effect and sufficiency; for both of them have had good successe, and taken effect, and bin sufficient to beget grace in the Elect, & to bring all true beleevers to eternall salvation and blessednesse; As the Covenant plainely revealed in the Gospell, brings all true Christians to beleeve in Christ, and to finde comfort and salvation in his Mediation, Intercessi∣on, Righteousnesse, Resurrection, and victory over death▪ So by the Covenant made of Old with the Fa∣thers:*Adam, Abel, Enoch and Noah, were brought to beleeve in Christ, and were saved Enoch by faith in Christ was translated; Noah by faith made the Arke to the saving of him∣selfe and his houshold; Abraham* saw by faith the day of Christ, and by beleeving in him was justified; Iob rejoyced that Christ God would plead for man with God, and the Son of man for his friend and neighbour, Iob 16. 21. and professed his faith and confidence in the Resurrection Page 112 of Christ his Redeemer, Iob 19. 25.
CHAP. XIII. The difference betweene the Cove∣nant made with the Fathers, and the Covenant with us.
THey differ divers wayes. The* first, which is indeed the greatest difference of all, is in respect of the darknesse and obscurity of the one, and the plainnesse and perspicuity of the other. The Covenant with the Fathers was every way, and in every point more darke and obscure, in∣volved in types and shadowes of Christ. The Covenant in the Gos∣pell is plaine and perspicuous, it re∣moves the vaile, and shewes Christ the substance with open face. In the Old Covenant the severity of Gods justice, and his just wrath and enmity against sinne did not so plainely ap∣peare, because the effect of them was not made manifest upon his own dear Sonne our Mediatour, untill he came to suffer actually such ignominy, re∣proach, Page 113 agonies, and a most ignomi∣nious and cursed death for our sinnes which he tooke upon him to beare, and which were imputed to him, and punished in him our surety: Gods not sparing him, but afflicting him with all his stormes, and delivering him up to hellish paines and agonies, and to a cursed death, doe wonder∣fully shew his infinite wrath against sinne, which was but slenderly and darkely revealed to the Fathers in Types and Figures in the slaughter of Beasts, and burning of sinne-offe∣rings. So likewise, though in the Old Testament we reade of God, and some mention of his Sonne, Psalm. 2. 12. Prov. 30. 4. and of the Spirit of God, and doe finde many phrases which signifie more persons then one or two in one Iehovah: yet the Mystery of the Trinity was not so fully revealed, as now it is in the Gos∣pell, wherein wee have plaine affir∣mation of three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghost, in the unity of Gods essence, and all the three are said to be one, though Page 114 by distinct properties and divers works they are described unto us se∣verally, and distinguished one from another. And hereby we see that the new Covenant of the Gospel is more plaine, and the old more darke, in re∣spect of the parties God and man be∣tweene whom the Covenants are made.
Secondly, in the old, Christ the Mediatour was darkly shadowed out to the Fathers; they had onely this knowledge of Christ, that they should be saved by a Mediator, that this Mediatour should be the seed of the woman, that he should be the Archangell or Prince of Angels, and Emanuel, God with us, yea, and* should be called the mighty God, and should make atonement for sinne, and bring in eternall righteousnesse: But how God and man should in him be∣come* one person, how God in him should be incarnate and humbled, and stand in our place, and beare our sins, how he should fulfill the law in every particular point, how he should satis∣fie Iustice, and suffer the wrath of Page 115 God; these things were not distinct∣ly, nor fully revealed unto them, on∣ly the extraordinary Prophets had some foresight of them, and did more plainely at sometimes describe some of them. But now in the Gospel wee see the person of our Saviour, and his two Natures most plainly set forth be∣fore us, the manner of his Birth and Incarnation, the personal union of his Natures, the manner of his obedi∣ence, death, and satisfaction, and the particular uses of them, as also the vertue of his resurrection and ascen∣sion. And therefore the new Cove∣nant is more plaine in respect of the Mediatour. Thirdly all the promises of eternall life and Salvation, and the condition on mans behalfe, how and after what manner it should be per∣formed; also the things signified and confirmed by the seales, were farre more darke and obscure in the old Covenant. But in the new Cove∣nant of the Gospel, all these things are so plaine, that even children may learne and understand them. And thus in all respects, and in all parts Page 116 the Old was more obscure, and the New is more plaine. And this is the first, and the maine difference. Out of this there doe arise two other, even a second and third difference be∣tweene these Covenants.
The one which is the second in* order, is a difference in the parties re∣ceived into the Covenants. The old Covenant, because of dimnesse and obscurity, did shine forth but a little, and gave light onely to them who were neare at hand; and hereupon it came to passe that it reached to a very few; sometimes but to one or two families, and when it was in greatest force, but to one Nation and people of the world. But the new Cove∣nant in brightnesse of knowledge, and plainenesse of revelation doth shine like the Sunne, and gives light farre and neere to all Nations, even to them that sate in darkenesse, and in the shadow of death. And hereupon it comes to passe, that people of all Nations are received into this Cove∣nant, and the parties which now en∣ter league with God, are not some Page 117 few men, or some one Nation, but all Nations and people of the world, God is one party, and all Nations of the earth are the other party.
A third difference consists in the* power, efficacy, successe, and effect which is divers in these two Cove∣nants; For howbeit they agree in these generally, because both of them have had successe, taken effect, and beene of power to bring many to salvation (as is before noted:) Yet by reason of the obscurity of the old, it hath taken lesse effect, and beene of lesse power. And the new by meanes of plainenesse and light, hath brought with it more excellent gifts, and more abundance of grace to ma∣ny, and hath beene of greater force, power and efficacy, and the Spirit hath wrought more powerfully by it. For (as the Apostle saith) faith, which is, as it were, the roote of other graces, commeth by hearing, and hea∣ring by the Word: where the Word is more plainely preached and heard with understanding, there must needs be greater knowledge and faith, and Page 118 there the Spirit must needes worke more powerfully and effectually, and shew all graces more abundantly in the hearers. Hereupon it comes to passe, that the Old Covenant did worke but weakely in all, except those that were ex••aordinarily called and enlightened, because of the ob∣scurity of it, and unfitnesse to beget knowledge and faith. But by vertue of the N•w the Lord writes his Law in our hearts, and makes us all know him more fully, Ier. 31. 33. and doth poure out his Spirit with aboun∣dance of Grace upon all flesh, Ioel 2. 28
A fourth difference is in the cir∣cumstance* of the promises and gifts, The old Covenant did promise life and salvation in Christ, who then was to come. And Christ who is the foundation of all the promises, though he had then taken upon him to worke mans redemption, and his future death and obedience were ac∣tually in force from the beginning, able to save all beleevers; yet he was not actually come in the flesh, nei∣ther Page 119 had actually performed these things for man. But the new Cove nant doth promise salvation and all blessings in Christ being already come in the flesh. And Christ hath actually performed all things which were needfull for our redemption, and we are by the new Covenant made partakers of his sacrifice already offered, and his righteousnesse alrea∣dy performed for us.
A fifth difference ariseth from the* order and mixture of the promises. The old Covenant did first and chiefely promise earthly and tempo∣rall blessings, as deliverance from bo∣dily enemies and dangers, and plenty of worldly goods, as houses, lands, wealth, riches, encrease of children, length of dayes and such like, and in and under these it did signifie and promise all spirituall blessings and salvation But the new Covenant pro∣miseth Christ and his blessings spiri∣tuall in the first place, and after them earthly blessings. First it brings us to the Kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse thereof, and then it Page 120 ministers other things unto us. A∣gaine the old Covenant abounded in earthly promises of worldly bles∣sings, but had few promises of spiri∣tuall and heavenly blessednesse inter∣mingled; But the new insists almost altogether on heavenly rewards, and promises of spirituall blessings, and hath but few promises of temporall and worldly good things. And thus both the order of the pro∣mises, and the unequall mixture of earthly and heavenly blessings, doe make another difference betweene the old and new Covenant.
Sixtly, they differ in the outward* matter of the seales, the outward rites, and in the order of Sealing. The seals of the old Covenant were many, and those laborious, costly, heavy and burdensome; circumcision was pain∣full, sacrifices were costly, and the many oblations, offerings, and puri∣fications, were a burden too heavy for the fathers to beare. But the seales of* the new are few, and but two, the least number that can be, and those very easie without toyle or cost, or Page 121 paine of body or minde. The matter of the old seales were oxen, sheepe, goats, birds, incense, odours, calves, lambes, cutting of the flesh, shedding of the blood, burning, and killing of divers creatures. The matter of the new seales is onely water sprinkled, and Bread and Wine broken, pow∣red out, distributed, eaten, and drun∣ken, and this is all that the seales differ much in outward matter; also in the order of sealing: for the old was first typically sealed with shadowes, and after with the substance, Christs Bo∣dy and Blood: The new was scaled first with Christs blood and death, and is now sealed by the outward signes dayly in the Sacraments.
Lastly, they differ in perpetuity.* For though the substance of both is one and the same, eternall and un∣changable; yet the forme and manner of making and sealing is changable in the old, but is in the new perpetu∣all. The old Covenant hath new words added to it, even the new Te∣stament; and the outward seales are abolished, and new put in their place: Page 122 But to the words of the new Cove∣nant no more or plainer words shalbe added, neither shall the outward seales thereof be altered, but shall remaine till the comming of the Lord. And therefore the old is but in substance onely; but the new is in all respects perpetuall and unchangeable. Thus much both of the agreement and the difference betweene the old and new Covenant of grace.
FIrst, the agreement which is be∣tween* these two Covenants of grace, doth serve to assure us, that all the faithfull forefathers, from the be∣ginning, did partake of the same gra∣ces with us, and had fellowship and communion of the same spirit, with one and the same Iesus Christ, and were justified by his righteousnesse, and saved eternally by faith in him, even as we are at this day. If sinne in them could have hindred the worke of Gods grace, so it might doe in us; Page 123 for we are sinners as well as they, and God hath as just a quarrell against us. If our Mediator be of power to save eternally, then must they also needs be saved as well as we; for they had the same Christ. He was yesterday, is to day, and shall be the same for ever. If Gods promises be true, & if they can∣not faile; surely they had the same in substance which we have. If salvation doth rest upon the condition of righ∣teousnesse, they had the same which we have, even the righteousnesse of God in Christ, and by the same faith they did partake of it. If seales can helpe any thing at all, they had them also as well as we. And if we may judge of the power of the Covenant, by the successe and effect in some persons, we shall find, that Enoch and Eliah were by the grace of the Old Covenant saved even from bodily death, and taken up into heaven and happinesse. And there∣fore let this consideration of the uni∣ty and agreement which is betweene the new and old Covenant of grace, admonish us not to be puffed up with Page 124 pride, & a false conceipt; as if we one∣ly under the Gospel were respected of God, & saved by faith in Iesus Christ. Let this teach us to thinke reverently of the Fathers in the Old time, and love and reverence the name and re∣membrance of them as Saints glori∣fied in heaven, spirituall members of the same Christ, and partakers of the same grace with us. But above all let this enflame our hearts with a deadly hatred and detestation of all those he∣retickes, and their doctrine, as the Manicheans, Anabaptists, Antinomi∣ans, blasphemous Servetus, and the rest who have not beene ashamed to teach boldly; that the fathers did ne∣ver partake of saving grace in Christ, neither were under the same Cove∣nant of life with us; but onely were fed with temporall promises, and earthly blessings, as hoggs and calves for the slaughter. And let us count the Popish fiction of Limbus patrum a doating dreame, justly to be abhor∣red of all true Christians as a loath∣some abomination.
Secondly, the differences noted be∣tweene*Page 125 the old, and new Covenant of grace, serve to magnifie in our eyes Gods extraordinary love and boun∣ty towards us who now live in the light of the Gospel. Though the Fa∣thers were fed with the true Bread of life, yet in a small measure, and more coarse manner prepared; and though the light of life shined to them, yet it was dimly through clouds and mists. The tast and sight which they had of Christ, did in this life more increase their hunger, then satisfie their appetite, and more increase their thirst after him. They had few ex∣amples, and present patternes of holy men to follow; the number of be∣leevers was small, and so there were but few helpes and encouragements in true Religion. The gifts of the spi∣rit were rare, scarce to be found in two or three among a great multi∣tude; and those gifts of knowledge, faith, and heavenly wisedome, which those few had, were small, and not so eminent. But the Lord hath opened to us the windowes and floodgates of heaven, and rained downe more Page 126 abundantly all blessings upon our heads; he hath made the river of life, which glads the citie of God, flow a∣mong us in full streames; he hath fed us to the full with the bread of life; so that Hypocrites begin like Israel to loath his heavenly Manna: we live in the glorious light, and see Christ clearly; we have many examples of godly men on every side round about us to provoke us, many patternes to worke by; much encouragement, plenty of all gifts of learning, know∣ledge, wisedome, Faith, love and the like. Now how comes this to passe? Is it because we are better then our forefathers, or because wee have bet∣ter deserved? Surely in no case; for they were by many degrees more excellent in naturall gifts then we, lesse rebellious, and more ready to make good use of small meanes, then we are of greatest. Which of us dares compare with Ezoch, Noah, Abra∣ham, or David? As the world grows old, and we grow weake in bodily strength, and low in stature; so we still grow more and more strong Page 127 in corruption and in frowardnesse of heart; And the Lords mercy and bounty is so much greater to us then to them, because we are further from deserving any mercy then they were, and do deserve more misery. The onely thing wherein we are better then they, is this; that the Lord hath shewed more goodnesse to us then them: wherefore let us all confesse and say to the glory of God, that it is his mercy not our merit, to him belongs all the praise. It is not of him that wil∣leth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercy. To him be glory and honour for ever world without end.
NOw having laid downe the a∣greement, and difference be∣tweene the new and old Covenant of grace, that is, the Covenant as it was made with the Fathers before the law, and the Covenant as it is now plainly published in the Gospel, It Page 128 followes now that I should shew the agreement and difference betweene the same pure and plaine Covenant of grace in the Gospel, and the mixt Covenant wch God made with Isra∣el on mount Horeb by the Ministery of Moses which consisted partly of the Covenant of workes, and partly of the Covenant of grace (as is before noted.) If I should insist upon all the Differences and Agreements which are betweene these two Cove∣nants, I should repeat all the agree∣ments and differences which I have before declared to be betweene the Covenant of nature and of grace, and also betweene the old Covenant of grace and the new. For the first part of the Covenant which God made with Israel at Horeb, was no∣thing else but a renewing of the old Covenant of works which God made with Adam in Paradise. And the second part which God made with them, first obscurely when he gave them by Moses the Leviticall Lawes, and ordeined the tabernacle, the Ark, and the mercy seate, which were types Page 129 of Christ; and secondly more plainly in the plaines of Moab which is set downe in the book of Deuteronomie; this was nothing else but a renewing of the Covenant of grace which he had before made with their Fathers, Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob. And therefore the same agreements which I have before shewed to be be∣tweene the Covenant of nature and of grace, the same are betweene the first part of the Covenant which God made at mount Sinai, and the Cove∣nant under which we now live in the Gospel. Likewise there are the same differences, one only excepted; for whereas in the first Covenant of na∣ture God and man were friends, both just and righteous, both lovers, and neither of them offended; now in re∣newing the same Covenant with Is∣rael, the parties were at variance, for God was provoked to wrath, and man by sinne was become an enemy, even as they were at the making of the Covenant of grace.
In like maner, if we consider the second part of the Covenant made Page 130 with Israel, it being the same with the old Covenant of grace, we shall finde betweene it and the new Co∣venant of the Gospel, the same agree∣ments and differences which I have last before shewed to be betweene the old and new Covenant of grace. Wherefore I will now take the whole Covenant which God made with all Israel by the ministery of Moses, as it consists of both these parts joyntly together, and so I will compare it with the Covenant of the Gospel, and shew the agreement and differ∣ence betweene them.
And first for the things wherein they agree, besides those before na∣med, wherein the parts of the Cove∣nant made with Israel, doe agree with the covenant of the Gospel, I find but two onely. First, they agree in the* maine and principall end, namely the revelation of the glory of the goodnesse, justice, and mercy of God in mans salvation; at this they both ayme, and in this they both agree. Secondly, they both agree in this, that* both of them doe promise unto us Page 131 justification and salvation in Christ, and both require in us a continuall endeavour to fulfill the whole law, as neare as we can every man in his own person. For although Christ is the end and fulfilling of the law for righteousnesse to all true beleevers; yet after that we are justified by his righteousnesse, it is required in every one of us, that we should labour to a∣void every sinne against the Law, and doe all holy duties which the law re∣quires, so farre as we are able: this we promise in Baptisme; and whosoever doth wilfully live, and continue in any sin, and purposely abstaine from good when occasion is offered, and omits holy duties which the law re∣quires, as observing of the Sabbath, hearing of the word, and such like, we count him a carnall man, and he hath no part as yet in the Covenant of grace. For he that is justified, is also mortified, and sanctified, and cannot purposely continue in any sin of omission or commission.
CHAP. XVI. The Differences.
BVt the differences between them* are many and great. First, they differ in the manner of requiring obe∣dience to the law, and exacting good workes. The Covenant of Moses requires, that a man shold first endea∣vour to fulfill the whole law, that thereby he may be justified, and live; and if he cannot do so, that then he should flie to sacrifices for sinne, and free-will offerings, and in them, as in types, to Christ and his righteous∣nesse and obedience, that there he may finde that which by the law he cannot obtaine. But the Covenant of the Gospel requires that a man should first renounce himselfe, and all his owne righteousnesse, and seeke salvation and righteousnesse in Christ by faith, and that being justified by grace in Christ, he should by way of thankfulnesse labour to the utmost, Page 133 to bring forth all fruites of holinesse, righteousnesse, and obedience to all Gods commandements, and that for this end, that he may glorifie God, adorne his profession, and be more and more assured of his communion with Christ, and sincere love to God.
Secondly, these Covenants differ * in matter and substance. The matter and substance of the Covenant made by the Ministery of Moses, it was mixt, it was partly conditionall, and partly absolute; partly legall, and partly Evangelicall; it required to justification both workes and faith, but after a divers manner, and it was a mixt Covenant of two divers Co∣venants, both the Covenant of Workes, and the Covenant of Grace.
First, it required workes, that men should doe the workes of the Law and live, and this it did by way of the first Covenant. For the morall Law written in two Tables of stone, and consisting of the ten Comman∣dements which God spake from mount Sinai, is called by the name of Page 134 a Covenant, Deut. 4. 13. He decla∣red to you (saith Moses there) his Covenant which he commanded you to performe, even ten Commande∣ments, and he wrote them upon two Tables of Stone, and Deuter. 9. vers. 9. These two Tables are called the tables of the Covenant: by these testi∣monies it is plain that the law was gi∣ven to Israel as a Covenant which required obedience for justification and life.
Secondly, this Covenant given by Moses, promised Christ, and requi∣red that whēsoever they failed in their obedience to the Law, they should flee to sacrifices and sinne-offerings, which were Types of Christ, and did prefigure, signifie and seale his satis∣faction and atonement for sinne, and that by faith they should seeke righ∣teousnesse and satisfaction in him, and shoul rest upon those promises which God made with their Fathers, that in Christ the blessed seed all Nations of the earth should be bles∣sed. And this is the second, even the Evangelicall part of the Covenant, Page 135 and is called by the name of another Covenant, Deut. 29. 2. For indeed this is the Covenant of Grace, as the other part is the Covenant of Works. This GOD propounds absolutely, the other is conditionall, that a man shall doe it if hee can, and if hee can doe it hee shall live; if hee can∣not, that he should flee by faith to Christ, foreshadowed in types, and promised to the Fathers. Thus the Covenant which God made with Is∣rael, was not a simple, but a mixt Co∣venant, and the matter of it was mixt. But the Covenant of Grace in the Gospell is simple without mixture, and propounds no other way to sal∣vation, but onely in and through Ie∣sus Christ; no justification but that which is by faith in Christs obedi∣ence, without our owne workes. This is a second difference.
The rest of the maine differences* are plainely laid downe by the Apo∣stle Paul, 2 Cor. 3. One is, that the Covenant which God made with Is∣rael, was an old Covenant. For it is called by the Apostle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Page 136vers. 14. But the Covenant made with all Nations by the Gospell, is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the New Covenant, vers. 6. Now the Covenant with Is∣rael may truely bee called Old, and is so indeed in respect of the Co∣venant under the Gospell, for two reasons.
First, because the legall part of it, which was the Covenant of Workes laid downe in the ten Commande∣ments of the Law written in Tables of Stone, is in substance all one with the first Covenant which God made with Man in the state of Innocency; the summe of both is that one thing, Doe this and live.
Secondly, because the Evangeli∣cal part of it, which promised life and righteousnesse in Christ the promised seed, was given after the old manner, as it was to the Fathers before the Law, that is, in generall, darke and obscure promises, & did shew Christ onely afarre off, to come in the lat∣ter ages of the world. But the Cove∣nant of the Gospel is every way new. It is made with us after a new maner; Page 137 It sheweth Christ already come, and that most plainely, and it hath no re∣liques of the Old Covenant of works in it, but teacheth justificatiō by faith without works, even by communion of Christ and of his righteousnesse alone, without any concurrence of our own righteousnesse and workes of the Law concurring for justifica∣tion.
Another difference wch the Apostle* makes betweene these Covenants, is, that the one is the Letter, the other the Spirit. For so he affirmes▪ ver. 6 Now the reasons of this are two especially: The first reason why the Covenant with Israel is called the letter and the Covenant of the Gospel the Spirit, is because Moses who was the mediator of the Covenant with Israel, did give onely the Letter of the Covenant, that is, the Law and the Covenant written in Tables and in Letters, but he could not give the Spirit to make them un∣derstand the Covenant, nor any inward grace and ability to make them keepe it. But Christ the Me∣diator, by whose Ministery the Co∣venant Page 138 of the Gospell is given, hath also the Holy Ghost in himselfe without measure, which Spirit he by his Word, and together with the word of the Covenant, sends into our hearts, and enables us to beleeve and to keepe the Covenant. And as Iohn the Baptist, comparing himselfe and his ministery with the ministery of Christ, saith, I baptize you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire; that is, I give onely the outward signe, but he gives the inward grace: So it may be said of Moses and Christ, that Mo∣ses gave onely the letter or writing of the Covenant; but Christ gives the word, and with it the Spirit of Grace also, which makes it effectuall to sal∣vation. And therefore the Covenant, as it proceeds from Moses, and comes by his Ministery, is but a letter; but that which Christ gave as Media∣tour, is the Spirit.
Another Reason may be drawne from the manner of giving. Moses gave the Covenant written in Letters which many could see, but could not Page 139 read; and many could read, and could not understand; and many could un∣derstand literally, after a naturall and carnall manner according to the pro∣per literall sense, but they could not understand the words spiritually ac∣cording to the spirituall sense, they could not see nor discerne the true scope, end, and use of the Words. But Christ did preach the Covenant of the Gospell, by a lively voyce, in words easie to be understood, which did not onely sound in the eares, but also pierce into the hearts and spirits of the hearers, and did shew not onely the matter, but also the manner, end, and use of every thing, and how the Law and Commandements doe not onely binde the outward man, and require the outward act; but also do binde the inward man, even the soule and spirit, and doe require all holy thoughts, motions & dispositions of the heart and soul: and thus the words of the New Covenant are fit Instru∣ments of the Spirit, and the Spirit doth worke powerfully by them.
Another difference laid downe by*Page 140 the Apostle, verse 13, 14, 18. is, that there was a vaile before the Cove∣nant with Israel, which hindred their sight, so that the people could not looke into the end, nor see the right use of the Law and the ceremonies thereof. But the Covenant of the Gospell is given with much evidence of speech, and therein we all with open face behold, as in a glasse, the glory of the Lord. Now this vaile consisted of two parts: The first was the darknesse and blindnesse of their hearts, and the weaknesse of their sight: The second was the obscurity and darknesse of the Covenant it selfe, which both in respect of the words, and also of the Seales, the Types and Figures, was very darke, and hard to be understood: First, the people themselves were naturally by reason of originall corruption blinde and ignorant, and not able to see the right end and use of the Law and Covenant; yea, their sight was so weake, that they could no more looke upon Gods glory, then the weake eye of a man can looke upon Page 141 the bright Sunne when it shineth in full strength; and therefore being not able to looke upon the glory of God shining in the Covenant, they could in no case see into the end and use of it, and so their owne weake∣nesse and blindnesse was a vaile unto them, and is this day to all the Iewes, till their hearts be converted to the Lord, vers. 16. and till he powres out his Spirit on them. Secondly, the words of the Covenant were spoken, and the Seales and Ceremonies or∣dained after such an obscure manner, that a vaile of darknesse did hang over them, till Christ by his actuall fulfilling of them, and by the words of the New Covenant in the Gospel, did make all plaine, and pull away the vaile of darknesse. This obscurity of the Covenant proceeded from three speciall causes; the first was Gods hi∣ding and concealing of his purpose in the giving of the Law. For his purpose in giving the Morall Law, was not that Israel should doe it and be justified thereby, which after mans fall and corruption is impossible; Page 142 but onely to teach them and us what is true and perfect righteousnesse which leadeth unto life, and to make all men examine themselves by it as by a rule; that by it finding them∣selves destitute of righteousnesse, and utterly unable to performe righteous∣nesse, they might be driven out of themselves, and so prepared to re∣ceive Christ, and embrace his righte∣ousnesse. Also Gods purpose and counsell in giving the Ceremoniall law, was not that men should per∣forme them as any part of righteous∣nesse to justification; neither did he ordaine them to be of themselves pur∣gations from sinne, and expiations of iniquity, but onely to be Types foreshadowing Christ, and his all-suf∣ficient sacrifice, and seales of the Co∣venant wch did seal it, not by any ver∣tue in them, but by vertue of Christs which they signified. Now though this was Gods counsell and purpose in giving the law morall and Cere∣moniall. yet he did conceale, and not in plaine words expresse it; he told them not that he meant by putting Page 143 them upon the performance of the law, to make them find out their own weaknesse and insufficiency, and thereupon flee to Christ the end of the law, and the substance of the Ce∣remonies and sacrifices:
But contrarily he required their performance of the Law for the ob∣taining of life, and did so speake as though it had beene possible for them to fulfill it, and to be justified there∣by; and so they commonly did under∣stand his words erroniously, even as the Papists doe at this day, thinking that God would never have com∣manded them to doe the Law, if hee had not knowne that it was in their power to doe it, as he commanded; and this was the first cause of the ob∣scurity of that Covenant.
The second cause, was the mixture of the legall part of the Covenant with the Evangelicall, and the joy∣ning of them both as it were in one continued speech. For first God re∣quired by the morall law, that they should do it for the obtaining of life; then immediatly he addes unto it the Page 144 ceremoniall law, and ordained sacrifi∣ces for sin (which did declare them to be sinners, and so destitute of righte∣ousnesse) and gave them divers types and shadowes of Christ, and by that law he required obedience and do∣ing, upon paines of death and cutting off, so that the people of Israel did still imagine themselves to be in the Covenant of workes; and from that manner of speech used by God, and from the title of laws and statutes which God gave to the Ceremonies, and from the words before going, they gathered that the sacrifices, obla∣tions, and other rites were rather laws to be observed for righteousnesse, then seales of the Covenant of grace, and signes of Christ and his righte∣ousnesse; they thought the use of them to consist in doing, not in signifying, and stirring up of faith to lay hold on Christ: and this was a second cause of the darknesse of that Covenant.
The third cause was the great pe∣nurie, and scarcitie of Evangelicall promises in that Covenant, and the great inequality and disproportion Page 145 which was betweene them and the legall Commandements of Workes. For in that Covenant we finde few promises of life & salvation, but only upon condition of Workes. Christ is very seldome pointed at in plaine words. The Evangelicall promises as they are rare & very few in all the Bookes of the Law which God gave them by Moses; so they are either very generall, or else very obscure, more then those which were given to the Fathers long before: But the Legall Commandements and Pro∣mises are many, and those very plaine in every place.
And this was a speciall cause which made the people of Israel to misconstrue the meaning of that Co∣venant, and to thinke that all salva∣tion was to be obtained by Workes; and thus the Covenant was obscure, and the end thereof was hid from their sight, they could not understand the true use of the Types and Cere∣monies. But the Covenant of the Gospell is made in such plain words, and doth after such a lively manner Page 146 set forth Christ and his perfect Ran∣some, satisfaction and righteousnesse unto us, and the true way to justifica∣tion and salvation by faith in him, that the most simple may understand it; and with that plaine Doctrine and multitude of Promises the Spirit of God workes powerfully, and is gi∣ven by Christ in such measure to all sorts of people, that the darkenesse of their hearts is abolished also, and so there is no vaile, neither over their hearts, nor over the Covenant it selfe; but as Christ is plainely offe∣red in the Word, so their hearts are enlightned and enabled to looke on his glory, and they are transformed into the same image; and hereupon there comes to be great difference in this respect betweene the Covenant of the Gospell, and the Covenant of the Law which God gave by Mo∣ses.
From these two last Differences, there doe arise others which are there laid downe by the Apostle also; to wit, That the Old Covenant of the Law is the ministery of death, but the Page 147 Covenant of the Gospell is the mini∣stery of the Spirit and of Life, 2 Cor. 3. 7. The Old is the occasion of sinne, and so the ministery of con∣demnation; the New, of righteous∣nesse to justification. The Old brings bondage, the New liberty. The Old is lesse glorious, and yet dazled the eyes of the Israelites, that they could not looke on it stedfastly; The New is full of glory, and yet we can behold in it with open face the glory of God, verse 18. These particular Differences are all named and noted by the Apostle, and they doe arise from the two last going before. For Reason tells us, that be∣cause the Old Covenant was given by the Ministery of Moses a fraile man, and was darke and obscure, sub∣ject to be misconstrued, and was not plainely preached by lively voyce, but onely written in dead Letters in Tables of Stone; therefore it was no fit instrument for the Spirit to worke by; the Spirit did not worke by it such plenty of Knowledge, Faith, and other Graces. It did onely Page 148 shew them what they should do, but enabled them not to do any thing, ra∣ther made them: more sinfull, in pro∣voking their corrupt naturewch more lusts after evils forbidden; & it made their sins more wilfull, which before were done in ignorance; and thus it became the Ministery of Sin, Death, and Condemnation unto them. It al∣so brought them into bondage, by shewing them their slavish condition, & giving them no grace to flee from that miserable estate. It dazled their eyes, because it shewed them the glo∣rious Majestie & Iustice of God; but gave them not the Grace of the Spi∣rit, to strengthen their sight, to looke with boldnesse and comfort upon Gods majesticall justice. But because the Covenant of the Gospell is made in plain words, and given by a Medi∣atour who hath also the disposing of the Spirit, & dispensing of Spirituall Grace; therefore it is a fit instrument for the Spirit to worke by, & the Spi∣rit goeth forth in great power, by, and with the publication of it, which re∣generates men, & renues their hearts, Page 149 knits thē into one Body with Christ, gives them the Communion of all his Righteousnesse and Obedience to ju∣stification of Life, frees them from all feare and bondage, makes them run freely and willingly in the way to life, and in the pathes of Gods Com∣mandements; enables them to stand boldly before the glorious Tribunall of Gods Iustice, and gives them an heavenly eye-salve to their sight, that they may stedfastly behold GODS glory in the face of Iesus Christ. And thus in those respects those two Co∣venants doe much differ betweene themselves.
The last difference is named by the Apostle in the 11 verse, and it is this, That the Covenant of the Law given by Moses, and the glory there∣of vanishes, and is done away: but the Covenant of the Gospell, and the glory thereof abideth for ever. Which Difference is thus to be un∣derstood, not that the substance of the Law, or the righteousnesse there∣of ceaseth at any time, neither that the Evangelical promises which were in∣termingled Page 150 in that Covenant, are a∣bolished together with the Types and Ceremonies. These things are in no case to be granted: for the Law of God is an eternall rule of Truth and Iustice, & by the righteousnesse, obe∣dience and fulfilling thereof all the Elect shall be justified, and saved for ever. This our Saviour testifieth, say∣ing, Think not that I am come to de∣stroy the Law, but to fulfill it; for veri∣ly, till heaven and earth passe, not one jot or title of the Law shall passe, Mat. 5. 17. Also his blessed Apostle, Rom. 3. 31. Doe we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid; yea, we e∣stabish the Law, & Rom. 10. 4 Christ is the end or fulfilling of the Law for righteousness to every beleever. And if we rightly consider the Ceremonies and the promises given to Israel, wee shall perceive that Christ was the Bo∣dy & substance of them all; and there∣fore so long as hee abideth, the sub∣stance of them abideth firme & sure, and doth not vanish. Wherefore the Law & Covenant wch God gave by Moses doth vanish and is abolished onely in three respects.
Page 151First, in respect of the extreme rigour thereof; for as it was given to Israel it required obedience of every man in his owne person to justifica∣tion and life; but now it onely re∣quires that a man have that righte∣ousnesse which is a perfect conformi∣ty to it, though performed by his surety and mediatour, and that shall sufficiently save him. Before it did require perfect righteousnesse, upon paine of damnation, performed by every man himselfe, and threatned a curse to every breach of it. Now it bindes a man himselfe to performe no more then he is able; if hee doth his best, and brings a willing minde, God accepts the will for the deed; because now we are not to obey the Law for justification; Christ hath done that for us. Now we are to obey it in thankfulnesse and in imitation of Christ, that we may be conforma∣ble to his Image, and by holinesse made fit to see God, and to injoy the inheritance which Christ hath pur∣chased for us.
Secondly, the Law and Covenant Page 152 givē by Moses is abolished in respect of the outward administration. Their obedience to the morall Law was first preached; and afterwards the sacrifice of Christ was promised in types and figures. But now Christ is first preach∣ed, and then after justification in him, the Law is set as a rule to walk by in the wayes of sanctification; and also to shew how it is impossible to finde perfect righteousnes, & to be justified and saved, but only in Christ. There the promises were set forth and sealed darkly in types and figures, but now these figures and ceremonies are cea∣sed, and Christ the substance of them is set forth naked in his owne colours before our eyes.
Thirdly, the Covenant given by Moses may be said to vanish and be abolished in respect of the light and glory of it. For the light and glory of it, which it then had, is swallowed up of the great light of the Gospell. The glory of it was but like a dimme light or candle, but the glory of the Gospell is like the light of the Sunne at noone day, so Page 153 that before it the light of the Law is put out, and appeares no more then the light of a Candle in the bright Sun-shine. Now the Apostle tels us, that, When that which is perfect is*come, then that which is in part is a∣bolished. And in our common speech we say, that the brightnes of the Sun destroyeth and putteth out the light of a Candle, that it is as good as no∣thing; and so wee may in the same sense say, that the Covenant of the Law is abolished in respect of the light and glory of it; For the glory of it which was but in part is swal∣lowed up by the great light of the glorious Gospell. But the Cove∣nant of the Gospell abideth in all respects firme and sure for ever, and we must never expect a plainer re∣newing of it to the end of the world. And thus I have out of the holy Scriptures, and especially from the words of the Apostle discovered plainely the agreement and difference betweene the mixt Covenant which God made with Israel by Moses, and the pure and simple Covenant Page 154 of Grace made with all Nations in the Gospell, and published by Christ and his holy Apostles and Evange∣lists.
THe consideration whereof dis∣covers* to us the singular provi∣dence of God in ordering the world, and his wonderfull wisedome, good∣nesse and mercy in preparing and giving meanes of grace and salvati∣on fitted for the people of every Age according to their severall dispositi∣ons, and the necessity of every Age and generation. In the first ages next unto the state of Innocency, when men lived divers hundreds of yeeres, and had the helpes of long ob∣servation and great experience, be∣sides the instructions and historicall relations of long-lived Progenitors; who, as eye and eare-witnesses, could from Adam, Methushelah and Noah, rehearse Gods great workes from the Creation, and teach them Page 155 the knowledge of God; then the Lord dealt more sparingly, and afforded but small and rare meanes, even a few visions, revelations, and generall and obscure promises to turne men from their owne wayes, and draw them to seeke salvation in him. But when mens ages and lives were shortned by the increase of corruption, and by mens multi∣plying of iniquity, and growing more hard, stubborne, and rebel∣lious; The Lord, to the former pro∣mises made to the Fathers, added a fiery Law which he gave from mount Sinai, in thunder and lighte∣ning, and with a terrible voyce to the stubborne and stiffenecked Israe∣lites; whereby to breake and tame them, and to make them sigh and long for the promised Redeemer, when they were pressed with the bondage of the Law, and with the intolerable burden of Rites and Ce∣remonies. And when after many ages they were growne so desperately rebellious, that they scorned Gods Messengers, rejected his Lawes and Page 156 Commandements; misused and persecuted his extraordinary Pro∣phets, who wrought wonders in their sight, and slew his servants which he sent unto them; Then at last hee sent his sonne in whom hee fulfilled all the promises made to the Fathers, who also fulfilled the Law both Morall and Ceremoniall, and made reconciliation for sinne and iniqui∣ty, and brought in eternall righte∣ousnesse, and hath made with all the world the New Covenant of the eternall Gospell of peace, by which we receive the promise of the Spirit, who workes in us all grace to the mortifying of the Old man, subdu∣ing the rebellious flesh, casting downe of the strong holds of sinne and Satan, and bringing all thoughts in captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Thus as the world hath had more need of stronger helpes and power∣full meanes, God in his wise pro∣vidence hath increased and supplied them in severall Ages; and as sinne hath more abounded, and stubburn∣nesse Page 157 and hardnesse increased; so God hath more shewed his good∣nesse, magnified his mercy, and en∣larged his bounty, by giving more powerfull meanes, by renuing and explaining the Covenant of life and salvation, and making his Grace more to abound towards the sonnes of men. And therefore let us hereby be stirred up to take notice of Gods speciall providence, how he respecteth the sonnes of sinfull men, and is mindfull of them to visite them, and take care for them in all Ages: Let us admire his wisedome, extoll his goodnesse and mercy, and labour to bring forth a∣bundance of fruit, according to the culture and tillage, and the power∣full meanes of Grace which God hath bestowed upon us under the Gospell.
Let us be ashamed and confoun∣ded in our selves, for our barren∣nesse after so many plentifull showers powred downe upon us; and acknowledge and con∣fesse that we had long agone beene Page 158 over-growne with all wickednesse, and swallowed up of our sinnes and iniquities, if the Lord had not by the strong hand of his glorious Gospell, and his mighty and powerfull Spirit shed forth plentifully through Iesus Christ in these last dayes, stopt the current of our sinfull corruption, and staid us from running headlong into destruction. As for them who in this great light of the Gospell, mul∣tiply their workes of darknesse, and make their sinnes and transgressions ascend up in great multitudes like thicke cloudes towards heaven, and doe hate and persecute the truth which shineth unto them, and love the darknesse of errours more then the light of sound doctrine; Let them know that their rebellion against the light deserves the reward of the mist and blacknesse of dark∣nesse for ever; Let them feare and justly suspect that they are the ground which the Apostle speakes of, Hebr. 6. 8. which when it hath drunken in the raine which oft com∣meth upon it, doth bring forth no Page 159 good fruit, but thornes, briers, and poysonfull stinking weedes, and therefore is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned. And just it is with God, that hee should send such persons strong de∣lusions, that they should beleeve the lies of the man of sinne, and dote af∣ter errours and heresies, that they all may be damned who have not re∣ceived the love of the truth that they might be saved; but have taken pleasure in unrighteousnesse, as the Apostle hath foretold, 2 Thess. 2. 11, 12.
CHAP. XVIII. Of the Law and the Gospell, and the agreement and difference betweene them.
NOw the last thing onely re∣maines, to wit, the description of the Law and the Gospell, and their agreement and difference. This may quickly be dispatched in few words, for their agreement and difference may easily bee discerned by those Page 160 things which have beene already de∣livered; the onely thing which is now necessarily to be touched, is the meaning of the words, and the divers significations of them. These being made plaine, it will appeare that all the agreements and differences be∣tween them have been before fully laid open and expounded.
First, for the Law, it is in the Ori∣ginall Hebrew Scriptures called (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Torah) a word derived of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Horah, which signifieth to teach, to instruct, to admonish, and also to shoot forth Arrowes and Darts; and so if wee consider it according to the true notation of the name, by Law in Scripture may be understood any Doctrine, Word, or Writing which doth teach, instruct and admonish men how they ought to live, and how to walke before God, or among men, and any Precept which as a Dart or Arrow is fastened in our hearts by our Teachers.
But in the New Testament the Law is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and is derived of Page 161 the verb 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which signifies to di∣stribute, because the Law injoyneth to distribute and give to God and men their due, and the revelation of the Word and Law is Gods distribu∣tion or dividing of his promises and his will amongst men. So then the word Law, considered according to the naturall sense of it in the Ori∣ginall Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, may signifie any Doctrine, Instruction, Law, Ordi∣nance, Custome, and Statute humane or Divine, which doth teach, direct, command or binde men to any du∣ty which they owe to God, or any of his creatures. And indeed thus far the signification of it doth extend. For in Scripture it signifies, some∣times the speciall Lawes of Heathen Nations, as of the Medes & Persians, and the statutes and customes of men according to which they live among themselves, and their doctrines and instructions; but I omit the humane significations of it, as not necessary for our present purpose; and I come to the divine which are divers in Scrip∣ture.
Page 1621 First, this word (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Torah) signifies, in a most large sense, any godly or profitable Counsell, Do∣ctrine, Instruction, or Precept which Parents give to their children, or one man to another, either by word or writing, which is not con∣trary, but according to the will of God and the rule of godlinesse, and serves to direct a man how to live or how to walke, either in his generall or particular calling. Thus the word is often used in the Booke of the Proverbes, as Chap. 3. 1 and 4. 2. and 7. 2. In which places the wise man exhorts his sonne to keepe his Law, that is, all his Precepts, Counsels, and Doctrines, and not to forget or for∣sake them.
2 Sometimes it signifies in a large sense, the whole Doctrine of the Word of God, which he hath at any time revealed, or doth reveale in the whole Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament; and so it in∣cludes the Law of Moses, the writings of the Prophets, and all the Evangeli∣call promises made unto us in Christ Page 163 from the beginning; thus it is used, Psal. 1. 2. in these words, But his de∣light is in the Law of the Lord, and Psal. 19. 7. The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soule, that is, Gods Word, for the Law alone with∣out the Gospell cannot convert soules, and Psal. 1 19. in divers places where the Law is said to quicken, and to be the godly mans delight, and to comfort him in trouble.
3 Sometimes this word signi∣fies onely the Scriptures of the Old Testament, as Iohn 15. 25. where our Saviour citing a speech out of the 35 Psalme 19 verse, saith it is writ∣ten in the Law, that is, the Old Testa∣ment. And the Apostle, 1 Cor. 14. 21. repeating the words of Isaiah, Chap. 28. 11. saith it is written in the Law.
4 Sometimes it signifies the whole Doctrine of the five Bookes of Moses, as Iosh. 1. 7, 8. Let not the Booke of the Law depart out of thy mouth, and Luke 24. 44. where our Saviour distinguisheth the Law, that is, the writings of Moses from the Page 164Psalmes and the Prophets. Also Mat▪ 12. 5. Ioh. 7. 23. and Ioh. 8. 17. things written in the Booke of Genesis as well as things written in the other 4. books are said to be writtē in the law.
5 Sometimes the word Law sig∣nifies in a more strict sense, The Do∣ctrine of the Law, as it is different frō the doctrine of Grace, and is opposed to the plaine Doctrine of the Gospel; that is, the whole summe of Precepts, Morall, Ceremoniall, and Iudiciall, set downe in the Writings of Moses; thus the word is used by the Apostle in the Epistles to the Romanes and Galatians, where hee opposeth the Law and Doctrine of Workes to the Gospell and Doctrine of Faith.
6 Sometimes by law in a most strict sense is meant, either the morall Law conteined in the ten Commande∣ments, as Exod. 24. 12. or any of the Ceremoniall Lawes, as the Law of the burnt-offering, Levit. 6. 9. the Law of Sacrifice, vers. 14. the Law of the sinne-offering, vers. 24. or the Iudiciall Law, and any precept ther∣of, as Exod. 18. 16. Deut. 17. 11.
Page 1657 Sometimes the word Law sig∣nifies the Doctrine of the Gospell, which as a new Law commands us to repent of all our sins, and to be∣leeve in Iesus Christ. Thus the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is used, Isa. 2. 3. where the Pro∣phet saith, That in the last dayes the Law shall go forth out of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Ierusalem; meaning the publishing of the Gos∣pell from thence into all Nations of the world; and the Gospell as it in∣joyneth us to beleeve, is called the Law of Faith, Rom. 3. 27.
8 Sometimes the word Law sig∣nifies the power, authority, and domi∣nion, either of the flesh and the Old man of sin dwelling in our members; or of the Spirit and the New man ru∣ling in the mind, where the Apostle* saith, I see another Law in my mem∣bers, warring against the Law of my mind; that is, I see the power of sinfull corruption, and of the Old man stri∣ving against the Spirit, or part renu∣ed, and Rom. 8. 2. For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Iesus hath freed me from the law of sin and death.
Page 166These are the divers significations of the word Law, which is called To∣rah in the Old, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the New Testament.
The word Gospel is in the Hebrew text in the old Testament called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Bessorah, and in the new Testament 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they both signifie good news, glad tidings, and a joyfull message; the one is derived of the Hebrew verb (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Bissar) and the other of the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which both sig∣nifie one thing, namely to tell good news, or bring glad tydings. For the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, it is diversly used in Scripture, and in other Greek Authors.
Sometimes for the reward which is given to one for bringing good newes, as 2 Sam. 4. 10. where there∣ward which the man expected from David for the tydings of Sauls death is by the 70 called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and in the Hebrew Bessorah. Sometime in hea∣then writers, the sacrifices which men offered up in thankfulnesse for good newes, as in Xenophon lib. 1. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in Isocrates Areopag.
Page 167Sometimes it signifies good newes in generall of what matter soever, as 2 Sam. 18.27. David said of Ahi∣maaz, he is a good man, he bringeth good tydings, the word is in the He∣brew Bessorah, and in the Greeke 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. But in the New Testament the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, doth alwayes sig∣nifie the good tydings and joyfull message of Iesus Christ the Saviour of the world, and of Redemption by him, and so we alwayes use the word Gospell in our English tongue; And when the word Gospell is thus re∣strained unto the message, and tydings of Christ, I finde it three wayes used in Scripture and in our common speech.
Sometimes it is opposed to the Doctrine of the Law which teacheth to seeke life and salvation by our owne workes, and then it signifies the whole Doctrine of salvation by Ie∣sus Christ, written in the Old and New Testament, and preached by all the ministers of Christ, unto the end of the world, as Rom. 1.9. God is my witness whom I serve with my Spirit, Page 168 in the Gospel of his sonne. and Gal. 3. 8. where the promise of Christ to Abra∣ham is called the Gospel, and Eph. 1. 13. where the doctrine of beleeving and trusting in Christ is called the Gospel of salvation. In this large sense it includes all the promises of Christ in it which were made from the beginning to the fathers, before the Law, and by the prophets under the Law,
Sometimes it is opposed to all the promises of the old Testament made to the fathers before the Law, and by the prophets before the coming of Christ, and then it signifies that joy∣full message, and word which is com∣prehended in the new Testament, which declares that Christ is already come in the flesh, and what he hath done for our redemption, and how we must be brought to communion of life, and salvation in him. Thus it is used, Mark. 1. 14. where it is said, that Iesus Christ preached in Galilee the Gospel of the Kingdome of God, and Mark. 16. 15. Goe preach the Gospel to every creature. When the Page 169 Word is thus taken, it differs, and is distinguished from the promises of Christ to come which are called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. It signifies Christ already come.
Sometimes this Word is restrained to the written History of Christ, from his Conception and Birth, to his Ascension, as it is recorded by the Evangelists in the New Testa∣ment; thus the word is used, Marke 1. 1. Where the Evangelist begin∣ning his holy History, saith; The beginning of the Gospell of Iesus Christ; and thus we use the word, when wee speake of the Gospell of Saint Matthew, or of Luke, or of Iohn; meaning the History of Christ written by them.
Now having laide downe the true signification of these two words, Law and Gospell, and shewed the divers acceptions of them; It is easie▪ to gather the agreement and differences which are between them. If we take the word Law in the most large sense, for the whole word of God, then it includes all the Gospell Page 170 in it, and then they differ and agree as the whole body differs from, and agrees with a part of it selfe. The Law is the whole Word of God, and the Gospell a part of it. If wee take the Law for the Scriptures of the Old Testament, or for the writings of Moses, then it includes in it a part of the Gospell; namely, the promises of the Messiah, and the doctrine of salvation in him to come. And from the other part of the Gospell, to wit, the glad tidings of Christ already come, it differs as the Old Testament from the New, and the mixt Cove∣nant from the pure Covenant of Grace.
If we take the word Law, for the new Law the Gospell of Grace, then the new Law and the Gospell are all one and the same. But if wee take the Law for the doctrine of Commandments, Morall, Ceremoni∣all, and Iudiciall, it differs from the Gospell so farre as the first part of the Covenant of God given by Moses dif∣fers frō the pure Covenant of Grace. And lastly, if we by Law understand Page 171 the Morall, then it differs from the Gospell, so farre as the first Cove∣nant of Workes differs from the se∣cond Covenant of Grace.
But if we take the Gospell in the most common and usual sense for the glad tydings of Christ already exhi∣bited, and for the whole Doctrine of the New Testament, and by Law doe understand (as the word common∣ly signifies) the Covenant which God made with Israel by Moses, and the pure Covenant of Grace made with all Nations, doe agree and differ betweene themselves.
Now the use of these Doctrines is manifold,
First, they serve to set us in a more* sure way to salvation, and also to guide and keepe us therein to the end, in that they shew us every turning, and every by-way, both on the right hand and on the left, and how wee may avoyd them all. Many are the errours which have beene raised up in the Church of God from the first time of the publishing of the Gospell untill this day. In the time of the Page 172 apostles, some taught that the law was to be observed, together with the Gospell and the Ministery of Moses, with the Ministery of Christ, and that none could be justified or saved without circumcision and observati∣on of the Lawes of Moses. Against them the Apostle disputes in the whole Epistle to the Galatians.
Some did utterly destroy the Law and all use of good works, & taught faith alone without works of sancti∣fication at all. Against them the Apo∣stle S. Iames disputes. Some utterly rejected the Old Testament, as the Manichaeans in Old time, and now the Anabaptists. Some did set up their owne righteousnesse, as the Iewes, Rom. 10. 3. and the Papists at this day.
Now if we rightly understand the doctrines before laid downe be∣tweene the Old and New Covenant, the Law and the Gospell, wee shall easily discerne the wickednes of these errours, and shall see the right way to justification and Salvation. We shall so understand the Scriptures of the Page 173 Old and New Testament, that wee shall out of them be able to answer all Heretiques and adversaries of the truth.
And therefore whatsoever some thinke of this Discourse of the Old and New Testament; the first and the second Covenant, the Old and the New, mixt and pure Covenant of Grace; and concerning the Law and the Gospell: Yet I am sure that others of better judgement, who receive with due respect and reverence all holy doctrine, shall find infinite pro∣fit, benefit, and comfort, if they lay these things to heart, and keepe them in continuall remembrance. Which grace the Lord grant unto us all for his own mercies sake in Iesus Christ, and to this small Worke of a weake Instrument give a blessing. To whose holy Name be all praise and glory now and for ever.