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And finally, Paul by a long enumeration of examples, which he took from the Old Testament fathers, attempts to prove this general truth, Heb. xi. 6. " without faith it is impossible to please God."

XLII. Our adversaries object, that the passages abovementioned treat only of a general faith in God, and not of a special faith in Christ. We deny not that as Christ was then more obscurely revealed, so believers had likewise a less distinct knowledge of him; yet we boldly affirm, that they had some knowledge, and sufficient for their time, upon the authority of our Lord, who says, "Abraham saw my day and rejoiced," John viii. 56. and of Paul, who testifies concerning Moses, Heb. xi. 26. " that he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt;" and concerning the other fathers, ver. 13." that they saw the promises afar of, and embraced them," and lastly of Peter, who tells us, 1 Pet. i. 11. that the Prophets" searched what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." Since then, these things were said of the heroes of that time, it will not be hard to determine, what we are to judge concerning other believers according to their rank and station. And the Patriarchs and Prophets had not acted the part of honest men, if they had enviously concealed from other believers such an excellent talent, which was committed to their trust.

XLIII. The Apostle writes nothing in opposition to this truth when he says, Gal. iii. 23. " but before faith came, we were kept under the law." For it is far from the Apostle's intention to deny, that faith in Christ prevailed before his coming in the flesh, because, in the same chapter, he had highly commended the faith of Abraham, and proposed it as a pattern to us all, ver. 6, 7, 9. But by faith we here understand either the object of faith, the doctrine of the Gospel, as chap. i. 23. and the Lord Jesus himself, believed on the world, 1 Tim. iii. 16. or, the faith of the redemption already actually wrought out, as contradistinguished from the hope of the Old Testament Saints, who with earnest longing, as it were, expected the coming of the Lord, "waiting for the consolation of Israel," Luke ii. 25. And thus we have now shewn, that the Old Testament Saints had the same promises of eternal life with us to be obtained by the same Christ and the same faith in him, and consequently also had the same covenant of grace with us.



Of the different Economies or dispensations of the Covenant of Grace.

1. IT nevertheless pleased God, at sundry periods of time, and in diverse manners, to dispense the same covenant of grace. We shall exhibit, in this chapter, a short representation of these dispensations in such a method, as first simply to explain what in this matter, seems to us most exactly agreeable to the whole tenour of Scripture; then freely, but calmly weigh the reflections of other learned men.

II. This diversity of economies is comprized under two principal heads, which the Apostle calls by the names of the OLD and NEW TESTAMENT, where we are to note, that by the Old Testament, we are by no means to understand the legal covenant, obtaining salvation by our own works; that being very different from the covenant of grace. But according to us and Paul, the Old Testament denotes the testament [or covenant] of grace, under that dispensation, which subsisted before the coming of Christ in the flesh, and was proposed formerly to the fathers under the vail of certain types, pointing out some imperfections of that state, and consequently that they were to be abolished in their appointed time: or as Calvin has very well expressed it, Institut. lib. 2. chap. xi. Sect. 4. "the Old Testament was a doctrine involved in a shadow and ineffectual observation of ceremonies, and was therefore temporary, because a thing in suspense, till established on a firm and substantial bottom." The New Testament is the testament [or covenant] of grace; under that dispensation, which succeeded the former, after being consecrated and established by the blood of Christ. For this reason Christ calls the cup, which he reached to his Disciples in the supper, "the cup of the new testament in his blood," Mat. xxvi. 28. To signify that then at length the New Testament would be perfected when sealed by the blood of the testator, which he shed at his death.

III. It is carefully to be observed, that the difference of these testaments is not to be placed in the subsistance of the promised inheritance; as if, under the Old Testament, was allotted the inheritance of the land of Canaan, and the inheritance of heaven under the New. Nothing can be imagined less accurate and just. The allotment of the heavenly inheritance proceeds from the testament of grace, absolutely considered, which remains in


variably one and the same under every economy. Only the same inheritance is proposed in a different manner. In the Old Testament, under shadows, and in a certain period thereof, under the pledge of the land of Canaan, and which at the appointed time was to be purchased by the death of the testator. In the New Testament clearly without a pledge to which any regard was to be had, and as now purchased by the death of the testator. The promise of the common salvation which is in Christ whether formerly made to the fathers, or to us at this day, does not belong to the Old and New Testament as such, but absolutely to the testament or covenant of grace. The difference of the testaments consists in the different manner of dispensing and proposing the same saving grace, and in some different adjuncts and circumstances. Whatever was typical in that dispensation, and denoted imperfection, and an acknowledgement that the ransom was not yet paid, belongs to the Old Testament. Whatever shews that the redemption is actually wrought out is peculiar to the New Testament. Without carefully adverting to this, it is not possible, we can have a distinct knowledge of the nature of both testaments.

IV. But let us insist a little further on this point, if pssibly we may advance what may set the truth in a clear light. Three things are to be distinguished: the testament of grace the Old and New Testament. To each its own inheritance is to be assigned: That of the testament of grace is eternal salvation, with every thing belonging to it, through Jesus Christ; which is equally common to believers in all ages. The Old and New Testament being different economies of this one testament of grace which they comprize: suppose also and include the same heavenly inheritance. But in so far as they are different, the inheritance also attributed to each, is different: but that difference consists chiefly in two things, first, in the different manner of proposing it, which I hope I have now clearly explained; then in the circumstantial adjuncts of the principal inheritance; which, in the Old Testament are, the inheritance of the land of Canaan, as a pledge of heaven, with a bondage to the elements of the world, and the exclusion of the Gentiles, and a less measure of the spirit of grace. In the New Testament the inheritance of the Gentiles, with liberty, and a more plentiful measure of grace.

V. We begin the economy of the Old Testament immediately upon the fall, and the first promise of grace, and end it in Christ; as both the nature of the thing and Scripture direct us to do. We argue from the nature of the thing in this manner : since believers had the covenant of grace proposed and confirmed to them, immediately after the fall, by such signs, as con

tained a confession that guilt was not yet expiated; and which therefore were, at the time appointed, to be abrogated by the introduction of the New Testament; there can be no reason, why the promise thus proposed and ratified should not be the Old Testament. We don't reckon the promise of the seed of the woman, bruising the serpent's head, and of the enmity established between the seed of both, as belonging to the Old Testament, for these things absolutely belong to the covenant of grace in general, but the sacrifices, which were added, and by the blood of which that testament was confirmed, belong indeed to the Old Testament. It appears more than probable to us, with some very learned men, from the Mosaic history, that immediately upon the promulgation of the covenant of grace, Adam, at the command of God, slew beasts for sacrifice, whose skins were, by the favour of God, granted to him and his wife for cloathing: which was not without its mystical signification, as shall be explained in its proper place. It is certain, we have an express account of sacrifices, Gen. iv. 2. seq. which account, in the opinion of chronologers happened, about the year of Adam, 129. Seeing therefore these sacrifices belong to the testament [or covenant] of grace, and typically seal the blood of Christ, which was to be shed in due time, and likewise reminded of guilt not yet expiated, they can be referred to nothing but the Old Testament. For, whatever is thus joined to the covenant of grace, cannot possibly be referred to the New Testament, the very force of the words requires its being said of the Old Testament. To this argument a certain very learned person objects as follows: "Adam, the deluge and the rain-bow were types, and previous to the actual performance of redemption, and yet they belong not expressly to the Old Testament. For, this last was abrogated with all its shadows. But those others . cease not to be types of greater and spiritual things to us. But the answer seems to be easy. The deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt, the passage through the red-sea, their wonderful support in the wilderness by manna, and water from the rock, the fall of Jericho, the expulsion of the nations out of Canaan, the carrying away of the Israelites into Babylon, their return from Babylon, and many other things of the like nature (for it would be endless to recount all), do they not all belong to the Old Testament economy? But these very things certainly cease not according to the sentiments of very learned men, to be all of them types of the greatest things to the Christian church. The city of Jerusalem itself, the very temple with its whole pomp of ceremonies, though no longer in being, any more than Adam and the deluge, yet ought also to be considered by us Christians as types of the heavenly city and temple not made


with hands. In a word, the whole of the Mosaic law, though abrogated as to any obligation of observance, ceases not to exhibit to us, for our instruction, a type of spiritual things.

VI. There is another reason taken from Paul, who reduces all these institutions of God to the Old Testament, Heb. viii. 13. Which decay and wax old, and are ready to vanish away. But it is certain, that not only those things which were first ordained by Moses, but those also, which were in force, long before Moses, as sacrifices and circumcision, were abrogated by the introduction of the New Testament. But these were not abrogated, because, as the learned person would have it, they were reduced by Moses, with the rest of his constitutions, into one obscure system, but because they were of the same nature with the mosaical; namely, shadows, which were to give place to Christ the substance. And they were so, not from their being renewed by Moses, but from their first institution.

VII. Nor do we speak without Scripture, when we reckon all that time, from the fall to the coming of Christ, to the Old, or former Testament. For thus we have the Apostle's authority, Heb. ix. 15. "And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the FIRST TESTAMENT, they which are called, might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." But it is evident, that, by the death of Christ, the transgressions not only of those believers who lived under the Mosaic economy, but also of the elder Patriarchs, were expiated from the foundation of the world; to which the Apostle's reasoning leads us, as by the hand, ver. 26. And therefore to their time also THE FIRST TESTAMENT belongs. And no reason can be given, why the Apostle should make particular mention of any determinate period, seeing the efficacy of Christ's death equally extends to all believers backward. Which was also fine- . ly observed by Cocceius himself, in his comment on this place; "those very siņs therefore, which have, and were not remitted under the first testament, seeing that sin, which all men have in common, because all are said to have sinned, when Adam sinned Rom. v. 12. and all other sins his children were guilty of, as also the sins of those, who expected Christ, in order that the testament, which gives remission and the inheritance, might be ratified, ought to be expiated by the death of the Mediator, as by a ransom."

VIII. We will again consider and examine the very learned person's exception: and thus he speaks; "from the time that sin was imputed, to wit, from the time of the law, there being made, by the law of Moses and the Mosaic institution, a com


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