On the State of the Saints Under the Old Testament



OT Saints went Directly to Heaven
Limbo of the Fathers



Order of Contents

Articles  7+
Quote  1
Latin  2





Ball, John – ch. 4, ‘Of the Covenant of Promise’  in A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace  (1645), pp. 27-36

Ball’s treatise was very influential upon the Westminster Assembly.  ‘Promise’ in the title refers to the Covenant being promised to the OT fathers, in distinction from how the Covenant of Grace has been more fulfilled in the NT.

Rutherford, Samuel – pt. 2, ch. 8, ‘Of the Promissory Part of the Law; the Differences between the Two Covenants Mistaken by Antinomians are Opened’  in A Survey of the Spiritual Antichrist: Opening…  diverse considerable points of the Law & the Gospel, of the Spirit & Letter, of the Two Covenants...  (London, 1648)

Blake, Thomas – Vindiciæ Foederis, or, A Treatise of the Covenant of God entered with Mankind...  (London, 1658)

ch. 34, ‘The Old Covenant was not made up of Mere Carnal & Temporal Promises, but Contained New Covenant-Promises that were Spiritual & Saving’

ch. 35, ‘The Old Covenant was a Pure Gospel-Covenant & Not Mixed’

Blake (c.1596-1657) was an English Puritan clergyman and controversialist of moderate Presbyterian sympathies.

Ambrose, Isaac – bk. 3, ‘Looking Unto Jesus, from the Creation until his First Coming’  in Looking unto Jesus...  (d. 1664; London, 1680)

Nevay, John – Sermon 17, ‘On the Gospel Covenant: & of the Fulness of the Covenant in David’s Estimation’  in The Nature, Properties, Blessings and Saving Graces of the Covenant of Grace: Opened and Applied, in 52 Sermons on 2 Sam. 23:5  (d. 1672; Glasgow, 1748), pp. 164-172

Nevay (d. 1672) was a Scottish covenanter.

Gillespie, Patrick – pp. 372-6, on Christ being a Fidejussor & More than that as a Surety  in ch, 20, ‘Christ the Surety of the Covenant’  in The Ark of the Covenant Opened, or a Treatise of the Covenant of Redemption Between God & Christ...  (1677)

Turretin, Francis – Institutes of Elenctic Theology  ed. James Dennison, Jr.  (P&R), vol. 2, 12th Topic

Question 9, ‘Whether Christ under the Old Testament had only the relation of a surety giving security or also fo a surety promising it.  The former we deny; the latter we affirm.’, pp. 240-247

Question 10, ‘Whether the fathers under the Old Testament can be said to have been still under the wrath of God and the curse of the law, and to have remained under the guilt of sin even until the death of Christ; nor had aphesin or a full and properly so-called remission of sins been made, but only a paresin.  We make distinctions.’, pp. 247-257

Question 11, ‘Whether the souls of the fathers of the Old Testament were immediately received into Heaven after death or were cast into limbo.  The former we affirm; the latter we deny against the papists’, pp. 257-262



à Brakel, Wilhelmus – The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 4  ed. Joel Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout  Buy  (1700; RHB, 1992/1999), Appendix: Administration of the Covenant of Grace in the Old & New Testaments

ch. 4. ‘The Nature of the Suretyship of Jesus Christ During the Old Testament’, pp. 447-57
ch. 5. ‘The State of Old Testament Believers’, pp. 457-503

a Brakel (1635-1711) was a contemporary of Voet and Witsius and a major representative of the Dutch Further Reformation.




Samuel Willard

The Doctrine of the Covenant of Redemption…  (Boston, 1693)

“Whatever is required to a complete formal Covenant between two distinct Persons is to be affirmed concerning what has passed between God and Christ with respect unto the redemption of those that were from eternity gi∣ven to Him; Articles of agreement (to speak after our nature) have been concluded, accepted and exactly kept unto by them both.  On this account the Lord Christ is said to be a surety.  He is not only fidejussor [a co-signer] but expromissor [an entire legal substitute].

He has so undertaken to answer for his elect, as that they were many of them set at liberty before the price of their redemption was actually payed, and that by virtue of this Covenant, wherein the Father did take the word of his Son Jesus Christ, that the thing should in due time be performed.  As to the efficacy of his death, He was slain from the foundation of the world.  Believers that died in the beginning of time went to Heaven because the Son of God had promised to lay down his life to satisfy divine justice in their behalf.”




Leydekker, Melchior

Bk. 5, ‘Of the State of the Fathers under the Old Testament’  in The Power of Truth, or Disquisitions on Some Controversies which are now Greatly Moved in Belgium, on the Economy of the Covenants of God…  (Utrecht, 1679).  Bk. 5 has its own pagination, pp. 1-380  ToC

Table of Contents

A Defense by which a Preface of Johann Wajen, A Synopsis of Herozoici, Prefixed to A Modest Censure is Recalled  [That the Authority of Sacred Scripture Ought to be Added to the Conscience]

Book 1

1. Of the [Greek] Term Diathekes [Testament]  1
2. Whether it Signifies the Eternal Counsel of Grace  5
3. Of the Difference between the Old & New Testament  7
4. Of the Three Economies  10

Book 2

1. Of the Nature of the Surety of Christ  15
2. Of the Principle of God in Accepting a Surety  22

Book 3

1. Of the Nature of the Old Testament  25
2. Of the Place, Gal. 4:24  32

Book 4

1. Of the Sacrifices Before Moses  37
2. Of the Origin of the Ceremonial Law  41
3. Of the Nature of the Decalogue  48

Book 5

1. Of the Difference between the State of the Fathers Before & After Moses  53
2. Of the State of the Fathers under the Old Testament  60
3. Of the Fathers under Guilt [before the Atonement]  64
4. Of the Fathers under Wrath  69
5. Of the Fathers under the Curse  76
6. Of the Non-Tranquil Consciences of the Same  81
7. Of the Fear of Death under the Old Testament  88
8. Of the Rule of the Devil in the Old Testament  93
9. Of the Power of Angels in the Old Testament  99
10. Of the Power of gods in Lands  106
11. Of the Spirit of Servitude  114
12. Of Justification or Paresi under the Old Testament  121
13. Of the Place, Heb. 11 at the end  129




Related Pages

On the Similarities & Differences between the Old & New Testaments