Owen - BX9315 O81

6 THE PERSON OH CHRISTTHE ONLY ROCK is no mention in the scripture oftwo rocks of the church. anointed, is the foundation of the church, the rock whereon it is built. 2. The power and policy of hell will be always en- gaged in opposition unto the relation of the church unto this foundation, or the building of it on this rock. g. The church that isbuilt on this rock, shall never be disjoined from it, or prevailed against by the opposi- tion of the gates of hell. The two former of theseI shall speak briefly unto, my principal design being a demonstration of a truth that ariseth from the consideration of them all. The foundation of the church is twofold. (1.) Beal. (2.) Doctrinal. And in both ways Christ alone is the foundation. The real foundation of the church he is, by virtue of the mysticalunion of it unto him, with all the benefits whereof from thence, and thereby it is made partaker. For thence alone-bath it spiritual life, grace, mercy, perfection and glory, Eph. iv. 16, 16. Col. ii. 19. And he is the doctrinal foundation of it, in that the faith or doctrine concerning him and his offices, is that divine truth which in a peculiar manner animates and constitutesthe church of the New Testament, Eph. ii. 19, 20, 21, 22. Without the faith and confession here- of, no one person belongs unto that church. I know not what ii now believed, but I judge it will not yet be denied, that the external formal cause of the church of the NewTestament, is the confessionof the faith con- cerning the person, offices, and grace of Christ, with what isof us required thereon. inwhatsense we assert these things, will be-afterwards fully cleared. That the Lord Christ is thus the foundation of the church, is testified unto, Ise. xxviii. 16. "Thus with the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner- stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth, shall not make haste." It is among the bold inroads, that in this late age have been made on the vitals of religion, that some in com- pliance with the Jews, have attempted the application of this promise unto Hezekiah. Theviolence they have offered herein to the mind ofthe Holy Ghost might be - evidenced- from every word of the context. But the in- terpretation and application of the last words of this promise by the apostles, leave no pretence unto this insinuation: " He thatbelieves on him, shall not be a- shamed or confounded," Rom. ix. 33. chap. x. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 6. that is, he shall be eternally saved; which it In what others invent to this purpose we are not con- cerned. And the rock and the foundation are the same; for the rock is that whereon the church is built, that is the foundation. But that the Lard Christ is this single rock and foundation of the church, we shall prove im- mediately. Wherefore neither Peter himself, nor his pretended successors can be this rock. As for any other rock, it belongs not unto our religion: they that have framed it mayuse it as they please. For they that make such things, are like unto the things they make. Se is every one that trnsteth in them, Psal. cxv. 8. But their rock is not like our Bock, themselves beingjudges, unless they will absolutely equal the pope unto Jesus Christ. 4. Immediately after this declaration of our Saviour's purpose to build his church on the rock, he reveals un- to his disciples the way and manner how he would lay its foundation, namely, in his death and sufferings, ver. 21. And thereon, this supposed rock, being a little left un- to his own stability, shewed himself to be but a reed sha- ken with the wind. For he is so far from putting him- self under the weight of the building, that he attempts an obstruction of its. foundation. He began to rebuke Christ himself for mentioning his sufferings, wherein alone the foundation of the gospel-church was to be laid, ver. 22. And hereon he received the severest re- buke that ever the Lord Jesus gave unto any of his disciples, ver. 23. And so it is known that afterwards through surprisal and temptation, he did what lay in him to recal that confession which here he made, and whereon the church was to be built. For that no flesh might glory in itself, he that was singular in this con- fession of Christ, was so also in the denial of him. And if he in his own person manifested how unmeet he was to be the foundationof the church, they must be strange- ly infatuated who can suppose his pretended successors so to be. But some menwill rather have the church to be utterly without any foundation, than that it should not bethe pope. The vanity of this pretence being removed, the sub- stance of the great mystery contained in the attestation given by our Saviour unto the confession of Peter, and the promise thereunto annexed, may be comprised in the ensuing assertions. 1. Theperson of Christ, the Son of the living God, as vested with his offices, whereunto he was called and