Owen - BX9315 O81

IN TILE CONSTITUTION OF holy properties of his nature did suffer any diminution hereby. All this, and inconceivably more than we are able to express, being contained in the sin of our apostasy from God; it must needs follow, that the condition of all mankind became thereby inexpressibly evil. As we had done all the moral evil which our nature was capable to act, so it was meet we should receive all the penal evil which our nature was capable to undergo. And it all issued in death temporal and eternal inflicted from the wrath of God. This is the first thing to be considered in our tracing the footsteps of divine wisdom inour deliverance by the incarnation of the Son of God. Without due concep- tions of the nature of this sinand apostasy, of the pro- vocation given unto God thereby, of the injury attempt- ed to be done unto the glory of all his properties, of his concernment in their reparation, with the unspeakable misery that mankind was fallen into, we cannothave the least view of the glorious actings of divine wisdom in our deliverance by Christ. And therefore the most of those who are insensible of these things, do wholly reject the principal instances of infinite wisdom in ourredemption, as we shall yet see farther afterwards. And the great reason why the glory of God in Christ, doth so little ir- radiate the minds of many, that it is so much neglected and despised, is because they are not acquainted nor affected with the nature of our first sin and apostasy, neither in itself, nor in its woeful effects and conse- quenta. But on the supposition of these things, a double in- quiry ariseth with reference unto the wisdom of God, and the other holy properties of his nature immediately concerned in our sin and apostasy. I. Whereas manby sin had defaced the image of God, and lost it, whereby there was no representation of his holiness and righteousness left in the whole creation here below; no way of rendering any glory to him, in, for, or by any other of his works; no means to bringman unto the enjoymentof God for which he was made: and whereas he had brought confusion and dis- order into the rule and kingdom of God, which accord- ing unto the law ofcreation and its sanction, could not be rectified but by the eternal ruin of the sinner; and had moreover "given uphimself unto therule and conduct of Satan;" whether I say, hereon, it was meet with respect 6 THE PERSON OF CHRIST. 97 unto the holyproperties of the divine nature, that all mankind shouldbe left eternally on this condition, with- out remedy or relief; or whether there were not a con- decency and suitableness unto them, that at least our nature in some portion of it should be restored. 2. Upon a supposition that the granting of a reco- very was suited unto the holy perfections of the divine nature acting themselves by infinite wisdom, what rays of that wisdom may we discern in the finding out and constitution of the way and means of that recovery. The first of these I shall speakbut briefly unto inthis place, becauseI have treated more largely concerning it in another. For there are many things which argue a condecency unto the divine pefections herein; name- ly, that "mankind should not be left utterly remedi less" in that gulf of misery whereinto it was plunged. I shall at present only insist on one of them. God had originally created two sorts of intellectual creatures capable of the eternal 'enjoyment of himself; namely, angels and men: that he would so make either sort or both, was a mere effect of his sovereign wisdom and pleasure. But ona supposition that he would so make them, they must be made for his glory. These two sorts thus created, he placed in several habitations prepared for them, suitable unto their natures, and the present duties required of them; the angels in heaven above, and men on earth below. Sin first invaded the nature of angels, and cast innumerable multitudes of them out of their primitive condition. Hereby they lost their capacityof, and right unto that enjoyment of God, which their nature was prepared and made meet for. Neither would. God ever restore them thereunto. And in the instance of dealing with them, when he i0 spared them not, but shut them up in chains ofever- lasting darkness unto the judgment of the great day, he manifested how righteous it was to leave sinning apostate creatures in everlasting misery. If any thing of relief be provided for any of them, it is a mere effect of sovereign grace and wisdom, whereunto God was no way obliged. Howbeit the whole angelical nature that was created in a capacity for the eternal enjoymentof God, perished not. Nor doth it seem consistent with the wisdom and goodness of God, that the whole en- tire species or kind of creaturesmade capable of glory in the eternal enjoyment of him, should at once imme- diately be excluded from it. That such a thing should 13b