Owen - BX9315 O81

IN TIIE CONSTITUTION OF eousness, and truth of God, to save unbelieving impe- nitent sinners, they are not concerned in it. Let them be saved, that is, eternally delivered from the evil they fear, and let God look unto his own glory, they take no care about it. A soul that is spiritually ingenuous, would not be saved in any way but that whereby God may be glorified. Indeed to be saved, and not unto the glory of God, implies a contradiction. For our salvation is eternal blessedness, in aparticipation of the glory of God. Secondly, It followeth therefore, that man must make satisfaction unto thejustice of God, and thereby a re- paration of his glory, thathe may be saved. This ad- ded unto a complete return unto obedience, would ef- fect a restitution of all things; it would do so as unto what was past, though it would make no new addition of glory unto God. But this became not the nature and efficacy of divine wisdom. It became it not merely to retrieve what was past without a new manifestation and exaltation of the divine excellencies; and therefore in our restitutionbyChrist, there is such a manifestation and exaltation of the divine properties, as incomparably exceeds whatever could have ensued on, or been effect- ed by the law of creation, had man continued in his original obedience. But at present it is granted, that this addition of satisfaction unto a return unto obedi- ence, would restore all things unto their first condition. But as that return was impossible unto man, so was this satisfaction for the injury done by sin much more. For suppose a mere creature, such as man is, such as all men are, in what condition you please, and under all advantageous circumstances; yet whatever he can do towards God, is antecedently and absolutely due from him in that instant wherein he cloth it, and that in the matter wherein it is done. They must all say, when they have done all " that they can do, We are unpro- fitable servants, we have done what was our duty." Wherefore it is impossible, that by any thing a man can dowell, he should make satisfaction for any thing he bath done ill. For what he so doth, is due in and for itself. And to suppose that satisfaction will be made for a former fault, by that whose omission would have been another, had the former never been committed, is madness. An old debt cannot be dischargedwith ready money for new commodities; nor can past injuries be compensated by present duties, which we are anew o- 6 TIIE PERSON OF CIHRIST. 101 bliged unto. Wherefore mankind being indispensably and eternally obliged unto the present performance of all duties of obedienceunto God, according to the utmost of their capacity and ability, so as that the non-perform- ance of them in their season, both as unto their matter and manner, would be their sin; it is utterly impossible that by any thing, or all that they can do, they should make the least satisfaction unto God, for any thing they have done against him; much less for the horribleapos- tasy whereof we treat. And to attempt the same end by any way which God hath not appointed, which he bath not made their duty, is a new provocation of the highest nature. See Micah vi. 6, 7, 5. It is therefore evident on all these considerations, that all mankind, as unto an endeavours of their own, any thing that can be fancied as possible for them to design or do, must be left irreparable in a condition of eternal misery. And unless we have a full conviction hereof, we can neither admire nor entertain themystery of the wisdomof God in our reparation. And therefore it bath been the design of Satan in all ages, to contrive presumptuous notionsofmen's spiritual abilities, todivert their minds from the contemplation of the glory of divine wisdom and grace, as alone exalted in our re- covery. We are proceeding on this supposition, that there was a condecency unto the holy perfections of the di- vine nature, that mankind should be restored, or some portion of it recovered unto the enjoyment of himself; so angelical nature was preserved unto the same end in those that did not sin. And we have shewed the gene- ral grounds whereon it is impossible that fallen man should restore or recover himself. Wherefore we must in the next place inquire, what is necessary unto such a restoration, on the account of that concernment of the divine excellencies, in the sin and apostasy of man, which we have stated before. For hereby we may ob- tain light, and an insight intothe glory of that wisdom whereby it was contrived and effected. And the things following, among others, may be observed unto that end. 1. It was required, that there should be an obedience yielded unto God, bringing more glory unto him, than dishonour did arise and accrue from the disobedience of man. This was due unto the glory of divine holiness in givingof the law. Until this was done, the excellency C c