Owen - BX9315 O81

104 UUMBLE INQUIRY INTO TUN complish this work), "as was holy, harmless, undefil- ed, separate from sinners." For if this nature in him were so defiled as it is in us; if it were under a depriva- tion of the image of God, as it is in our persons before our renovation, it could do nothing that should be ac- ceptable unto him.. And if it were subject unto guilt on its own account, it could make no satisfactionfor the sin ofothers. Here therefore again occurs nodes vindice dignus, a' difficulty which nothing but divine wisdom could expedite. To take a little farther view hereof, we must consid- er on what grounds these things (spiritual defilement and guilt) do adhere unto our nature as they are in all our individual persons. And the first of these is, that our entire nature, as unto our participation of it, was in Adam as our head and representative. Hence his sin became the sin of us all, isjustly imputed unto us, and charged on us. In him we all sinned; all did so, who were in him as their common representative when he sinned. Hereby we became the natural children of wrath, or liable unto the wrath of God for the com- mon sin ofour nature, in the natural and legal head or spring of it. And the other is, that we derive our na- ture from Adam by the way of natural. generation. By that means alone is the nature of our first parents, as defiled, communicated unto us. For by this means, do we become to appertain unto the stock, as it was de- generate and corrupt. Wherefore that part of our na- ture wherein and whereby this great work was to be wrought, must, as unto its essence and substance, be derived from our first parents, yet so as never to have been in Adam as a common representative; nor be de- rived from him by natural generation. .: The bringing forth of our nature in such an instance, wherein it should relate no less really and truly unto the first Adam than we do ourselves, whereby there is the strictest alliance of nature between him so partaker of it, and us, yet so, as not in the least to participate of the guilt of the first sin, nor of the defilement ofour na- ture thereby, must be an effect of infinite wisdom, be- yondthe conceptions ofany created understanding. And this, as we know, was done in the person of Christ. For Isis human nature was never in Adam as his repre- sentative, nor was he comprised in the covenant where- in he stood. For he derived it legally only from and after the first promise; when Adam ceased to be a corn- INFINITE WISDOM OP GOD, mon person. Nor did it proceed from him by natural generation, the only means of the derivation of its de- pravation and volution. For it was an holy thing, created in the womb of the virgin by the power of the Most High. " O the depths of the wisdom and know- ledge of GodI" It was necessary therefore, on all these considerations, it was so unto the glory of the holy properties of the divine nature, and the reparation of the honour of his holiness and righteousness, that he by whom the work of our recovery was to be wrought, should be a man, partaker of the nature that sinned, yet free from all sin, and all the consequents of it. And this did divine wis- dom contrive and accomplish in the human nature of Jesus Christ. But yet, in the second place, on all the considerations before mentioned, it is no less evident, that his work could not be wrought or effected by him who was no more than a mere man, who had no nature but ours, who was an human person and no more. There was no one act which he was to perform in order unto our deliverance, but did require a divine power to render it efficacious. But herein lies that great mystery of god- liness, whereunto a continual opposition bathbeen made by the gates ofhell, as wemanifested in the entrance of this discourse. But whereas it belongs unto the founda- tion of our faith, we must inquire into it, and confirm the truth of it with such demonstrations as divine re- velation doth accommodate us withal. And threethings are to be spoken unto. First, We are to give in rational evidences, that the recovery of mankind was not to be effected by any one who was a mere man and no more, though it were ab- solutely necessary, that a man he should be; he must be God. also. Secondly, We must inquire into the suit- ableness or condeceney unto divine wisdom, in the re- demption and salvation of the church by Jesus Christ, who was God and man in one person; and thereon give a description of the person of Christ, and its constitu- tion, which suiteth all the ends of infinitewisdom in this glorious work. The first of these falls under sundry plain demonstrations. 1. That human nature might be restored, or anypor- tion of mankind be eternally saved unto the glory of God, it was necessary, as we proved before, that an obedience should be yielded -unto God and his law,