Owen - BX9315 O81

IN THE CONSTITUTION OF which should give and bring more glory and honour unto his holiness, than there was dishonour reflected on it by the disobedience of us all. Those who are o- therwise minded, care not what becomes of the glory of God, so that wicked sinful man may be saved one way or other. But these thoughts spring out of our aposta- cy, and belong not unto that estate wherein we loved God above all, and preferred his glory above all, as it was with us at the first in the original constitution of our nature. But such an obedience could never be yielded unto God by any mere creature whatever; not by any one whowas only a man, however dignified and exalted in state and condition aboveall others. For to suppose that God should be pleased and glorified with the obedience ofany one man, more than he was dis- pleased and dishonoured by the disobedience of Adam and all his posterity, is to fancy things that have no ground in reason or justice, or any way suitable unto divine wisdom and holiness. He who undertaketh this work, most have somewhat that is divine and infinite to put an infinite value on his obedience; that is, he must be God. 2. The obedience of such an one, of a mere man, could have no influence at all on the recovery ofman- kind, nor the salvation of the church. For whatever it were, it would be all due from him for himself, and so could only profit or benefit himself. For what is due from any on his own account, cannot redound or be reckoned unto the advantage ofanother. But there is no mere creature, nor can there be any such, but he is obliged for himself unto all the obedience unto God, that he is capable of the performance of in this world, as we have before declared. Yea, universal obedience in all possible instances is so absolutely necessary unto him, as a creature- made in dependence on God, and for the enjoyment of him, that the voluntary omission of it in any one instance, would be a criminal disobe- dience, ruinous unto his own soul. Wherefore no such obedience could be accepted as any kind of compensa- tion for the disobedience of others, or in their stead. He then that performs this obedience, must be one who was not originally obliged thereunto on his own account for himself. And this must be a divine person, and none other; for every mere creature is so obliged. Ana there is nothing more fundamental in gospel -principles. than that the Lord Christ in.his divine person was a- Dd THE PERSON OF CHRIST. 105 Bove the law, and for himself owed no obedience there- unto. But by his own condescension, as he was made of a woman for us, so he was made under the law for us. And therefore those by whom the divine person of Christ is denied, doall of them contend, that he yield- ed obedience unto God for himself, and not for us. But herein they bid defiance unto the principal effect of of divine wisdom, wherein God will be eternally glori- fied. 3. The people to be freed, redeemed, and brought unto glory, were great andinnumerable; " a great mul- titude which no man can number," Rev. vii. 9. The sins which they were to be delivered, ransomed and jus- tified from, for which a propitiation was to be made, were next unto absolutely infinite. They wholly sur- pass the comprehension of any created understanding, or the compass of imagination. And in every one of them there was something reductively infinite, as com- mitted against an infinite, majesty. The miseries which hereon all these persons were obnoxious unto, were in- finite, because eternal; or all that evil which our nature is capable to suffer, was by them all eternally to be un- dergone. By all these persons, in all these sins, there was an inroad made on the ruleand government of God, an af- front given unto his justice in the violationof his law. Nor can any of them be delivered from the consequents hereof in eternal misery, without a compensation and satisfaction made unto the justice of God. To assert the contrary, is to suppose, that, upon the matter, it is all one to him whether he be obeyed or disobeyed, whether he be honoured or dishonoured in and by his creatures. And this is all oneas to deny his very being; seeing it opposeth the glory of his essential properties. Now, to suppose that a mere man, by his temporary suffering of external pains, should make satisfaction un- to the justice of God for all the sins of all these persons, so as it should be right and just with him, not only to save and deliver them from all the evils they were liable unto, but also to bring themunto life and glory, is to constitutea mediationbetween God and man that should consist in appearance and ostentation, and not be an ef- fect of divine wisdom, righteousness, and holiness, nor have its foundation in the nature and equity ofthings wemselves. For the things supposed will not be redu- ced unto any rules of justice or proportion, that one of G