Owen - BX9315 O81

110 EVIDENCES OF DIVINE WIIDOM, of Christ, as an effect of infinite wisdom, was meet and to be a Mediator and undertaker between God and man., In the union of both our natures in the same person, he was so meet by his relation unto both; unto God by filiation or sonship, unto us by brotherhood or nearness of kindred, Heb. ii. IC And he was able from the dignity of his person. For the temporary sufferings ofhim who was eternal, was a full compensation for the eternal sufferings of them who were temporary. 4. God made man the lordof all things here below. He was, as it were, the heir of God, as unto the in- heritance of this world in present, and as unto a blessed state in eternal glory: but he lost all right and title hereunto by sin; he made forfeiture of the whole, by the law of the tenure whereby he held it, and God took the forfeiture. Wherefore he designs a new heir of all, and vests the whole inheritance of heaven and earth in him, even in. his Son. He appointed him the Heir of all things, Heb. i. 3. This translation of God's inheritance the apostle declares, Heb. ii. 6, 7, 8, 9. For the words which he cites from Psal. viii. 4, 5, 6. " What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thouvisitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou bast put all things under his feet;" do declare the original condition of mankind in general. But man forfeited the dominion and inheritance that he was in- trusted withal; and God settleth it anew solely in the man Christ Jesus. So the apostle adds, We see not all things put under him, but we see it all accomplished in Jesus, ver. 9. But as all other inheritancesdo descend with theirs, so did this unto him with its burden. There was a great debt upon it, the debt ofsin. This he was to undergo, to make payment of, or satisfaction for, or he could not rightly enter upon the inheritance. This could no otherwise be done but by his suffering in our nature, as hath been declared. He who was the heir of all, was in himself to purge our sins. Herein did the infinite wisdomof God manifest itself in that he conveyed the inheritance of all things untohim, who was meet and able so to enter upon it, so to enjoy and Possess. it, as that no detriment or damage might arise unto the riches, the revenue, the glory of God, from the waste made by the former possessor." 5. Mankind was to be recovered unto faith and trust in God, as also unto the love ofhint aboveall. All these things had utterly forsaken our nature; and the reduc- tion of them into it, is a work of the greatest difficulty. We had so provoked God, he had given such evidences- of his wrath and displeasure against us, and our minds . thereon were so alienated from him, as we stood in need- of the strongest motives and highest encouragements, once to attempt toreturn unto him, so as to place all our faith and trust in him, and all our love upon him. Sinners generally live in a neglect and contempt of God, in arvenmity against him. But whenever they are convinced of a necessity to endeavour a returnunto him, the first thing they have to conflict withal is fear. Beginning to understand who and what he is, as also how things stand between him and them, they. are afraid to have any thing. to do with him, and judge it impossible that they should find acceptance with him. This was the sense that Adam himself had upon his sin, when he was afraid and hid himself. And the sense of other sinners is frequently expressed unto the same- purpose in the scripture. See Isa. xxxiii. 14." Micah vi. 6, 7. All these discouragements are absolutely provided against in that way of our recovery which infinite wis- dom hath found out. It were a thing delightful to dwell on the securities given us therein, as unto our acceptance in all those principles, acts, and duties wherein the renovation of the imageof God doth consist._ I must contract my meditations, and shall therefore in- stance in some few things only unto that purpose. 1. Faith is not capable of greater encouragement or confirmation than lieth in this consideration, that what we are to believe unto this end, is delivered unto us by God himself in our nature. What could confirm our faith and hope in God, what could encourage as to ex-. pect acceptance withGod, like this ineffable testimony of his good will untous. The nature of things is riot capa- ble ofgreater assurance, seeing the divine nature is ca-- pable of no greater condescension. This the scripture proposeth, as that which gives a just expectation, that against all fears and oppositions we should close with divine calls and invitations to re- turn unto God. s' Last of all he sent them his Son,. saying, They will reverence my Son," Matth. xxi. 37. they will believe the message which 1 send by him..