Owen - BX9315 O81

112 EVIDENCES Of DIVINE WISDOM. To cast an everlasting reproach of folly on this con- trivance of the devil and man, and uncontrollably to e- vince wherein alone true wisdom Both consist, God would glorify a state of obedience. He would render it incomparably more amiable, desirable, and excellent, than ever it could have appeared to have been, in the obedience of all the angels in heaven, and men on earth, had they continued therein. This he did in his way of our recovery? in that his own eternal Son entered into a state of obedience, and took upon him the form or condition of a servant unto God. What more evident conviction could there be of the folly of mankind, in hearkening unto the suggestion. of Satan, to seek after wisdom inanother condition? How could that great maxim, which is laid down in opposi- tion unto all vain thoughts of man, be more eminently exemplified; that the i0 fear ofthe Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil that is understanding?" What greater evidence could be given, that thenature of man is not capable of a better condition than that of service and universal obedience unto God? How could any state be represented more amiable, desirable, and bles- sed? In the obedience of Christ, of the Son of God in our nature, apostate sinners are upbraided with their folly, in relinquishing that state, which, by his suscep- tion of it, is rendered so glorious. What have we at- tained by leaving that condition, which the eternal Son of God delighteth in? {, I delight, saith he, to do thy will, Omy God, yea, thy law is in the midst of my bowels," Psal. xl. 8. It is the highest demonstration, that ournature is not capable of more order, more beau- ty, more glory, than consists in obedience unto God. And that state which we fell into upon our forsaking of it, we now know to be all darkness, confusion, and misery. Wherefore seeing God in infinitegrace and mercy would recover us untohimself; and iu his righteousness and holiness would do this in a way of obedience, of that obedience which wehad forsaken; it bath an emi- nent impression of divine wisdom upon it, that, in this mystery of God manifest in the flesh, the only means of our recovery, he would cast the reproach of the most in- expressible folly on our apostacy from a state of it, and render it amiable and desirable unto all who are to re- turn unto him. To bear the shame ofthis folly, to be deeply sensible `-_,,. of it, and to live in a constant prospect and view of the glory of obedience in the person of Christ, with a sedu- lous endeavour for conformity thereunto, is the highest attainment of our wisdom in this world; and whosoever is otherwise minded, is so at his own utmost peril. 6. God, in infinite wisdom, bath by this means " se- cured the whole inheritance of this life, and that which is to come, from a second forfeiture." Whatever God will bestow on the children of men, he grants it unto them in the way of an inheritance. So the land of Ca- naan, chosen out for a representative of spiritual and e- ternal things, was granted unto Abraham and his seed for an inheritance. And his interest in the promise is expressed, by being heir of the world. All the things of this life that are really good and useful unto us, do belong unto this inheritance. So they did when it was vested in Adam. All things of grace and glory do so also. And the whole of the privilege of believers is, that they are heirs ofsalvation. Hence godliness hash the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come," 1 Tim. iv. b. And the promise is only ofthe inheritance. This inheritance, as was before intimated, was lost in Adam, and forfeited into the hand of the great Lord, the great Possessor of heaven and earth. In his sovereign grace and goodness, he was pleased a- gain to restore it, as unto all the benefits of it, unto the former tenants, and that with an addition of grace, and a more exceeding weight ofglory. But withal, infinite wisdom provides, that a second forfeiture shall not be made of it. Wherefore the grant of it is not made im- mediately unto any of those, for whose use and benefit it is prepared and granted. They had heed once tried, and failed in their trust, unto their own eternal beggary and ruin, had not infinite grace interposed for their re- lief. And it did not become the wisdom and glory of God to make a second grant ofit, which might be frus- trate in like manner. Wherefore he would not commit it again unto any mere creature whatever; nor could it safety have been to done, with security untohis glory. For, 1. It was too great a trust, even the whole inherit- ance of heaven and earth, all the riches of grace and glory, to be committed unto any one of them. God would not give this glory unto any one creature. If it be said, it was first committed unto Adam, and there- fore tohave it again, is not an honour above the capa-