Owen - BX9315 O81

IN THE CONTRIVANCE OF THE WORK OF REDEMPTION. 113 AY of a creature; I say, that the nature of the inherit- ance is greatly changed. The whole of what was in- trusted with Adam, comes exceeding short of what God bath now prepared as the inheritance of the church. There is grace in it, and glory added unto it, which Adam neither had, nor could have right unto. It is now of that nature, as could neither be intrusted with, . nor communicated by any mere creature. Besides, he that bath it is the object of the faith and trust of the church; nor can any be interested in any part of this in- heritance, without the exercise of those and all other graces on him, whose the inheritance is. And so to be the object of our faith, is the prerogative of the divine nature alone. 2. No mere creature could secure this inheritance that it should belost no more; and yet, ifit were so, it would be highly derogatory unto the glory of God. For two things were required hereunto, (I.) That he in whom this trust is vested, should be in himself incapable of any such failure, as through which, by the immutable eter- nal law of obedience unto God, a forfeiture of it should be made. (2.) That he undertake for them all who shall be heirs of salvation, who shall enjoy this inheritance, that none of them should lose or forfeit their own perso- nal interest in it, or the terms whereon it is conveyed and communicated unto them. But no mere creature was sufficient unto these ends. For no one of them, in and by himself, in the constitution of his nature, is ab. solutely free from falling from God himself. They may receive (the angels in heaven, and the glorified saints have received), such a confirmation in and by grace, as that they shall never actually apostatize or fall from God. Byt this they have not from themselves, nor the princi- ples of their own nature, which is necessary unto him that shall receive this trust. For so, when it was first vested in Adam, he was left to preserve it by the innate concreated abilities of his own nature. And as unto the latter, all the angels in heaven cannot undertake to se- cure the obedience of any one man, so as that the con- veyance of the inheritance may be sure unto him. Wherefore, with respect hereunto, those angels them- selves, though the most holy and glorious ofall the crea- tures of God, have nogreater trust or interest, than to be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation," Heb. i. 14. So unmeet are they to have the whole inheritance vested in any of them. l' f But all this infinite wisdom bath provided for in the great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh. God herein makes his only Son the Heir of all things, and vests the whole inheritance absolutely in him. For the promise, which is the court roll of heaven, the only external means and record ofits conveyance, was origi- nally made unto Christ only. God ' said not, And into thy seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which seed is Christ," Gal. iii. IG. And we be- come again Heirs of God, only as we are joint-heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 17. that is, by being taken in- to a participation of that inheritance which is vested in him alone. For many may be partakers of the benefit of that, whose right and title is in one alone, when it is conveyed unto him for their use; and hereby the ends before mentioned are fully provided for. For, I. He who is thus made the Heir ofall, is meet to be intrusted with the glory of it. For where this grant is solemnly expressed, it is declared that he is the « brightness of the Father's glory, and the express im- age of his person," Heb. i. 2. 3.; and that by him the worlds were made. He alone was Meet to be this Heir, who is partaker of the divine nature, and by whom all things were created. For such things belong unto it, as cannot appertain unto any other. The reader may consult, if he please, our exposition of that place of the apostle. - 2. Any failure in his oven person was absolutely im- possible. The subsistence of the human nature in the personof the Son of God, rendered the least sin utter- ly impossible unto him. For all the moral operations of that nature are the acts of the person of the Son of God. And hereby not only is the inheritance secured, but alsoan assurance that it is so, is given untoall them that do believe. This is the life and soul of all gospel- comforts, that the whole inheritance ofgrace and glory is vested in Christ, where it can never suffer loss or dam- age. When weare sensible ofthe want of grace, should we go unto God, and say, <° Father give us the portion of goods that falls unto us," as the prodigal did, we should quickly consume it, and bring ourselves unto the utmost misery as he did also. But in Christ the whole inheritance is secured for evermore. 3. He is able to preserve all those who shall be heirs ofthis inheritance, that they forfeit not their own per., G