Owen - BX9315 O81

114. .EVIDENCES OF DIVINE WISDOM, sonal interest therein, according unto the terms of the covenant, whereby it is made over to them. He can, and will, by the power of his grace, preserve them all unto the full enjoyment of the purchased inheritance. We hold our title by the rod, at the will of the Lord. And many failures we are liable unto, whereon we are in misericordia Domini, and are subject unto amerce - inents. But yet, the whole inheritance being granted unto Christ, is eternally secured for us, and we are by his grace preserved from such offences against the su- preme Lord, or committing any such wastes, as should cast us out of our possession. See Psal. lxxxix. Thus, in all things infinitewisdom hath provided, that no second forfeiture should be made of the inheritance of grace and glory, which as it would have been eter- nally ruinous unto mankind, so it was inconsistent with the glory and honour of God. 8. Thewisdom ofGod was gloriously exalted in the righteous destruction ofSatan, and his interest, by the incarnation and mediation of the Son of God. He had prevailed against the first way of the manifestation of divine glory; and therein both pleased and prided him- self: Nothing could ever give such satisfaction un- to the malicious murderer, as the breach he had oc- casioned between God and man, with his hopes and ap- prehensions that it would be eternal. He had no other thoughts, but that the whole race of mankind, which God had designed unto the enjoyment of himself should be everlastingly ruined. So he had satisfied his envy a- gainst man in his eternal destruction with himself, and his malice against God in depriving him of his glory. Hereon, upon the distance- that he had made between God and man, he interposed himself and boasted him- self for a long season, as the god ofthis world, who had all power over it, and in it. It belonged unto the ho- nour and wisdom of God, that he should be defeated in this triumph. Neither was it meet that this should be done by a mere act of sovereign omnipotent power. For he would yet glory inhis craft and the success ofit, that there was no way to disappoint him, but by crush- ing him with power, without respect unto righteousness, or demonstration of wisdom. Wherefore it must be done in such a way, as wherein he might see, unto his eternal shame and confusion, all his arts and subtilhes defeated by infinite wisdom, and his enterprise over- thrown in a way of right and equity. The remark that the Holy Ghost puts on the serpent, which was his itt- strument in drawing man unto apostacy from God, namely, that he was " subtle above all the beasts of the field," is only to intimate, wherein Satan designed his attempt, and from whence he hoped for his success. It was not an act of power or rage, but of craft, coun- sel, subtilty, and deceit. Herein he gloried and prid- ed himself; wherefore the way to disappoint him with shame, must be a contrivance of infinite wisdom, turn- ing all his artifices into mere folly. This work of God, with respect untohim, is express- ed in the scripture two ways; First, it is called thespoil- ing ofhim, as unto his power, and the prey that he had taken. The,strong man armed was to be bound, and his goods spoiled. The Lord Christ by his death, " de- stroyed him that had the power of death," that is, the devil. He led captivity captive, spoiling principalities and powers, triumphing over them inhis cross.. So A- braham, when he smote the kings, not only delivered Lot, who was their captive, but also took all their spoils. Again, it is expressed by the destruction of his works. For this cause was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works ofthe devil." The spoils which he had in his own power were taken from him, and the works which he had erected in the minds of men were demolished. The web which ballad wove to clothe him- selfwithal, as the god of this world, was unravelled to the last thread. And although all this seems to repre- sent a work of power, yet was it indeed an effect ofwis- dom and righteousness principally. For the power which Satan had over mankind was in itself unjust. For, (1.) He obtained it by fraud and deceit. The serpent beguiled Eve. (b.) He possessed it with injustice, with respect unto God, beingan inva- der ofhis right and possession. (3.) He used and exer- cised it with malice, tyranny, and rage; so as that it was every way unjust both in its foundation and execution. With respect hereunto he was justly destroyed by om- nipotent power, which puts forth itself in his eternal punishment. But, on the other side, mankind did suffer justly under his power, being given up unto it in the righteous judgment of God. For one may suffer justly what another doth unjustly inflict. As when one causelessly strikes an innocent man, if he strikes him again, he who did the first injury suffereth justly, but the other Both unjustly, in revenging himself. Where.