Owen - BX9315 O81

IN THE CONTRIVANCE OF THE fore as man was given up unto him in a way of punish- ment, he was a lawful captive, and was not to be de- livered but in "a way ofjustice. And this was done in a way that Satan never thought of. For, by the obedienceand sufferings of the Son of God incarnate, therewas full satisfaction made unto the justice of God for the sins of man, a reparation of his glory, and an exaltationofthe honour of his holiness, with all the other properties of his nature, as alsoof his law, outbalancing all the diminution of it by the first apostacy of mankind, as has been declared. 'Immediately hereon, all the charms of Satan were dissolved, all his chains loosed, his darkness that he had brought on the creation dis- pelled, his whole plot and design defeated; whereon he saw himself, andwas exposed unto all the holy angels of heaven, in all the counsels, craft and power he had boasted of, to be nothing but a congeries, a mass of darkness, malice, folly, impotency, and rage." Hereon did Satan make an entrance into one of the principal parts of his eternal torments, in that furious self-maceration which he is given up unto, on the con- sideration of his defeat and disappointment. Absolute power he always feared, and what it would produce; for he believes that, and trembles. But againstanyother way he thought he had secured himself. It lieth plain to everyother understanding, what shame, confusion, and self-revenge, the proudapostate-was cost into, upon his holy righteous disappointment of his design; where- as he had always promised himself to carry his cause, or, at least, to put God to act in the destruction of his dominion by mere omnipotent power, without regard unto any other properties of his nature. To find that which he contrived for the destruction of the glory of God, the disappointment ofhis ends in the creation of all things, and the eternal ruin of mankind, to issue in a more gloridus exaltation of the holy properties of the divine nature; and an unspeakable augmentation of blessedness unto mankind itself, is the highest aggrava- tion of his eternal torment. This was a work every way becoming the infinite wisdom of God. 9. Whereas there are three distinct persons in the Holy Trinity, it became the wisdom of God, that the Son, the secondperson, should undertake this work, and be incarnate. I shall but sparingly touch on this.glori- ous mystery. For, as unto the reason of it, isabsolute- ly resolved into the infinite wisdom and sovereign coun- WORK OF REDEMPTION. I75 sel of the divinewill. And all such things are the ob- jects of an holy admiration, not curiously to beinquired into. To intrude ourselves into the things which we have not seen, that is, which are not revealed in those concernments of them which are ,revealed, is not unto the advantage of faith in our edification. But as unto what is declared of them, either immediately and directly; or by their relation unto other known truths, we maymeditate on them unto the improvement of faith and love towards God. And some things are thus evident unto us in this mystery. 1. We hadby sin lost the image of God, and there- by all gracious acceptance with him, all interest in his love and favour. In our recovery, as we have,declared, this image is again to be restored unto us, or we are to be renewed into the likeness of God. And there was a condecency unto divine wisdom, that this work should in a peculiar manner be effectedby him, who is the es- sential image of God, that is, the Father. This, as we have formerly shaved, was the person of the Son; receiving his personal subsistence, and therewithal the divine nature, with all its essential properties from the Father, by eternal generation, he was therefore the ex- press image of his person, and the brightness of his glory. Whatever be in the person of the Father, is in the person of the Son; and being all received from the Father; he is his essential image, and one end of his incarnation was, that he might be the representative image of God unto us. Whereas therefore, in the work of our recovery, the image of God should be restored in us, there was a condecency that it should be done by him, who was the essential image of God. For it consists in the communication of the effects and likeness of the same image unto us, which was essential- ly in himself 1. We were by nature the sons of God;. we stood in relation of sons unto him by virtueof our creation, the communication of his image and likeness, with the pre- parution of aninheritancefor us. Onthe same accounts, the angels are frequently called the sonsof God. This title, this relation unto God, we utterly lost by sin, be- coming aliens from him, and enemies unto him. With- out a recovery into this estate, we cannot be restored, nor brought unto the enjoyment of God; and this can- not be done.but by adoption. Now, it seems convenient unto divine wisdom, that he should recover our sonship