Owen - BX9315 O81

116 EVIDENCES OIr DIVINE WISDOM, by adoption, who Was himself the essential and eternal not thereunto in the order of subsistence and operation Son of God. 8. The sum of what we can comprehend in this great mystery, ariseth from the consideration of the order of the holy persons of the Blessed Trinity, in their opera- tions. For their order herein doth follow that of their subsistence. Unto this great work there are peculiarly required, authority, love, and power, all directed by infinite wisdom. These originally reside in the person òf the Father, and the acting of them in this matter is constantly ascribed unto him. He sent the Son as he gives the Spirit, by an act of sovereign authority. And he sent the Son from his eternal love: he loved the world and sent his Son to die. This is constantly as- signed to be the effect of the love and grace of the Fa- ther; and he wrought in Christ, and he works in us, with respect unto the end of this mystery, with the " exceeding greatness of his power," Eph. i. 18. The Son, who is the second person in the order of subsist- ence, in the order of operation pots the whole authority, love, and power of the Father in execution. This or- der of subsistence, and operation thereon, is expressly declared by the apostle, 1 Cor. vii. 6. " Unto us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we byhim. The Father is the original fountain and spring, 0, 0,, fromwhom, whose original au- thority, love, goodness, and power, are all these things. That expression offirom him, peculiarly denotes the e- ternal original of all things. But how are this author- ity, goodness, love, and power in the Father, whence all these things spring and arise, made effectual; how are their effects wrought out and accomplished? " There is one Lord, even Jesus Christ," a distinct person from the Father, r, by whom are all things. He works in the order of his subsistence, to execute, work, and ac- complish all that originally proceedeth from the Fa- ther. By the Holy Spirit, who is the third person in order of subsistence, there is made a perfecting application of the whole, unto all its proper ends. Wherefore this work of our redemption and recovery being the especial effect of the authority, love, and pow- er of the Father, it was to be executed in and by the person of the Son, as the application of it unto us is made by the Holy Ghost. Hence it became not the person of the Father to assume our nature; it belonged in the blessed Trinity. The authority, love, and pow- er, whence the whole work proceeded, were his in a pe- culiar manner. But the execution of what infinite wis- dom designed in them and by them, belonged unto ano- ther. Nor did this belong unto the person of the Holy Spirit, who, in order of divine operation following that of his subsistence, was to perfect the whole work, of making application of it unto the church when it was wrought. Wherefore it was every way suited unto di- vine wisdom, unto the order of theholy persons in their subsistence and operation, that this work should be un- dertaken and accomplished in the person of the Son. What is farther, must be referred unto another world. These are some fewof those things wherein the in- finite wisdom of God, in his holy contrivance, giveth forth some rays ofitself into enlightened minds, and truly humbled souls. But how little a portion of it is heard by as? How weak, how low are our conceptions about it? We cannot herein find out the Almighty unto per- fection. No small part of the glory of heaven will consist, in that comprehension which we shall have of the mystery of the wisdom of love, and grace of God herein. Howbeit, we are with all diligence to inquire into it, whilst we are here in the way, It is the very centre of all glorious evangelical truths; not one of them can be understood, believed, or improved as they ought, with- out a due comprehension of their relation hereunto, as we have shewed before. This is that which the prophets of old inquired into and after with all diligence, even the mystery of God manifest in the flesh, with the glory that ensued there- on, 1 Pet. i. It. Yet had they not that light to dis- cern it by, which we have. The least in the kingdom of God, as to the knowledge of this mystery, may be a- bove the greatest of them. And ought we not to fear, least our sloth under the beams of the sun, should be condemned by their diligence in the twilight? This the angels bow down to look into, although their concerns therein are not equal to ours. But angels are angels, and prophets wereprophets; we area gener- ation of poor sinful men, who are little concerned in the glory of God or our own duty. Is it not much to be lamented, that many Christians content themselves with a very superficiary knowledge