Owen - BX9315 O81

FIYPOSTATICAL UNION OF Christ, and all the holy obedience which proceeded from it, was consequent in order of nature unto this union, and an effect of it, they could, in no sense, be the meritorious or procuring causes of it; it was of grace. 2. It is used also by many, and designed to express the peculiar dignity of the human nature of Christ. This is that wherein no creature is participant, norever shall be unto eternity. This is the fundamental privi- lege of the human nature of Christ, which all others, even unto his eternal glory, proceed from and are resolved into. 8. Theglorious nzeetness and ability of the person of Christ, for and unto all the acts and duties of his mediatory office. For they are all resolve& unto the union of his natures in the same person, without which not one of them could be performed unto the benefit of the church. And this is that grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which renders him so glorious and amiable untobelievers. Unto them that believe he is precious. The common prevalent expression of it at present in the church, is the hypostatical union; that is, the union of the divine and human nature, in the Person of the Son of God, the human nature having no personality nor subsistence of its own. With respect unto this union, the name of Christ is called Wonderful, as that which bath the pre- eminence in all the effect of divine wisdom. And it is a singular effect thereof. There is no other union in things di- vine or human, in things spiritual or natural, whether substantial or accidental, that is of the same kind with it; it differs specifically from them all. The most glorious union is that of the divine persons in the same being or nature; the Father in the Son, the Son in the Father, the Holy Spirit in them both, and both in him. But this is an union ofdistinct per- sons in the unity of the same single nature. And this, I confess ismore glorious than that whereofwe treat. For it is in God absolutely, it is eternal, of his nature and being. But this unionwe speak of, is not God; it is a creature, an effect of divine wisdom and power. And it is different from it herein; inasmuch as that is of many distinct persons in the same natures, that is of distinct natures in the same person. That union is natural, substantial, essential, in the same nature; this, H h HIS NATURES DECLARED. 121 as it is not accidental, as we shall shety, so it is not properly substantial; because it is not of the samena- ture, but of divers in the same person, remaining dis- tinct in their essence and substance, and is therefore peculiarly hypostatical or personal. Hence Austin feared not to say, that hozno potins est in Filio Dei, quota Filius in Paire, De Trin. lib. i. cap. 10. But that is true only in this one respect, that the Son is not so in the Father, as to become one person with him. In all other respects, it must be granted, that the in- being of the Son in the Father, the union between them, which is natural, essential, and external, doth exceed this in glory, which was a temporary external act of divine wisdom and grace. 2. The most eminent substantial union in things na turai, is that of the soul and body constituting an in- dividual person. There is, I confess, some kind of similitude between this union, and that of the different natures in the person of Christ, but it is not of the same kind or nature; and the dissimilitudes that are be- tween them, are more and of greater importance, than those things are wherein thereseems to be an agreement between them. For, (1.) The soul and body are so united, as to constitute one entire nature. The soul is not human nature, nor is the body, but it is the con- sequent of their union. Soul and body are essential parts of human nature, but complete human nature they are not, but by virtue of their union. But the union of the natures in the person of Christ, doth not constitute a new nature that either was not, or was not complete before. Each nature remains the sameperfect complete nature after this union. (2.) The union of the soul and body doth constitute that nature, which is made essentially complete thereby, a new individual person with a subsistence of its own, which neither of them was, nor had before that union. But although the personof Christ, as God and man, be constituted by this union, yet his person absolutely, and his indi- vidual subsistencewas perfect, absolutelyantecedent un- to that union. He did not become a new person, ano- ther person than he was before, by virtue of that union; only that person assumed human nature to itself to be its own, into personal subsistence. (3.) Soul and body are unitedby an external efficient cause, or the power of God; andnot by the act of one of them upon ano. Cher. But this union is effected bythat act ofthe divine 7