Owen - BX9315 O81

AS RUILT ON THE PERSON OF CHRIST. 9 man, and no more, though miraculously conceived and acknowledgment, that the divine nature which he had, was originally createdof God, and produced out of no- thing, witha double blasphemy, denying him to be the true God, and making a god of a mere creature. But in all these attempts, the opposition of the gatesofhell unto the church, respected faith in the person of Christ as the Son of the living God. Secondly, By some his humannature was opposed; for no stone did Satan leave unturned in the pursuit of his great design. And that which in all these things heaim- ed at, was the substitution of a false Christ, in the room of him, who in one person was both the Son of man and the Son of the living God. And herein he infected the minds ofmen with endlessimaginations. Some denied him to have any real human nature, but to have been a phantasm, an appearance, a dispensation, a mere cloud acted by divine power: some that he was made of heavenlyflesh, brought from above, and which, as some also affirmed, was aparcel ofthe divine nature. Some affirmed, that his body was not animated as ours are, by a rational soul, but was immediately acted by the power of the Divine Being, which was unto it in the roomofa living sou]. Some that his body was of an mtherial na- ture, and was at length turned into the sun; with many. such diabolical delusions. And there yet want not at- tempts in these days, of various sorts, to destroy the ve- rity of his human nature; and I know not what some late phantastical opinions about the nature of glorified bodies may tend unto The design of Satan in all these pernicious imaginations, is to break the cognation and alliance between Christ in his human nature and the church, whereon the salvation of it doth absolutely depend. Thirdly, He raised a vehement opposition against the hypos atical union, dr the union of these two natures in one person. Thus he did in the Nestorian heresy, which greatly, and for a long time pestered the church. The authors and promoters of this opinion, granted the Lord Christ to have a divine nature, to be the Son of the living God. They also acknowledged the truth of his human nature, that he was truly a man even as we are. But the personal union between these two natures they denied. An union, they said, there was between them, but such as consisted, only in love, power, and care. God did, as they imagined, eminently and power- fully manifest himself in the man Christ Jesus, had him C I born of the virgin, as some of them granted; though denied, as it is said, by the Ebionites; on which account he was called the Son of God. This attempt lay di- rectly against the everlastingRock, and would have sub- stituted sand in the room of it. For no better is the best of human nature to make a foundation for the church, if not united unto the divine. Many in those days fol- lowed those pernicious ways; yet the foundation ofGod stood sure, nor was the church moved from it. But yet after a revolution of so many ages, is the same endea- vour.again engaged in. The old enemy taking advan- tage ofthe prevalency ofatheism and profaneness among those that are called Christians, doth again employ the same engine to overthrow the faith of the church, and that with more subtilty than formerly in the Socinians. For their faith, or rather unbeliefconcerning the person of Christ, is the same with these before mentioned. And what avain wanton generation admire and applaud in their sophistical reasonings, is no more but what the primitive church triumphed over through faith, in the most subtile management of the Samosetanians, Photi- nians, and others. An evidence it is, that Satan is not unknowingunto the workings of that vanity and dark- ness, of those corrupt affections in the minds of men, whereby they are disposed unto a contempt of the mys- tery of the gospel. Who would have thought, that the old exploded pernicious errors of the Samosetanians, Photinians, and Pelagians, against the powerand grace of Christ, should enter on the world again with so much ostentation and triumph, as they do at this day? But many men, so far as I can observe, are fallen into such a dislikeof the Christ ofGod, that every thing concern- ing his person, Spirit, andgrace, is an abomination un- to them. It is not want of understanding to compre- hend doctrines, but hatred unto the things themselves, whereby such persons are seduced. And there is no- thing of this nature, whereunto nature, as corrupted, doth not contribute its utmost assistance. 2. There were such asopposed his divine nature, under pretence of declaring it another way than the faith of the church did rest in. So it was with the Arians, in whom the gatesofhell seemed once to be near a preva- lency. For the whole professing world almost, wasonce surprised into that heresy. In words they acknowledg- ed his divine person; but added, as a limitation of that