Owen - BX9315 O81

WITH HIS PRESENT STATE 4. The glory that Goddesigned to accomplish in and by him, is now made evident unto all the holy ones that are about the throne. The great design of the wisdom and grace of God from eternity, was to declare, and manifest all the holy glorious properties of his nature, in and by Jesus Christ. And this is that wherein he will acquiesce, with which he is well pleased. When this is fully accomplished, he will use no other way or means for the manifestation of his glory. Here is the end and blessedness of all. Wherefore the principal work of faith whilst we are in this world, is to behold this glory ofGod, as so re- presented unto us in Christ. In the exercise of faith herein, is our conformity unto him carried on unto perfection, 2 Cor. iii. 18. And unto this'end, or that we may do so, he powerfully communicates unto our minds, a saving internal light without which we can neither behold his glory, nor give glory unto bim. ó He who commanded light to shine out of darkness, . shines into our hearts, to give us the light of the know- ledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. The end, I say, why God communicates a spiri- tual supernatural light into the minds of believers, is that they may he able to discern the manifestation and revelation of his glory in Christ, which is hid from the world, Eph. i. 17, 18, 19. Col. ii. -l. Howbeit, whilst we are here, we see it but darkly as in a glass; it is not evident unto us in its own lustre ànd beauty. Yea, the remainder of our darkness herein, is the cause of all our weakness, fears. and disconsolations. Want of a steady view of this glory of Gòd, is that which exposeth . us unto impressions from all our temptations. And I' the light of our minds therein, is that whereby we are changed and transformed into the likeness of Christ. But in heaven this is conspicuously and gloriously manifest unto all the blessed ones that are' before the throne of God. They do not behold it by tissith in va- rious degrees of light, as we do here below. They have not apprehensions ofsome impressions of divine glory on the person of Christ, and the human nature therein, with the work which he did perform, which is the ut- most of our attainment. Bot they behold openly and plainly the whole glory of God, all the characters of it, illustriously manifesting themselves in him, in what he. is, in what he hath done, in what he cloth. Divine wisdom, grace, goodness, love, power, do all shine Kk AND CONDITION IN GLORY. 120 forth in him, unto the contemplationof all his saints in whom he is admired. And in the vision hereof consists no small part of our eternal blessedness. For what can be more satisfactory, more full of gloryunto the souls of believers, than clearly to comprehend the mystery of the wisdom, grace, and love of God in Christ? This is that which the prophets at a great distance in. quired diligently into; that which the angels bow down to look towards; that whose declaration is the life and glory of the gospel. To behold inone view the reality, the substance ofall that was typified and represented by the beautiful fabric of the tabernacle and temple which succeeded in the room thereof; of all the utensils of them, and services performed in them; all that the promises of the Old Testament did contain, or the de- claration ofthe New; as it is the mostsatisfactory, blessed, and glorious state, that by the present light of faith we can desire or long for, so it evidenceth a glory in Christ of another kind and nature, than what any creature can be participant in. I shall therefore state it unto our consideration, with some fewobservations concerning it. 1- Evesy believer seeth here in this life, an excellency, a glory in the mystery of God in Christ. 'l'hey do so in various degrees, unless it be in times of temptation, when any of them walk in darkness, and have no light. The view and prospect hereinto is far more clear, and accompanied with more evidence in some than in others, according unto thevarious degrees of their faith and light. The spiritual light of some is very weak, and their views of the glory of God in Christ are much obscured with inevidence, darkness, and instability. This in many is occasioned by the weakness of their natural ability, in more by spiritual sloth and negligence, - in that they have not habitually exercised their senses to discern good and evil," as the apostlespeaks, Heb. v. 14. Sonia want instruction, and some have their minds corrupted by false opinions. Howbeit, all truebelievers have the eyes of their understanding opened, to discern in some measure the glory of God as represented to them in the gospel. Unto others it is foolishness; or they think there is that darkness in it whereunto they cannot ap- proach. But all the darkness is in themselves. This is the distinguishing property and character of saving faith, it beholds the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; it makes us to discern the manifestation of the glory of God in Christ, as declared in the gospel: 7