Owen - BX9315 O81

i'NITH HIS PRESENT STATE A of the state of glory, and our preparations for it, and whether we are in any measure made meet for the in- heritance of the saints in light. More grounds of this trial will be afterwards suggested, these laid down may not be passed by. Various are the thoughts ofmen a- bout the future state, the things which are not seen, which are eternal. Somerise no higher, but untohopes ofescaping hell, or everlasting miseries when they die. Yet the Heathen had their Elysian fields, and Mahomet his sensual paradise. Others have apprehensions of I know not what glistering glory that will please and sa- tisfy them they know not how, when they can be here no longer. But this state is quite of another naturd, and the blessedness of it is spiritual and intellectual. Take an instance in one of the things before laid down. The glory of heaven consists in the full manifestation of divine wisdom, goodness, grace, and holiness of all the properties of the nature of God in Christ. In the clear perception and constant contemplation hereof, _con- sists no small part ofeternal blessedness. What then are our present thoughts of .these things? Whatjoy, what satisfaction have we in the sight of them, which we have by faith through divine revelation? What is our desire to come unto the perfect comprehension of them? How do we like this heaven? What do we find in ourselves that will be eternally satisfied hereby? Ac- cording as our desires are after them, such and no o- ther are our desires of the true heaven, of the residence of blessedness and glory. Neither will God bring us unto heaven whether we will or no. If through the ig- norance and darkness ofour minds, ifthroughthe earth- liness and sensuality of our affections, if through a ful- ness of the world, and the occasions of it, if by the love of life, and our present enjoyments, we are strangers unto these things, we are not conversant about them, we long not after them; we are not in the way to- wards their enjoyment. The present satisfaction were- ceive in them by faith, is the best evidence we have of an indefeasible interest in them. How foolish is it to lose the first-fruitsof these things inour own souls, those entrances into blessedness, which the contemplation of them through faith would open unto us, and hazard our everlasting enjoyment of them, by an eager pursuit of an interest in perishing things here below? 'Phis, this is that which ruins the souls of most, and keeps the faith of many at so low an ebb, that it is hard to discoverany genuine working ofit. ND CONDITION IN GLORY. 131 Secondly, Theglory ofthe human nature of Christ dif- fers from that of the saints after the resurrection, in things which concern the degrees of it. For, 1. The glory of his body is the example and pattern - of what they shall be conformed unto, Phil. iii. 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may befash- ioned like unto his glorious body, according to the work- ing whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." Our bodies were made vile by the entrance of sin. Thence they became brothers to the worms, and sisters unto corruption. To death and the grave, with rottenness and corruption therein, they are design- ed. At the resurrection they shall be new-framed, fash- ioned and moulded. Not only all the detriment and disadvantage they received by the entrance of sin shall be removed, but many additions of glorious qualifica- tions which they had not in their primitive natural con- stitution shall be added unto them. And this shall be done by the almighty power of Christ; that working or exercise of it, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. But of this state whereinto we shall be changed by the power of Christ, his own body is the pattern and example. A similitude of it is all that we shall attain unto. And that which is the idea and ex- emplar in any state, is the rule and standard unto all others. Such is the glory of Christ; ours consists in conformity thereunto; which gives him the pre-emi- nence. 2. As the state of his body is more glorious thanours shall be, so will that of his soul in itself be made appear to be more excellent than what we are capable of. For that fulness of the Spirit without measure, and of all grace which his nature was capacitated for, by virtue of the hypostatical union, doth now shine forth in all ex- cellency and glory. The grace that was in Christ in this world, is the same with that which is in hits now in heaven. The nature of it was not changed, when he ceased to be viator, but is only brought into a more glo- rious exercise now he is comprehensor. And all his graces are nowmade manifest, the vail being taken from them, and light communicated to discern them. As in this world, he had unto the most neither form norcome- liness for which he should he desired, partly from the vail which was cast on his inward beauty, from his out- ward condition, but principally from thedarkness which was on their minds, whereby they were disenabled to