Owen - BX9315 O81

339 TIIE EXERCISE OF TI3E MEDIATORI OFFICE and words, whereby to express his praise, as " Moses talked with Christ," at his " transfiguration," Matti,, xvii. 3. But the manner of it is such, as whereby the whole assembly above do jointly set forth and cele- brate thepraises of God. And the glory hereof consists in threr things. 1. The blessedand beautiful order ofall things in that sanctuary. Job describes the grave beneath to he " a place without any order, and where the light is as darkness," chap. x. 22. All above is order and light; everyperson and thing in its proper place and exer- cise. (I.) heaven itself is a temple, a sanctuary, made so by the especial presence of God; and the ministration of Christ in the tabernacle ofhis human nature. (2.) God is on thethroneofgrace; gloriously exalted on the account of his grace, and for the dispensation of it. To the saints above, he is on the throne of grace, in that they are in the full enjoyment of the ef- fects of his grace, and do giveglory- unto him on the account thereof. He is so also with respect unto the church herd below, in the continual communications of grace and mercy through Christ. (3.) The Lord Christ in his human nature is before the throne, acting his mediatoryoffice and power in be- half of the church. (4.) All the holy angels in the various orders and de- grees,of their ministration are about the throne contin- ually. So, (5.) Are the spirits ofjust men made perfect, in the various measures oflight and glory. And these things were obscurely represented in the order ofthe church at its first erection in the wilderness; for the ordinances of God among them were patterns or figures of heaven- ly things, Heb. ix. 23. (1.) In the midst was the ta- bernacle or sanctuary, which represented the sanctuary or temple above. (2.) In the most holy place, were the ark and mercy-seat, representatives of the throne of grace. (3.) The ministry of the high print, a type of the ministryof Christ. (4.) TheLevites whoattend- ed on the priest, did represent the ministry of angels, attending on Christ in the discharge of hisoffice. And, (5.) Round about themwere thetribes in their order. 2. In thefull clear apprehensionswhich all the bles- sed ones have of the glory of God in Christ, of the work and effects ofhis wisdomand grace towards man- kind. These are the foundation of all divine worship. And because our conceptionsand apprehensions about them are dark, low, obscure, and inevident, our wor- ship is weak and imperfect also. But all is open unto the saints above. We are in the dust, the blood, the noise of the battle; they are victoriously at peace, and have a perfect view of what they have passed through, and what they have attained unto. They are come to the springs of life and light, and are filled with admira- tion ofthe grace of God in themselves and one anoth- er. What they see in God, and in Jesus Christ, what they have experience of in themselves, what they know and learn from others, are all of them inconceivable and inexpressible. It is well for us, ifwe have so much ex- perience of these things, as to see a real glory in the ful- ness and perfection of them. The apprehensions by sight without mixture of unsteadiness or darkness, withoutthe alloy of fears or temptations, with an ineñá- blesense ofthe things themselveson their heartsor minds, are the springs or motives of the holy worship which is in heaven. 3. In the glorious manner of the performance of it. Now whereas it ariseth from sight and present enjoy- ment, it mast consist in a continual mcription of glory and praise unto God; and so it is described in the scrip- ture. See Rev. iv. 9, t,0, 11. with Isa. vi. 3. And how little a portion of the glory of these things is it, that we can apprehend. Thirdly, In thissolemn assembly before the throne of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, doth represent and render acceptable unto God, the worship of the church here below. So it is expresed, Rev. viii. 3, 4. K And an angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was giv- en unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne. And the smoke of the in- cense, which came with the prayers of the saints, as- cended up unto God out of the angel's hand." It is a representation of the high priest burning incense on the golden altar on the day of atonement, when he en- tered into the most holy place. For that altar was placed just at the entrance of it, directly before the arle and mercy-seat, representing the throneof God. This angel therefore is our High Priest; none else could ap- proach that altar, or offer incense on it, the smoke