Owen - BX9315 O81

OF CHUI church, or its enemies, are wrought by divine power; or are the effects of an emanation of power from God. They are all wrought " by the exceeding greatness of his power, even as he wrought in Christ himself when be raised him from the dead," Eph. i. 18. For all the outward works of God, such as all these are, whichare wrought in and for the church, are necessarily imme- diate effects of divine power; nor can be of another na- ture. 2. Upon suppositionof the obedience of Christ in this Jife, and the atonement made by his blood for sin, with his exaltation thereon, there is nothing in any essential property of the nature of God, nothing in the eternal unchangeable law of obedience tohinder, but that God might work all these things in us unto his own honour and glory, in the eternal salvation of the church, and the destruction of all its enemies, without a continuance of the administration of the offices of Christ in heaven, and all that sacred solemnity of worship, wherewith it is accompanied. These things being certain and evident, we may in- quire thereon, whence it is, that God bath ordered the continuation ofall these things in heaven above, seeing these ends might have beenaccomplished without them, by immediate acts of divine power? Thegreat works of God are sought out ofthem that have pleasure in them, Psal. exi. 2. This therefore be- i ing a great work of God, which he bath wrought and revealed unto us, especially in the effects and fruits of it, and that for the manifestation of his wisdom and grace, it is our duty to inquire into it with all humble dili- gence. r, For revealed things belong unto us and our children, that we may do the will of God for our good." Wherefore, 1. God would have it so, for the manifestation of his oven glory. This is the first great end of all the works of God. That it is so, is a fundamental principle of our religion. And bozo his works doglorify him, is our du- ty to inquire. The essential glory of God is always the same, eternal, and immutable. It is the being of God, with that respect which all creatures have unto it. For glory adds a supposition of relation unto being. But the manifestations of his glory are various, according to the pleasure of his will. Wherefore, that which he chuseth to manifest his glory in and by at one time, he may cease from using it unto that end at another. For Nn ST IN HEAVEN. 142 its being a means of the manifestation of his glory; may depend on such circumstances, such a state of things, which being removed, it ceaseth to be. So of old he manifested and represented his glory in the tabernacle and temple, and the holy pledges of his presence in them, and was glorified in all the worship of the law. But now he ceaseth so to do, nor is any more honour- ed by the services and ceremonies.of religion. therein pre- scribed. If the whole structure of the temple and all its beautifid services, were now in being on the earth, no- glory would redound unto God thereby, he would re- ceive none from it. To expect the glory of God in them, would be an high dishonour unto him. And God may at any time begin to manifest his. glory, by such ways and means as he did not formerlymake use of unto that purpose. Só is it with all gospel- ordinances,., which state will be continued unto the consummation of all things herebelow, and no longer, for then shall they all cease, God will be no more glorified in them or by them:. So bath God chosen to glorifyhimselfin heaven by this ad- ministration of all things inand by Jesus Christ,. where- unto also there is an end determined. And in the continuation of this holy, worship in the sanctuary above, God doth manifest his glory on many accounts, and rested) therein. 1st, He cloth it in and. unto the saints who. departed this life under the Old Testament. They came short in glory of what they now enter into, who die in the faith of oar Lord. Jesus Christ. For not to dispute about, nor determine positively, what was their state and con- dition before the ascension of Christ into heaven, or what was the nature of the blessed receptacle of their =pals; it is manifest, that they did not, they could not behold titre glory of God, and the accomplishment of the mystery of his wisdom, and will, in Jesus Christ, nor was it perfectly made known unto them. ;What- ever was their rest, refreshment, and blessedness; what- ever were their enjoyments of the presence of God; yet was there no throne of graceerected in heaven, noHigh Priest appearing before it; no Lamb as, it had been slain, no joint ascription ofglory unto him that sits on the throne and the Lamb for ever; God ,. having ordained some better things for us, that they with- out us should not be made perfect." See Eph. iii. 9, 10. This was that, and this was that alone, so far as in, S