Owen - BX9315 O81

149 THE EXERCISE OT TIII the scripture it is revealed, wherein they came short of that glory which is now enjoyed in heaven. And here- in consits the advantageof the saints above them, who now die in faith. Their state in heaven was suited unto their faith, and worship on the earth. They had no clear distinct knowledge of the incarnation and media- tory office ofChrist, by their revelations and services. Only they believed that the promise of deliverance, of graceand mercy should be in and by him accomplished. Their reception into heaven, that which they were made meet and prepared for by their faith and worship, was suited thereunto. They had a blessedrest andhappiness above what we can comprehend; for who knows what it is to be in the glorious presence of God, though at the greatest distance? They were not immediately surprised with an appearance of that glory which they had no distinct apprehensionsof in this world, Neither they nor the angels knew clearly either the sufferings of Christ, or the glory that should ensue. But they saw and knew, that there was yet something farther to be done in heaven and earth, as yet hid in God and the counsels of his will, for the exaltation of his glory in the complete salvation of the church. This they con- tinued waiting for, in the holy placeof their refreshment above. Faith gave then, and it gives us an entrance into the presence of God, and makes us meet for it. But what they immediately enjoyed, did not in its whole kind exceed what their faith directed unto; no more doth ours. Wherefore, they were not prepared for a viewof the present gloryof heaven; nor did en- joy it. But the saints under the New Testament, who are clearly instructed by the gospel, in the mysteries of the incarnation and mediation of Christ, are by their faith and worship made meet for an immediate entrance into this glory. This they long for, this they expect and are secured o, from the prayer of our Saviour; that they may be, when they leave this world, where he is, to behold his glory. But now upon the entrance of Christ into theheaven- ly sanctuary, all those holy ones were admitted into the same glory, with what the saints under the NewTesta- ment do enjoy. Hereon, with open face, they behold the use and end of those typical servicesand ordinances, wherein these things wereshadowed out unto them. NO heart can conceive that ineffableaddition of glory which they received hereby. The mystery ofthe wisdom and MEDIATORY OFFICE grace of God in their redemption and salvation by Christ was now fully represented unto them; what they had prayed for, longed for, and desired to see in the days of their flesh on the earth, and waited for so long in heaven, was now gloriously made manifest unto them. Hereon did glorious light and blessed satisfaction come into and upon all those blessed souls, who died in the faith, but had not received the promise, only beheld it afar off. And hereby did God greatly manifest his own glory in them and unto them, which is the first end of the continuation of this state of things inheaven. This makes me judge, that the season of Christ's entrance into heaven as theholy sanctuary of God, was the great- est instance of created glory, that ever was, or ever shall be unto the consummationof all things. And this,; as for other reasons, so because all the holy souls. who had departed in the faith from the foundation of the world, were then received into the glorious light of the counsels of God, andknowledge of the effects ofhis grace by Jesus Christ. Want of a due apprehensionof the truth herein, hath caused many, especially those of the church of Rome,, to follow after vain imaginations about the state of the souls of the faithful departed under the Old Testament. Generally they shut them up in a subterraneous limbos, whence they were delivered by the descent of Christ. But it is contrary unto all notions and revelations of the respect of God unto his people; contrary to the life and nature of faith, that those who have passed through . their course of obedience in this world, and finishedthe work given unto them, should not enter, upon their de- parture, into blessed rest in the presence of God. Take away the persuasion hereof, and the whole nature of faith is destroyed. But into the fulness of present glo- ry they could not be admitted, as hath been declared. Moreover, God hereby manifests his glory unto the holy angels themselves. These things wherein it Both consist were hid in himself, even from them, from the foundation of the weirld; hidden in the holy counsels of . his will, Eph. iii. 9. Wherefore unto these ., princi- palities and powers in heavenly places," the manifold wisdom of God was made known by the church, ver. Ill. The church beingredeemed by the bloodof Christ, and himself thereon exalted in this glory, they came to know the a manifold wisdomof God," by theeffects of it, which before they earnestly desired to look into, I Pet.