Owen - BX9315 O81

144 THE EXERCISE OP TH undergoing of them being necessary unto the discharge of his office; yea it consisted therein. Herein was he exposed unto reproach, contempt, and shame, with all the evils that Satan or the world could bring upon him. And besides, he was for us, and in our stead to undergo the curse of the law, with the greatest of terrors and sorrows in his soul until he gave up the ghost. These things were necessary unto the discharge of his óffice, nor could the salvation ofthe church be wrought out without them. But do we think, that God would commit so glorious an office unto his only Son, to be discharged in this manner only? Let it be granted, that after he had so accomplished the will of God in this world, he had himself entered into glory; yet if he should so cease the administration of his office, that most be looked on as the most afflictive and dolorous that ever was undergone. But it was the design of God, to glorify the office itself, as an effect of his wis- dom, and himself therein; yea so as that the very office itself should bean everlasting honour to his Son as incar- nate. Unto this end, the administration of it iscontinu- ed in glory in his hand, and he is exalted in the discharge of it. For this is that glory whiçh he prays that all his disciples may be brought unto him- to behold. The time between his ascension, and the end all things, is allotted unto the glory of Christ in the administration of his office, in the heavenly sanctuary. And from hence doth the apostle prove him as an High Priest, to be far more glorious than those who were called unto that office under the law, Heb. viii. 1, 2, 3. Herein it is manifest unto angels and men, how glorious a thing it is to be the only King, Priest, and Prophet of the church. Wherefore, as it behoved Christ in the discharge of his office to suffer; so after his sufferings in the discharge of the same office he was to enter his glory, Rev. i. 18.. - 3. God bath respect herein unto those who depart in the faith, in their respective generations, especially those who died betimes, as the apostles and primitive Christians. And sundry things may be herein consid- ered. There are two things which believers put a great price and value on in this world, and which sweeten every condition unto them; without them the world would be a noisome,dungeon unto them, nor could they be satisfied with a-continuance therein. The one is the E. MEDIATORY OFFICE r service of Christ. Without an opportunity of being exercisedherein, theycould not abide herewith any satis- faction. They who know it not so to be, are under the power of worldly-mindedness. The meanest service of Christ bath refreshment in it. And as to those who have opportunities and abilities for great instances of service, they do not know onjust grounds, nor are able to determine themselves, whether it be best for them to continue in their service here below, or to enter into the immediateservice of Christ above; so glorious, so excellent is it to be usefully serviceable unto the Lord Jesus. So was it with the apostle, Phil. i. 21-26.; so may it be with others if they serve him in the same spirit, with the same sincerity, though their abili- ty in service be not like unto his. For neither had he any thing but what he received. Again, they have the enjoymentof Christ in the ordinances ofgospel-worship. By these means do they live, in these things is the life of their souls. In this state of things God will not call them hence unto their loss; he will not put an end unto these.privi leges, without an abundant recompense and advantage. Whatever we enjoy here, yet still to depart hence and to be with Christ, shall befirr better, Phil. i. 23. For, 1st, Although service here below shall cease, and be given over unto other hands, who are to have their share herein, yet on the continuance of this state of things in heaven, there is also a continuation of service unto Christ, in a way inexpressibly more glorious, than what we are in this life capable of. Upon their admit- tance into this state of things above, t' they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sittethon the throne shall dwell a- mong them," Rev. vii. 15. The whole state oftheglorious worship of -God before described, is here respected; and herein is a continual service performed unto him that sits on the tbroneand unto the Lamb. Wherefore it is so far from being a loss, to be called offfrom ser- vice here below, as that in point of service itself, it is an inconceivable advancement. 2d1y, The enjoyment ofChrist in and by the ordinan- ces ofhis worship, is the immediate fountain and spring of all our refreshments and consolations in this world, Psal. lxxxvii. 7. But what is it unto the blessed im- mediate enjoyment of him in heaven? Hence the bles- sedness ofthe state above is described, by being with