Owen - BX9315 O81

EFFECT OF DIVINE W the means and ways of the manifestation of the divine Being, existence, excellencies and properties. And where this manifestation is despised or neglected, there God himself is so ; as the apostle discourseth at large, Rom. i. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. But of all the effects of the divine excellencies, the constitution of the person ofChrist as the foundation of the new creation, as the mystery of godliness, was the most ineffable and glorious. I speak not of his divine person absolutely. For his distinct personality and sub- sistence was by an internal and eternal act of thedivine Being in the person of the Father, oreternal generation, which is essential unto the divine essence, whereby no- thing anew was outwardly wrought or did exist. He was not, he is not in that sense, the effect of divine wisdom and power of God, but the essential Wisdom and Power of God himself. But we speak of him on- ly as incarnate, as he assumed our nature into personal subsistence with himself. His conception in the womb of the virgin, as unto the integrity of human nature, was a miraculous operation of the divine power. But the prevention of that nature from any subsistence of its own, by its assumption into personal union with the Son of God, in the first instance of its conception, is that which is above all miracles, nor can be disigned by that name. A mystery it is, so far abovethe order of all creating or providential operations, that it wholly transcends the sphere ofthem that aremost miraculous. Herein did God glorify all the properties ofthe divinena- ture, acting in a wayofinfinite wisdom, grace and conde- scension. The depths of the mystery hereof, are open only unto him whose understanding is infinite, which no created understanding can comprehend. All other things were produced and effected by an outward emanation - of power from God: hesaid, Let there be light, and there was light. But this assumption of our nature into hypostaticalunion with the Son of God, this constitution of one and the same individual person in two natures so infinitely distinct as those of God and man, whereby the Eternal was made in time, the Iiz /inite became finite, the Immortal, mortal, yet continuing eternal, infinite, immortal, is that singular expression of-divine wisdom, goodness and power, wherein God will be admired and glorified unto all eternity, Here- inwas that change introduced into the first creation, wherebythe blessed angels were exalted, Satan and his ISDOM AND GOODNESS. I3 works ruined, mankind recovered from a dismal aposta- sy, all things made new, all things in heaven and earth reconciledand gathered into one head, and a revenue of eternal glory raised unto God, incomparably above what the first constitution of all things in the order of nature could yield unto him. In the expression of this mystery, the scripture dolls sometimes draw the vail over it as that which we can- not look into. So in his conception of the virgin, with respect unto this union which accompanied it, it was told her that " the power of the Highest should over- shadow her," Luke i. 35. A work it was of the power of the Most High, but hid from the eyes of men in the nature of it and therefore that holy thing which had no subsistence of its own, which should be born of her, should be called the son of God, Becoming one person with him. Sometimes it expresseth thegreat.. ness of the mystery, and leaves it as. an object of our admiration, I Tim. iii. 16. " Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh." Amystery it is, and that of thosedimen- sions as no creature can comprehend. Sometimes it putteth things together, as that the distanceof the two natures shall illustrate the glory of the one person. John i. 14. " The Word was made fleshand dwelt.a- mong- us." But what Word was this? -" That which was in the beginning, which was with God, which was God,, by whom all things were made, and without whom was not any thing made, that was made, who was light and life." This Word was made flesh; not by any change of his own nature or essence; not by a transubstantiation of the divine nature into the human; not by ceasing to be what he was, but by becoming what he was. not, in. taking our nature to his own, to be his own,. whereby he dwelt among us. This glorions:WOrd which is God, and described by his eternity and omnipotency in works of . creation and providence, was madeflesh; which expresseth the lowest state and .condition. .of human nature;. without controversy great is this. mystery of godliness. And in that state wherein he visibly appeared asso made.flesh, those who had eyes given them from above saw his glory, theglory as of the only begotten of the lather. The eternal Word being made flesh, and manifested therein, they saw his glory, the glory of the only be.. gotten of the Father. What heart can conceive, whas.. D 1