Owen - BX9315 O81

2 14IEDITATIONS AND DISCOURSES so, with their duties and privileges therein, shallbe im-N mediately declared. All unbelievers do in their heart call Christ Ichabod, inhere is theglory? They see neither form snor comeli- ness in him, that he should be desired. They look on him as Michel, Saul's daughter, did on David dancing before the arle, when she despised him in her heart. They do not indeed (many of them) call Jesus anathe- ma, but cry, Hail master, and then crucify him. Hence have we so many cursed opinions advanced in derogation unto his glory, some of them really de- structive of all that is truly so; yea, denying the only Lord that bought us, and substituting a false Christ in his room. And others there are who express their slight thoughts . of him and his glory, by bold irreverent in- quiries, of what use his person is in our religion, as though there were any thing in our religion, that hails either reality, substance, or truth, but by virtue of its relation thereunto. And, by their answers, they bring their own inquiries yet nearer unto the borders of blas- phemy. Never was there an age since the name of Christians was known upon the earth, wherein there was such a direct opposition made unto the person and glory of Christ, as there is in that wherein we live. There were indeed in the first times ofthe church, swarms ofproud, doting, brainsick persons, who vented many foolish im- aginations about him, which issued at length in Arian- ism, in whose ruins they were buried. The gates of hell in them, prevailed not against the rock on which the church is built. But as it was said of Cansar, Solus accessit sobrius, adperdendam rempubliram, w He alone went soberly about the destruction of the common- wealth;" sowe now have great numbers who oppose the person and glory of Christ, under a pretence of sobriety of reason, as they vainly plead. Yea, the disbelief of the mysteries of the Trinity, and the incarnation of the Son ofGod, the sole foundation of the Christian reli- gion, is so diffused in the world, that it bath almost de- voured the power and vitals of it. And not a few, who dare not yet express their minds, do give broad intima- tions of their intentions and good will towards him, in making them the objectoftheir scorn and reproach, who desire to know nothing but him, and him crucified. God in his appointed time, will effectually vindicate his honour and glory from the vain attempts of men of corrupt minds against them. In the mean time, it is the duty orall those who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity, to give testimony in a pecu- liar manner unto his divine person and glory, according unto their several capacities, because of the opposition that is-made against them. 1 have thought myself on many accounts obliged to cast my mite into this treasury. And 1 have chosen on to do, not in a way of controversy (which formerly I have engaged in) but so, as together with the vindica- tion of the truth, to promote the strengthening of the faith of true believers, and their edification in the know- ledge of it; and to express the experience which they have, or may have, of the power and reality of these things. That which at present 1 design to demonstrate, is, that the beholding of the glory of Christ, is one ofthe greatest privileges and advancements that believers are capable ofin this world, or that which is to come. It is that whereby they are first gradually conformed unto it, and then fixed in the eternal enjoyment of it. hor, here in this life, beholding his glory, they are changed (or transformed) into the likeness of it, 2 Cor. iii. 18.; and hereafter, they shall be for ever like unto him, be- cause they shall see him as he is, 1 John iii. I, 2. Hereon do our present comforts, and future blessedness depend. This is the life and reward of our souls. He that hath seen him, hath seen the Father also, John xiv. 9. For we discern the light of the knowledgeofGod, only in theface ofJesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. There are therefore, two waysor degrees-of beholding the glory ofChrist, which are constantly distinguished in the scripture. The one is by faith in this world, which is the evidence of things not seen. The other is, by sight or immediate vision in eternity, 2 Cor. v. 7. We walk byfaith and not by sight. We do so whilst we are in this world, whilst we are present in the body, and absent from the Lord, ver. 8. But we shall live and walk by sight hereafter. And it is the Lord Christ and his glory, which are immediate objects - both of this faith and sight. For we here behold hita darkly in a glass (that is by faith), but we shall see himface to face (by immediate vision), Nowwe know him in part, but then we shall know him as we are known. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. What is the difference between these two ways of be holding the glory of Christ, shall be afterwards de. l Glared.