Owen - BX9315 O81

010 THE GLORY OF CHRIST. It is the secondway, namely, by vision in the light ofglory, that is principally included in that prayer of our blessed Saviour, that his disciples may bewhere he is, to behold his glory. But I shalt not confine my in quiry thereunto; nor doth our Lord Jesus exclude from his desire, that sight of his glory which we have by faith in this world; but prays for the perfection of it in heaven. It is therefore the first way, that in the first place I shall insist upon, and that for the reasons ensuing. 1. No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter, who doth not in some measure behold it by faith here in this world. Grace is a necessary preparation for glory, and faith for sight. Where the subject, the soul, is not previously seasoned with grace and faith, it is not capable of glory or vision. Nay, per- sons not disposed hereby unto it, cannotdesire it; what- ever theypretend, they only deceive their own souls, in supposing That so they do. Most men will say with confidence, living and dying, that they desire to be with Christ, and to behold his glory; but they can give no reason, why they should desire any such 'thing; only they think it somewhat that is better than to be in that evil condition which otherwise they must be cast into for ever, when they can be here no more. Ifa man pre- tend himselfto be enamoured on, or greatly to desire what he never saw, nor was ever represented unto Lim, he Both but dote on his own imaginations. And the pretended desires of many, to behold the glory of Christ in heaven, who have no view of it by faith whilst they are here in this world, are nothing but self - deceiving imaginations. So do the papists delude themselves. Their carnal affections are excited by their outward senses to delight in images of Christ, in his sufferings, resurrection, and glory above. Hereon they satisfy themselves that they behold the glory of Christ himself, and that with love andgreat delight. But whereas there is not the least true representation made of the Lord Christ, or his glory, in these things; that being confined absolutely unto the gospel alone, and this way of attempting it being laid under a severe interdict, that they do but sport themselves with their own deceivings. The apostle tells us concerning himself, and other believers, when the Lord Christ was present, and con. versed with them in the days ofhis flesh, that they saw his glory, theglory as ofthe Onlyegotten of Father, ll ofgrace and truth, John i. 14. And we may in- quire, what was this glory of Christ, which theyso saw, and by what means they obtained a prospect ofit? For, 1. It was not the glory of Isis outward condition, as we behold the glory and grandeur of the kings and poten- tates of the earth; for he made himselfof no reputation, but being in theform of a servant, lie walked in the con- dition of a man of low degree. Thesecular grandeur of his pretendedvicar, makes no representations of that glo- ry of his which his disciples saw. Hekept no court, nor house of entertainment, nor (thoughhe made all things) had of his own where to lay his head. Nor, 2. Was it with respect to the outward form of theflesh inwhich he was made, wherein he took our nature on hint, as we see the glory of a comely or beautiful person; for he had therein neither form nor comeliness, that he should be desired, his visage was so marred more than any man, asid hisformmore than thesons ofmen, Isaiah lü. 14. chap. liii. 2, S. All things appeared in him as became a Haanofsorrows. Nor, S. Was it absolutely the eternal essential glory of his divine nature, that it intended. h'or this no man can see in this world. What we shall attain in a view thereof hereafter, we know not. But, 4. It was his glory, as he was full of grace and truth. They saw the glory of his person and his office in the administration of grace andtruth. And how, or by what means did they see this glory of Christ? It was by faith, and no otherwise. For this privilege was granted unto themonly who received him, and believed on his name, John i. 12. This was that glory which the Baptist saw, when upon his coming unto him, he said unto all that were present, behold theLamb ofGodwhich taketh away *sin of the world, John i. 29SO. Wherefisre let no man deceive himself: he that hath no sight of the glory of Christ here, shall never have any of it hereafter unto his advantage. It is not there- fore unto edification, to discourse of beholding theglory of Christ in heaven by vision, until we go through a teal, whether we see any thing of it in this world by faith or no. 2. The beholding of Christ inglory, 'Is that which is tself is too high, illustrious, and marvellous for us in our present condition. It bath a splendour and glory too great for our present spiritual visible faculty; as the direct, immediate sight of the sun darkens our sight