Owen - BX9315 O81

ON THE. GLORY OF CHRRIST. , of salvation, of life, and immortality. All is resolved into this, namely, the representation that is made of the nature and will of God in the person and office of Christ: if this fail us, we are lost for ever; if this rock stand firm, the church is safe here, and shall be trium- phant hereafter. i Herein then is the Lord Christ exceedingly glorious. Those who cannot behold this glory of his by faith, namely, as he is the great divine ordinance to represent God unto us, they know him not. In their worship of him, they worship but an image of their own devis- ing. Yea, in the ignorance and neglect hereof, consists the formal nature of UNBELIEF, even that which is in- evitably ruinous unto the souls of men. He that dis- cerns not the representation of the glory of God in the person of Christ unto thesouls of men, is an unbeliever. Such was the state of the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles of old; they did not, they would not, they could not behold the glory of God in him, nor how he did repre- sent him. That this was both the cause, and the formal nature of their unbelief, the apostle declares at large. t Cor. i. 21. For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, itpleased God by the foolishness ofpreaching to save diem that believe, ver. 22. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek af- ter wisdom: ver. 23. But tee preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; ver. 24. But unto there which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God, ver. 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser thanmen; and the weakness ofGod is 'stronger than peen. Not to see the wisdom of God, and the power of God, and consequently all the other holy properties of his nature in Christ, is to be an un- believer. The essence of faith consists in a due ascription of j glory to God, Rom. iv. `'0. This we cannot attain un- to without the manifestation of those divine excellencies unto us, wherein he is glorious. This is done in Christ alone, so as that we may glorify God in a saving and acceptable manner. He who discerns not the glory of divine wisdom, power, goodness, love, and grace, in the person and office of Christ, with the way of thesal- vation ofsinners by him, is an unbeliever. Hence the great design of the devil in the beginning of the preaching of the gospel, was to blind the eyes of men, and fill their minds with prejudices, that they might not behold this glory of his; ip the apostle gives an account of his success in this design, 2 Cor. iv. 3. 4. If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God ofthis world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gos- pel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine un- to them. By various ways and methods of deceit, to secure the reputation he had got, of being god of this world, by pretences and appearances of supernatural power and wisdom, he laboured to blind the eyes of men with prejudices against that glorious light ofthe gospel, which proposed the Lord Christ as the only image of God. This blindness, this darkness is cured in them that believe, by the mighty power of God; for God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness; hath irradiatedour hearts with the knowledge oftheglo- ry ofGod intheface ofJesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. where- in true saving faith doth consist. Under this darkness perished the unbelieving world of Jews and Gentiles, and such is the present condition of all by whom the di- vine person of Christ is denied; for no mere creature can ever make a perfect representation of God unto us. But the must a little further inquire into this mys- tery. Since men fell from God by sin, it is no small part oftheir misery and punishment, that they are covered with thick darkness and ignorance of the nature of God. They know him not, they have not seen him at any time. Hence is that promise to the church in Christ, Isa. K. 2. For behold, the darkness shall cover theearth, andgross darkness the peoples but theLord shall arise upon thee, and his glom shall be seen upon thee. The ancient philosophers made great inquiries into, and pbtained many notions of the DIVINE BEING, his existence and excellencies. And these notions they a- dorned with great elegancy of speech, to allure others unto the admiration of them. _ Hereon they boasted themselves to be the onlywise men in the world, Rom. i. 22. they boasted that they were the wise. But we must abide in the judgment of the apostles concerning them in their inquiries; he assures us that the weld in its wisdom, that is, these wise men in it, by their wis, -don, knew not God, I Cor. i. 21. And he calls theau,- thors of their best notions Athiests, or mess without God in the world, Nph.ii. 12. For, .. I. They had no certain guide, rule, nor light which