Owen - BX9315 O81

ON THE GLORY OF CHRIST. 9 Dent. v. 22. I Kings viii. 12. 2 Chron. vi. 1. And the reason why God so represented himself in darkness un- to them, was to instruct them in their imperfect state, wherein they could not comprehend that glorywhich should afterwards be revealed. For as he is now made known in Christ, we see that <' he is light, and in him "-there is no darkness at all." 4. Hitherto darkness in general covered the earth, and gross darkness the people, as unto the knowledge of God; only there was a twilight in the church. The day did not yet dawn, the shadows did notflee away, nor the day star shine in the hearts of men. But when the sun of righteousness did arise in his strength and beauty, when the Son of God appeared in the flesh, and in the discharge of his office; God himself, as unto his being, and manner of existence in three distinct per- sons, with all the glorious properties of the divine na- ture, were illustriously manifested unto them that did believe, and the light of the knowledge of them, dispel- led all the shadows that were in the church, and shone into thedarkness which was in the world, so as that none continued ignorant of God, but those who would not see. John i. 5, 14, 17, 18. 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. Herein is the Lord Christ GLoatous. And this is that which Isbell now speak unto. namely, How we may behold the glory ofChrist in the representation and revelation that is made of God, and his glory, in his person and office, unto all that do - believe. For it is not so much the declaration ofthe nature of the things them- selves, wherein the glory of Christ doth consist, as our way andduty in the beholding ofthem, which at present is designed. He calls unto us, saying, Behold me, look unto me, and be saved. Isa. xlv. 22. What is it that we see in Christ? what do we - behold in him? Heasketh that question concerning his church, What will ye see in the Shulamite? Whereunto he answers, As it were the com- pany oftwo armies, Cant. mi. 13. or the two churches of the Old and New Testament, in order and beauty. We may inquire, what shall we, what do we see in him? Do we see him as the image ofthe invisible God, repre- senting him, his nature, properties, andwill unto us? Do wesee him as the character, the express image oftlse person of the Father, so as that we have no need of Philip's request, Lord, skewus-the Father, because hav- ing seen him, tee have seen the Father also? John. xiv. 9. C This is our first saving view of Christ, the first in- stance of our beholding his glory by faith. So to see him, as to see God in him, is to behold his glory; for herein is he eternally glorious. And this we ought to long for, and labour after. And ifwe see it not, we are yet in darkness; yea, thoughwe say we see, we are blind like others. So David longed and prayed for it, when yet he could behold it only in types and shadows, Psalm lxiii. t, 2. "0 God, thou art my God, early will I " seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have " seen thee in the sanctuary." For there was in the sanctuary an obscure representation of the glory of God in Christ. How much more should we prize that view of it, which we may have with open face, though yet as in a glass? 2 Cor. iii. 18. Moses when he had seen the works of God, which were great and marvellous, yet found not himself satis- fied therewith: wherefore after ail, he prays that God would skew himhis glory, Exodus xxxiii. 18. He knew that the ultimate rest, blessedness, and satisfactionof the soul, is not in seeing the works of God, but the glory of God himself. Therefore did he desire some imme- diate dawnings of it upon him in this world. 3 beseech thee skew me thy glory. And if we have right appre- hensions of the future state of blessedness, we cannot but have the same desire of seeingmore ofhis glory in this life. But the question is, how we may attain it? if we are left unto ourselves in this inquiry, ifwe have no o- ther way for it, but the immediate fixingofour thoughts on the immensity of the divine nature, we must .come every one to the conclusion that Augur makes on the like consideration; " Surely I am more brutish than " any man, and have not the understanding of a man; " I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of " theholy. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or " descended? Who bathgathered the wind in his fists? whobath bound the waters in a garment? Who bath ,' established all the ends of the earth? What is his " name, and what is his son's name, if thou canut.tell-" Prov. xxx. 2, 3, 4. It is in Christ alone, that we may have a clear -dis- tinct view of the glory of God and his excellencies: for him, and him alone bath he appointed the representa- tive of himself unto us. See John i. 18. .chap. 7-10. 2 Cor. iv. 6. Col. i. 16. Ephes. iii. 4-10. Heb. I. 2.. 9