Owen - BX9315 O81

lß ritEDtTATIONS AND DISCOURSES 1. Infinite wisdom is one of the most glorious pro- perties of the divine mature; it is that which is directive of all the external works of God, wherein the glory of all the otherexcellencies of God is manifested; where- fore the manifestation of the whole glory of God pro- ceeds originallyfrom infinitewisdom. But asJob speaks, Where shall this wisdom befound? and what is theplace ofunderstanding? chap. xxviii. 12. Can we by search- ingfindout God? can wefend out the Almighty to per- fection? chap. xi. 7. As it is in itself an essentialeter- nal propertyof the divine nature, we can have nocom- prehension of it; we can but adore it in that infinitedis- tance wherein we stand fromGod: but in its operations and effects it may be discerned; for they are designed of God for its manifestation. Among these the most excellent is the contrivanceof the great workof the sal- vation of the church; so it is celebrated by the apostle, lbph. iii. 9, 10. To make all men see what isthefellow- ship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world halls been hid ist God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:.to the intent that now unto the principali- tiesandpowers in heavenly places, might be known by thechurch the manifold wisdom of God. If we have any interest in God, ifwo have any hopes of blessedness in beholdingofhis glory unto eternity, we cannot but desire a view (such as is attainable) of this infinite manifold wisdom of God in this life. But it is in Christ alone that we can discern any thingof it; for him tenth the Father chosen and sealed to represent it tinto us. All the treasures of this wisdom are kid, laid up, and lull out inhim. Herein lies the essence and form offaith. Believers by it do see the wisdom. of God in Christ, in his person and office, Christ the wisdomof God; unbelievers see it not, as the apostle argues. 1 Cor. i. 22, 23, 24. In beholding the glory ofthis infinite wisdom of God in Christ, we behold his own glory also; the glory given him of his Father; for this is his glory, that in and by him, and him alone, the wisdom of God is manifested and represented unto us. When God appointed him as the great andonly means of this end, he gavehim ho- noue and glory above thewhole creation; for it is but little ofdivine wisdom which the works of it declare, in comparison of what is manifested in.Christ Jesus. We no way deny or extenuatethemanifestation that is made of the wisdomof God inthe works of creation andpro- vidence. It is sufficient to detect the folly of atheism and idolatry, and was designed of God unto that end. But its comparative insufficiency, with respect unto the representation of it in Christ, as unto the ends of know- ing God aright, and living unto him, the scripturedoth abundantly attest. And the abuse of it was catholic, as the apostle declares, Rom. i. 20. ü For the invisi- ie ble things of him from the creation of the world are " e clearly seen, being understood by the things that are " made, even his eternal power and godhead; so that n they are without excuse," &c. To see this wisdom clearly is our wisdom; and a due apprehension of it, fills the souls of believers withjoy unspeakable andfull ofglory. 2. We may also instance in the LOVE OF Gon. The apostle tells us, that God is love, 1 John iv. 8. Divine love is not to be considered only in its effects, but in its nature and essence; and so is God himself; for God is love. And a blessed revelation this is of the di- vine nature; it casts out envy, hatred, malice, re- venge, with all their fruits, in rage, fierceness, im- placability, persecution, murder, into the territories of Satan. They belong not unto God in his nature er actings; for God is love. So the same apostle tells ps, that he who slewhis brother was of the wicked one, 1 John iii. 12. He was of the devil his father, and his works didhe do. But the inquiry is as before: How shall we have a view of this love ofGod as love? By what way or means shall we behold the glory of it? It is hidden from all living, in God himself. The wise philosophers, who discoursed so much of the LOVE OF GOD, knew nothing of this, that God is love. The most ofthe natural no- tions of men about it, are corrupt, and the bestof them weak and imperfect. Generally the thoughts of men about it are, that he is of a facile and easy nature, one that they make bold withal in all their occasions, as the psalmist declares, Psalm 1. 21. And whereas it most be learned in its effect, operations, and divine ways of its manifestation, those who know not Christ, know nothing of them. Andmany things in providence do interpose to hinder ourview ofthis love; for although that indeed God is love, yet o hiswrath is revealed from " heaven against the ungodliness of men :" as all things at this day are filled with evidences of his anger and displeasure. How then shall we know, wherein shalt