Owen - BX9315 O81

ON THE GLORY OF CHRIST. 11 we behold the glory of God in this, that he is love? The apostle declares it in the next words, 1 John iv. 9. «Herein was manifest the love of God towards us, be- 40 cause God sent his only begotten Son into theworld, < that we might live through him." This is the only evidence given us that God is love. Hereby alone is the divine nature as such made known unto us: namely, in the mission, person, and office of the Son of God, without this all is in darkness as unto the true nature and supreme operation of this divine love. Herein do we behold the glory of Christ himself, even in this life. This glory was given him of the Fa- ther; namely, that he now should declare and evidence that God is love; and he did so, « that in all things he might have the pre-eminence." Herein we may see how excellent, how beautiful, how glorious and desir- able he is, seeing in him alone we have a due repre- sentation of God as he is love, which is the most joyful sight of God that any creature can obtain. He who beholds not the glory of Christ herein, is utterly igno- rant of those heavenly mysteries; he knoweth neither God nor Christ; he hath neither the Father nor the Son. Heknows not God, because he knows not the holy propertiesof his nature in the principal way de- signed by infinite wisdom for their manifestation; he knows not Christ, because he sees not the glory of God in him. Wherefore, whatever notions men may have from the light ofnature, or from the works of provi- dence, that there is love in God, however they may adorn them in elegant affecting expressions; yet from them no man can know that God is love; in the revela- tion hereof Christ bath the pre,eminence; nor can any man comprehendany thing of it aright but in him. It is that which the whole light of the creation cannot dis- cover; for it is the spring and centre of the mystery of godliness. These things are of the deep things of Ged, such as belong unto that wisdom of God its a mystery, which they that are carnal cannot receive, as the apostle testi- fies. I Cor. ii. 14. But the meanest believer who lives in the exercise offaith, may have an understand- ing of them so far as is needful unto his love and obe- dience. The sum of the whole is this: if you would behold the glory of Christ as the great means of your sanctification and consolation, as the only preparation for the beholding of his glory in eternal blessedness; consider what of God is made known and represented unto you in him, wherein God purposed and designed to glorify himself in him; now this is all that may be known of God ina saving manner; especially his was - DOM, his Love, his GOODNESS, GRACE, and MERCY, whereon the life of our souls doth depend; and the Lord Christ being appointed the only way and means hereof, how exceeding glorious must he be in the eyes of them that do believe. These things being premised, I shall close this first consideration of that gloryofChrist which we behold by faith in this world, with some such observations as may excite us unto the practiceof this great duty, and im- provement of this great privilege; the greatest which on this side heaven we can be made partakers of. There are some who regard not these things at all, but rather despise them. They never entertain any serious thoughts of obtaining a viewof the glory of God in Christ; which is to be unbelievers. They look on him as a teacher that came forth fromGod to reveal hie will, and to teach us his worship; and so indeedhewas; but this they say, was the sole use of his person in re- ligion, which is Mahometism. The manifestation of all the holy properties of the divine nature with the re- presentation of them unto angels above, and the church in this world, as he is the image ofthe invisible God, in the constitution of his person, and the discharge of his office, are things they regard not; yea, they despise, and scorn what is professed concerning them; for pride and contempt of others were always the safest covert of ignorance; otherwise it would seem strange, that men should openly boast of their own blindness. But these conceptionsof men's minds are influenced by that un- belief of his divine person, which maketh havock of Christianity at this day in the world. I speak of them, whose minds are better disposed to- wards heavenly things; and unto them I say, wherefore do you love Jesus Christ? for so you profess to do. Wherefore do you trust in him? wherefore do you ha nour him? wherefore do you desire to be in heaven with him? Can you give a reason of this hope that is in you? and account why you do all or any ofthese things? Ifyou cannot, all that you pretend towards him is but fancy and imagination; you fight uncertainly as men beating theair. Or is one of your reasons hereof, that in him you doby faith behold that glory ofGod, with 9