Owen - BX9315 O81

14 2IEDITATIONS AN will not reveal it unto us, but wemust be taught ofGod to apprehend it. John i. 12, 13. Matt. xvi. 16. 17. Mere unsanctified reason will never enable us unto, nor guide us in the discovery of this duty. Men are not so vain as to hope for skill and understanding in the mys- tery of a secular art or trade, without the diligent use of those means whereby it may be attained? And shall we suppose that we may be furnished with spiritual skill and wisdom in this sacred mystery, without diligence in the use of the means appointed of God for the at- .taining of it? The principal of them is fervent prayer. Pray then with Moses, that God would t. show you this ." his glory; pray with the apostle that the eyes of your " understandingmay be enlightened to behold it; pray " that-the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father " ofglory, may give untoyou the Spirit of wisdom and " revelation in the knowledge of him." Fill your minds with spiritual thoughts and contrivances about them. Slothful and lazy souls never obtain one view of this glory; the lion in the way deters them from attempting it. Being carnal, they abhor all diligence in the use of spiritual means, such as prayer and meditation on things unto them uneasy, unpleasing, and difficult. Unto others the way partakes of the nature of the end, the means of obtaining a viewof the glory of Christ are of the same kind, of the same pleasantness, with that view itself in their proportion. 3, Learn the use hereoffrom the actings of contrary vicious habits. When the minds of men are vehement- ly fixed on the pursuit of their lusts, they will be con- tinually ruminating on the objects of them, andhave a thousand contrivances about them, until their eyes be- come full of adulteries, and they cannot ceasefrom sin- ning, as the apostle speaks. The objects of their lusts - have framed and raised an image of themselves in their minds, and transformed them into their own likeness. Is this the way of them who go down to the chambers of death? Do they thus frame their souls and make them meet for destruction, until their words, gestures, ac- tions, proclaim the frame of their minds unto all that look upon them? And shall we be slothful and negli- gent in the contemplation of that glory which transforms our minds into its own likeness, so as that the eyes of our understandings shall be continually filled with it, until we see himandbehold him continually, so asnever to cease from the holy acts of delight in him, and love unto hint? D DISCOURSES. 9, Would we then behold the glory of God, as he manifesteth it in and by the holy properties of his na- ture, with their blessed operations and eff..cts, without which we have nothing of the power of religion in us, whatever we may pretend: this alone is the way of it. Go to the whole creation and all things Lontained-in it; they can say no more, but we have heard the fame and report of these things, and what we have heard we de- clare; but it is but a little portion of them that we are acquainted withal. e, The heavens indeed declare the " glory of God, and the firmament shewethhis handy work. The invisible things of God are understood by the things that are made, evenhis eternal power and " Godhead." But comparatively, it is but little that we can hence learnof these things, as unto what we may behold of them in Christ Jesus. I-Iow blind here- in was the best philosopher in comparison of the mean- est of the apostles, yeaof him who is least in theking- domof heaven. But herein it is required, that we rest not in the no- tion of this truth, and a bare assent unto the doctrine of it. The affecting power of it upon our hearts, is that which we should aim at. Wherein cloth the bles- sedness of the saints above consist? Is. it not herein, that they behold and see the glory of God in Christ? And what is the effect of it upon those blessed souls? Doth it not change them into the same image, or make them like unto Christ? Doth it not fill and satiatethem with joy, rest, delight, complacency, and ineffable satis- faction? Do we expect, do we desire the same state of blessedness? It is our present viewof the glory of Christ which is our imitation thereinto, if we are exercised in it, until we have an experience of its transformingpower in our souls. These things are, it may be, of little use unto some. Such as are babes in spiritual knowledge and under- standing, either because they are carnal, 1 Cor. iii. 1, 2. or slothful in hearing, Hob.. v. 12, 13, 14. are not capable of these divine mysteries. And therefore the " apostle did in an especial manner declare this wisdom " of God in a mystery unto them that are perfect." I Cor. ii. 6, 7. That is, who were more grown in " spi- " ritual knowledge, and had their senses exercised to " discern good and evil." It is unto them who are ex- ercised in the contemplation of invisible things, who delight to walk in the snore retired paths of faith and love, to whom they are precious.