Owen - BX9315 O81

ON THE GLORY OF CHRIST. 15 Some few inferences from the whole of what bath been declared, shall put a close to this part of our dis- course. 1. The holy properties of the divine nature are not only represented unto our faith in Christ as unto their own essential glory, but as they are in the exercise of their powers for the salvation of the church. In him do we behold the wisdom, goodness, love; grace, mer- cy, and power of God acting themselves in the contri- vance, constitution, and efficacious accomplishment of the great work of our redemption and salvation. This gives, as unto us, an unutterable lustre unto the native amiableness of the divine excellencies. The wisdom and love of God are in themselves infinitely glorious, infinitely amiable; nothing can be added unto them, there can be no increase of their essential glory. How- beit as they are eternally resident in the divine nature, and absolutely the same with it, we cannot so compre- hend them, as to have an endearing satiating view of their glory: but as they are exerted in the work of the redemption and salvation of the church, as they are expressed, communicating their blessed effects unto the souls of them that do believe, which is done only in Christ; so the beams of their glory shine unto us with unspeakable refreshment and joy. 2 Cor. iv. 6. Hence the apostle on the consideration of the actings of the holy properties of God in this blessed work, falls into that contemplation. " O the depth of the riches " both of the wisdom and knowledgeof God! How un- " searchable are hisjudgments, and his ways past find- "ing out! For who bath known the mind ofthe Lord, " or who hath been his counsellor, or who hath first " given unto him, and it shall be recompensed unto " him again? For of him, and through him, and to him " are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen." Rom xi. 3a-16. 2. In and through Christ we do believe in God. 1 Pet. i. 24. This is the life ofour souls. God himself in the infinite perfections of his divine nature, is the ultimate object of our faith, but he is not here the im- mediate object of it, but the divine way and means of the manifestation of himself and them unto us are so. Through Christ we believe in God. By our belief in him, we come to place our faith ultimately in God him- -elf; and this we can no otherwisedo, but by beholding theglory ofGod in him, as hath been declared. 8. This is the only way whereby we may attain the saving, sanctifying knowledge of God; without this, every beam of divine light that shines on us, or gleams from without (as the light shineth into darkness, when the darkness comprehendeth it not. John i. b.); every spark that ariseth from the remainders of the light of nature within, does rather amaze the minds of men, than lead them into the saving knowledge of God. So a glance of light in a dark night giving a transient view of various objects, and passing away, cloth rather amaze than direct a traveller, and leave him more exposed un- to wandering than before. Such were all those notions of the divine Being and his excellencies, which those who boasted themselves to be wise among the heathen embraced and improved. They did but fluctuate in their minds, they did not transform them into the image and likeness of God, as the saving knowledge of hint cloth. Col. iii. 10. " And have put on the new man, " which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of " him that created him." So the apostle expresseth this truth; " Where is the ",wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of " this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom "of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God, " the worldby wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by " the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. " For the Jews require a sign, and the Gentiles seek " after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks " foolishness; but unto them that are called both Jews " and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wis- " dom of God." 1 Cor. i. 20-24. After it was evident unto all, that the world, the wise, the studious, the contemplative part of it, in the wisdom of God, disposing them into that condition, wherein they were left unto themselves, in their own wisdom, their natural light and reason, did not, could not come to the saving knowledge of God, but were puffed up into a contempt of the only way of the reve- lation of himself, as weakness and folly, it pleased God then to manifest all their wisdom to be folly; and to establish the only means of theknowledge of himself in Christ Jesus. .