Owen - BX9315 O81

20 MEDITATIONS AN bath found one of great price, he parts with all to make it his own, Matt. xiii. 45, 46. The scripture is the field, the place, the mine where we search and dig for pearls: Prov. ii. 1 -5. ++ My son, if thou wilt receive + my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so ++ that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding: yea, ifthou criest after ++ knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding: « if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as ++ for hid treasures: then shalt thou understand the fear + +of the Lord; and find the knowledge of God." Every sacred truth that is made effectual unto the good of our souls, is a pearl whereby we are enriched; but when we meet with, whenwe fall upon this pearl ofprice, the glo- ry of Christ; this is that which the soul of a believer cleaves unto with joy. Then do we find food for our souls in the word of truth, then do we taste how gracious the Lord is there- in, then is the scripture full of refreshment unto us, as a spring of livingwater, when we are taken into blessed views of the glory of Christ therein. Andwe are in the best fratne of duty, when the principal motive in our minds, to contend earnestly forretaining the possession of the scripture, against all that would deprive no of it, or discourageus from a daily diligent searchinto it, is this, that they would take from us the only glass wherein we may behold the glory of Christ. This is the glory of the scripture, that it is the great, yea, the only outward means of representing unto us the glory of Christ; and he is the sun in the firmament of it, which only bath light in itself, and communicatesit unto all other things besides. 3. Another direction unto this same end is, that hav- ing attained the light of the knowledge of the glory of Christ from the scripture, or by the dispensationof the truth in the preaching of the gospel, we would esteem it our duty frequently to meditate thereon. Want hereof is that fundamental mistake which keeps many among us so low in their grace, so regardless of their privileges, They hear of these things, they assent unto their truth, at least they do not gainsay them; but they never solemnly meditate upon them. This they esteem a work that is above them, or are ignorant to- tally of it, or esteem themselves not much concerned in it, or dislike it as a fanaticism. For it is that which no considerations can engage a carnal mind to delight in. D DISCOURSES. The mind must be spiritual and holy, freed from earth ly affections and incumbrances, raised above things here below, that can in a due manner meditate on the glory of Christ. Therefore are the most strangers unto this duty, because they will not be at the trouble and charge of that mortification of earthly affections, that extirpa- tion of sensual inclinations, that retirement from the oc- casions of life, which are required thereunto. See the Treatise of Spiritual Mindedness. It is to be feared that there are some who profess re- ligion withan appearance ofstrictness, who never separ- ate themselves from all other occasions to meditate on Christ and his glory. And yet with a strange inconsis- tency of apprehensions, they will profess that they de- sire nothingmore, than to behold his glory in heavenfor ever. But it is evident even in the light of reason, that these things are irreconcileable. It is impossible that he who never meditates with delight on the glory of Christ here in this world, who labours not to behold it by faith as it is revealed in the scripture, should ever have any real gracious desire to behold it in heaven. They may love and desire the fruition of their imagina- tions, they cannot do so of the glory of Christ whereof they are ignorant, andwherewith they are unacquaint- ed. It is therefore to be lamented, that men who find time for, and have inclinations to think and meditate on other things, it may be earthly and vain; but have neither heart, nor inclinations, nor leisure to meditate on this glorious object. What is the faith and love which such men profess? Howwill they find themselves deceived in the issue. 4. Let your occasional thoughts of Christ be many, and multiplied every day. He is not far from us; we may make a speedy address unto him at any time: so the apostle informs us, Rom. x. 6, 7, 8. The things that Christ did, were done at a distance from us, and they are long since past. But saith the apostle, the word ofthe gospel wherein these things are revealed, and whereby an application is madeof them unto our souls, is nigh unto us, even in our hearts; that is, ifwe are true believers, and have mixed the word with faith; and so it exhibiteth Christ and all the benefits of his mediation untous. If therefore this word is in our hearts, Christ is nigh unto us. If we turn at any time into ourselves to conversewith the word that abideth in us, there we shall Slid him