Owen - BX9315 O81

ON THE GLORY OF CHRIST. infinite distance from the nature of all creatures thereby, causeth all his dealings with them to be in the way of condescension or humbling himself. So it is expressed, Ise. lvii. 15. He is so, the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, or existeth in his own eternal being, that it is an act of mere grace in him, to take notice of things below; and therefore he doth it in an especial manner of those whom the world doth most despise. 2. It ariseth from his infinite self -sufficiency unto all the acts and ends of his own eternal blessedness. What we have a regard unto, what we respect and desire, it is that it may add unto oursatisfaction. So it is, so it must be with every creature; nocreature is self -sufficient unto his ownblessedness. The human nature of Christ him- self in heaven is not so: it lives in God, and God in it, in a full dependance on God, and receivingblessed and glorious communications from him. No rational crea- ture, angel, or man, can do, think, act any thing, but it is all to add to their perfection and satisfaction, they are not self sufficient. God alone wantsnothing, stands in need of nothing, nothing can be added unto him, seeing hegiveth unto all, life, and breath, and all things, Acts xvii. 25. The whole creation in all its excellency cannot contribute one mite unto the satisfaction or bles- sedness of God. He bath it all in infinite perfection from himself and his own nature; our goodness extends not unto him; ,i A man cannot profit God as he may w profit his neighbour. If thou sinnest, what doest thou as against him? and if thy transgressions are multiplied, .i what doest thou unto him? (God loseth nothing of his w own self-sufficiency and blessedness therein by all ai this): and ifthou be righteous, what givest thou unto as him, or what receiveth he at thy hand?" Job xxxv. 6 -8. And from hence also it follows that all God's con- cernment in the creation, is by an act of condescen- sion. How glorious then is the condescension of the Son of God in his suseeption of the office of mediation? For if such be the perfection of the divine nature, and its distance so absolutely infinite from the whole crea- tion, and if such be his self - sufficiency unto his own eternal blessedness, as that nothing can be taken from him, nothing added unto him, so that every regard in him unto any of the creatures, is an act of self humilia- tion and condescension from the prerogative of his be- G 25 ing and state; what heart can conceive, what tongue can express the glory of that condescension in the Son of God, whereby he took our nature upon him, took it to be his own, in order unto a discharge of the office ofmediation on our behalf? But that we may the better behold the glory of Christ herein, we may briefly consider the especial nature of this condescension, and wherein it Both consist. But whereas not only the denial, but misapprehen- sions hereof have pestered the church of God in all ages, we must in the first place reject theta, and then declare the truth. I. This condescension of the Son of God did not consist in a laying aside, or parting with, or separation from the divine nature, so as that he should cease to be God, by being man. The foundation of it lay in this, that he was in theform ofGod, and counted it not rob- bery to be equal with God, Phil. ii. 6. That is, being really and essentially God in his divine nature, he pro- fessed therein to be equal with God or the person of the Father. He was in the form of God, that is, he was God, participant of the divine nature, for God bath no form but that of his essence and being; and hence he was equal with God, in authority, dignity, and power. Because he was in the form of God, he must be equal with God, for there is order in the divine persons, but no inequality of being. So the Jews understood him, that when he said, Godwas his Father, he made himself equal with God. For in his so saying, he as- cribed unto himself equal power with the Father, as unto all divine operations, My Father, said he, eeorketh hitherto, and I .work, John v. 17, 18. And they by whom his divine nature is denied, do cast this conde- scension of Christ quite out ofour religion, asthat which path no reality or substance in it. But we shall speak of them afterwards. Being in this state, it is said that he took on him the form ofa servant, and wasfound in fashion as a man, Phil. ii. T. This is his condescension. It is not said, that lie ceased to be in the formof God; but continuing soto be, he took on him theform ofa servant in our na- ture; he became what he was not, but he ceased not to be what he was, so he testifieth of himself, John iii. 13. " No man bath ascended up into heaven, but he " that came down from heaven,'the on ofman which to