Owen - BX9315 O81

ON TILE GLO for by this infinite condescension to be a suffering man he lost nothing of his power as God omnipotent; no- thing of his infinite wisdom or glorious grace. He could still do, all that he could do as God from eter- Ilsty. If there be any thing therefore in a coalescency of infinite power, with infinite condescension, to constitute a sanctuary for distressed sinners, it is all in Christ Je- sus. And if we see him not glorious herein, it is be- cause there is no light of faith in us. ,4 This then is the rest wherewith we may cause the « weary to rest, and this is the refreshment. Herein is " he an hidingplace from the wind, and a covert from " the tempest, as rivers of waters in a dry place, and a asa shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Here- on he says, ,, I have satiated the weary soul, and have u refreshed every sorrowful soul." Under this consid- eration it is, that in all evangelical promises and invi- tations for coming to him, he is proposed unto distres- sed sinners as their only sanctuary. Herein he is -a stone of stumbling, and rock of of- fence, unto the unbelieving and disobedient who stumble at the word. They cannot, they will not see the glory of this condescension, they neither desire nor labour no to do; yea, they hate it and despise it. Christ in it is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence unto them. Wherefore they chuse rather utterly to deny his divine person, than allow that he did thus abase himself for our sakes. Rather than they will own this glory, they will allow him no glory. A man they say he was, and no more, and this was his glory. This is that principle of darkness and unbelief which works efïectually'at this day in the minds of many. They think it an absurd thing, as the Jews didofold, that he being a man should be God also; or on the other band, that the Son of God should thus condescend to take our nature on him. This they can see no glory in, no relief no refuge, no refreshment unto their souls in any of their distresses: therefore do they deny his divine person. Here faith triumphs over them, it finds that to be a glorious sanc- tuary, which they cannot at all discern. But it is not so much the declaration or vindication of this glory of Christ which I am at present engaged in, as an exhortation unto the practical contemplation of it in a way of believing. And I know that among many this is too much neglected; yea, of all the evils which I have seen io the days of my pilgrimage, now 1-i nY or CHRIST. 29 drawing to their close, there is none so grievous as the public contempt of the principal mysteries of the gospel, among them that are called christians. Religion in the profession ol'some men is withered in its vital principles, weakened in its nerves and sinews, but thought to be put off with outward gaiety and bravery. But my exhortation is unto diligence in the contem- plation of this glory of Christ, and the exercise of our thoughts about it. Unless we are diligent herein, it is impossible we should be steady in the principal acts of faith, or ready unto the principal duties of obedience. The principal act of faith respects the divine person of Christ, as all christians must acknowledge. This we can never secure (as hath been declared) ifwe see not hisglory in this condescension: and whoever reduceth his notions unto experience, 'will find that herein his faith stands or falls. And the principal duty of our o- bedience, is SELF DENIAL with READINESS FOR THE cross; Hereunto the consideration of this condescen- lion of Christ is the principal evangelical motive, and that whereinto our obedience in it is to be resolved, as the apostle declares, Phil. ii. 5, 5, 7. And no manBoth deny himself in a due manner, who doth it not on the consideration of the self-denial of the Son of God. But a prevalent motive this is thereunto.For what are the things wherein we are to deny ourselves, or foregowhat we pretend to have a' right unto? It is in our goods, our liberties, our relations, our lives. And what are they, any, or all of them, in themselves, or unto us,' considering our condition, and the end for which we were made? Perishing things, which, whether we will or no, within a few days deaths will give us an everlast- ing separation from them, tinder the power of a fever or an asthma, as unto one interest in them, But how incomparable with respect hereunto is that condescen- sion of Christ, whereof we have given an account? If therefore, we find an unwillingness in us, a tergiversa- tion in our minds about these things when called unto then[ in a way of duty, one view by faith of the glory of Christ in this condescension, and what be parted from therein, when he made himself of no reputation, will be sis effectual cure of that sinful distemper. Herein then, I say, we may by faith behold the glo- ry of Christ, as we shall do it by sight Hereafter. If we see no glory in it, if we discern not that which is matter of eternal admiration, -we walk in darkness. ft to