Owen - BX9315 O81

16 THE PERSON OF CHRIST THE MOST INEFFABLE more elevate the soul into conformity unto God, than operations; and there is a great cognation between them. when it acts in the contemplation and admiration of the most incomprehensible mysteries, which are proposed unto it by divine revelation. Hence things philosophical, and of a deep rational indagation, find great acceptance in the world, as in their proper place they do deserve. Men are furnished with proper measures of them, and they find them pro- portionate unto the principles of their own understand- ings. But as for spiritual andheavenly mysteries, the thoughts of men, for the most part, recoil upon their first proposal, nor will be encouraged to engage in a diligent inquiry into them, yea, commonly reject them as foolish, or at least that wherein they are not concern- ed. The reason is that given in another case by the apostle, All men have not faith," 2 Them. ii. 2. which makes them absurd and unreasonable in the considera- tion ofthe proper objectsofit. But where this faith is, the greatness of the mysteries which it embraced), heightens its efficacy in all blessed effects upon thesoul. Such is this constitution of the person ofChrist, wherein the glory of all the holy properties and perfections ofthe divine nature are manifested, and do shine forth. So speaks the apostle, 2 Cor. iii. 1S. " Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, weare changed into the same image, from glory to glory." This glory which we behold, is the glory of the face of God in Jesus Christ, chap. iv. 6. or the glorious representationwhich is made of him in the person ofChrist, whereof we shall treat afterwards. The glass wherein this glory is re- presented unto us, proposed unto our view and contem- plation, is divine revelation in the gospel. Herein tee behold it by faith alone. And those whose view isstead- fast, who most abound in that contemplation by the exercise of faith, are thereby " changed into the same image, from glory to glory;" or are moreand morere. hewed and transformed into the likeness of God so re- presented unto them. That which shall at last perfectly effect our utmost conformity to God, and therein our eternal blessedness, is vision, or sight. ,e We shall be like him, for we shall see hipo as be is," 1 John iii. 2. Here faith begins what sight shall perfect hereafter. But yet we walk by fáith,and not by sight, 2 Cor. v. 7. And although the fileoffaith andvision differ in degrees, or as some think in Bind, yet have,they both the same object and the same Theobject ofvision is the whole mystery ofthe divine existence and will; and its operation is a perfect con- formity unto God, a likeness unto him, wherein our blessedness shall consist. Faith bath the same object, and the same operations in its degree andmeasure. The great and incomprehensible mysteries of the divine Be- ing, of the will and wisdomof God, are its proper ob- jecta, and its operation with respect unto us, is conform- ity and likeness unto him. And this. it doth in a pecu- liar manner in the contemplation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and herein we have our nearest approaches unto the lifeofvision, and the effects of it, For therein, " beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory" which perfectly to con- summate is the effect of sight in glory. The exercise of faith herein doth more raise and perfect the mind, more dispose it unto holy heavenlyframes and affections, than any other duty whatever. To be nigh unto God, and to be like unto him, are the same. To be always with him, and perfectly like him, according to the capacity ofour nature, is to be eternally blessed. To live by faith in the contemplation of the glory of God in Christ, is that initiation into both, whereof we are capable in this world. The en- deavours of some to contemplate and report the glory of God in nature, in the works of creation and pro- vidence, in the things ofthe greater and the lesser world, do desert's their just commendation; and it is that which the scripture in sundry placescalls us unto. But for any there to abide, there to bound their designs, when they have a much more noble and glorious Object for their meditations, namely,, theglory ofGod in Christ, both todespise the wisdom of God in that revelation of himself, and to come short of that transforming efficacy of faith in the contemplation. hereof, whereby we are made like unto God. For hereunto alone doth it be- long, and not unto any natural knowledge, nor to any knowledge of the most secret recesses of nature. I shall only say that those who are inconversant with these objectsof faith, whose minds are not delighted in the admiration of, and acquiescency in things incom- prehensible, such as is this constitution of the person of Christ, who would reduce all things to the measure of their own;understandings, or else wilfully live in the