Owen - BX9315 O81

32 b1EDITATTONS AND DISCOURSES acts of love could the human nature of Christ have any interest or concern: yet is the love of the man Christ Jesus, celebrated in the scripture. 10. Wherefore this love of Christ which we inquire after, is the love of his person, that is, which he, in Ids own person, acts in and by his distinct natures, ac- cording unto their distinct essential properties. And the acts of love in these distinct natures are infinitely distinct, and different; yet are they all acts of one and the same person. So then whether that act of love in Christ, which we would at any time consider, be an eternal act of the divinenature in the person of the Son of God; or whether it be an act of the human, perform- ed in time by the gracious faculties and powers of that nature, it is still the love of one and the self-same per- son, Christ Jesus. It was an act of inexpressible love in him, that he assumedour nature, Heb. ii. -14, 17. But it was an act in and of his divine nature only; for it was antece- dent unto the existence of his human nature, which could not therefore concur therein. His laying down his life for us, was an act of inconceivable love, I John íü. 16. Herebyperceive we the love of God, because he laid down his lifefor us. Yet was it only an act of the human nature, wherein he offered himself and died. But both the one and the other were acts of his divine person; whence it is said, that God laid down his life for us, and purchased the church with his own. blood. This is that love of Christ wherein he is glorious, and wherein we are by faith to behold his glory. A great part of the blessedness of the saints in heaven, and their triumph therein, consists in their beholding of this glory of Christ, in their thankful contemplation of the fruits of it, Rev, v. 9, 10. K And they sung a new song,say- a ing, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open f'.the seals thereof: for thou avast slain, and hast re- . deemed us to God by thy blood, out ofeverykindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made .o us unto our God, kings and priests: and.we shall reign on the earth," &c. The illustrious brightness wherewith this glory shines in heaven, the all- satisfying sweetness which the view of it gives unto the souls of the saints there possessed of glory, are not by us conceivable nor to be expressed. Here this love passeth knowledge, there we shall corn- rrchend the dimensions of it. Yet even bere, ifwe are notslothful and carnal, we may have a refreshing pros- pect of it; and where comprehension fads, let admira- tion take place. My present business is to exhort others unto the con- templation of it, though it be but a little, a very little, a small portion of it that 1 can conceive; and less than that very little that I can express. Yet it may be my duty to excite not only myself, but others also unto due inquiries after it; unto which end I offer the things en- suing. 1. Labour that your minds may continually be fitted and prepared forsuch heavenly contemplations. If they are carnal and sensual, or filled with.earthly things, a due sense of this love of Christ and its glory will not a- bide in them. Virtue and vice in their highest degrees, are not more diametrically opposite and inconsistent in the same mind, than are an habitual course of sensual worldly thoughts, and a due contemplation of the glory ofthe love of Christ; yea, an earnestness of spirit, preg- nant witha multitude of thoughts about the lawful occa- sionsof life, is obstructive of all due communion with the Lord Jesus Christ herein. Few there are whose minds are prepared in a due manner for this duty. The actions and communica- tions of the most, evidence what is the inward frame of their souls. They rove up and down in their thoughts, which are continually led by their affections into the corners of the earth. It is in vain to call such persons unto holy contemplatiòns of the glory of Christ in his love. An holy composure of mind by virtue of spirit- ual principles, an inclination to seek after refreshment inheavenly things, and to bathe the soul in the fountain of them, with constant apprehensionsof the excellency of this divine glory, are required hereunto. 2. Be not satisfied with general notions concerning the love of Christ, which represent no glory unto the mind; wherewith many deceive themselves. All who believe his divine person, profess a valuation of his love, and -think them not Christians who are otherwise mind- ed: but they haveonly general notions and not any dis- tinct conceptions of it, and really know not what it is. To deliver us from this snare, peculiar meditations on its principleconcerns are required of us. As, (s.) Whose love it is; namely, of the divine person of the Son of God. He is expressly called God, with respect unto the exercise of tins love; that we may al-