Owen - BX9315 O81

OF ALL THE COUNSELS OF GOD. 17 neglect of what they cannot comprehend, do not much prepare themselves for that vision of these things in glo- ry, wherein our blessedness doth consist. Moreover, this constitution of the person of Christ being the most admirable and ineffable effect of divine wisdom, grace and power, it is that alone which can bear the weight of the whole superstructure of the my- stery of godliness: that whereunto the whole sanctifica- tion and salvation of the church is resolved, wherein alone faith can find rest and peace. a Other founda- tion can no man lay, save that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ," I Cor. iii. 11. Rest and peace with God, is that which we seek after; What shall we do to be saved? In this inquiry, the acts of the me- diatory office of Christ are in the gospel first presented unto us, especially his oblation and intercession. Thro' them he is able to save unto the utmost thosethat come to God by him. But there were oblations for sin, and intercessions for sinners under the Old Testament; yet of them all doth the apostle affirm that they could not make them perfect that came unto God by them, nor take away conscience condemned for sin, Heb. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4. Wherefore it is not these things in themselves that can give us rest and peace, but their relation unto the per- son of Christ. The oblation and intercession of any other would not have saved us. Hence for the security of our faith, we are minded that God redeemed the church with his own blood, Acts xx. 28. He did so who was God, as he was manifested in the flesh. His blood alone could purge our consciences from dead works, who did offer himself unto God, through the eternal Spirit, Heb. ix. 14. And when the apostle for our re- lief against the guilt of sin, calleth us unto theconsider- ation of intercession and propitiation, he mindeth us peculiarly of his person by whom they are performed, 1 John ii. 1, 2. a If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins." And wemay briefly con- sider the order of these things. 1. We suppose in this caseconscience to be awaken. ed unto a sense ofsin and of apostasy from God there- by. These things are now generally looked on as of no great concernment unto us, by some made a mock of, and by the most thought easy to be dealt withal at time convenient. But when Godfareth an apprehension of his displeasure for them on the soul, if it be not before it be too late, it will cause men to look out for relief. 2. This relief is proposed in the gospel. And it is the death and mediation of Christ alone. By them peace with God must be obtained or it will cease for ever. But, 3. When any person comes practically to know bow great a thing it is for an apostate sinner, to obtain the re- mission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified, endless objections, through the power of un- belief, will arise unto his disquietment. Wherefore, 4. That which is principally suited to give him rest, peace, and satisfaction, and without which nothing else can so do, is the due consideration of, and the acting of faith upon this infinite effect of divine wisdom and goodness, in the constitution of the person of Christ. This at first view will reduce the mind unto that con- clusion, If thou canst believe, all things arepossible. For what end cannot be effectedhereby? what end cannot be accomplished that was designed in it? Is any thing too hard for God ? did God ever do any thing like this, or make use of any suchmeans for any other end what- ever? Against this no objection can arise. On this con- sideration of him, faith apprehends Christ to be as he is indeed, the power of God, and of God unto the sal- vation of them that do believe, and therein doth it find rest with peace CHAP. IV. THE FERSON OF CHRIST THE FOUNDATION OF ALL THE COUNSELS OF GOD. SECONDLY, The person of Christ is thefoundation church. That which I intend is what the apostle ex- ofall the counsels of God, as unto his own eternal glory presseth, Eph. i. 9. 10. " Having made known the in the vocation, sanctification, and salvation of the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, 1 L''