Owen - BX9315 O81

I$ THE PERSON OF CHRIST THE FÓUNDATION which he purposed in himself; that in the dispensation was in the habitable parts of the earth, and among the of' the fulness of time, he might gather together in one sons of men, before the creation of the world. Where- all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and fore the eternal prospect of the work he had to do for which are in earth, even in him." Themysteries ofthe the childrenof men is intended herein. Inand with him will of God, according to his good pleasure which he God laid the foundation ofall his counsels, concerning purposed in himself, are his counsels concerning his his love towards the children of men: And two things own eternal glory in the sanctification and salvation may he observed herein. of the church here below, to be united unto that I. That the person of the Son was set up, or exalted above. The absolute original hereof was in his own herein. I was set up, sáith he, from everlasting. This good pleasure, or the sovereign acting of his wisdom and cannot be spoken absolutely of the person of the Son will. But it was all to be effected in Christ, which the himself; the divine nature being not capable ofbeing so apostle twice repeats; he would gather all things into an set up. But there was a peculiar glory and honour, be- head in Christ, even in him; that is in him alone. longing unto the person of the Soo, as designed by the Thus it is said of him with respect unto his future Father, unto the execution of all thecounsels of his will. incarnation and work of mediation, " that the Lord Hence was that prayer of his upon the accomplishment possessed him in the beginning ofhis ways, before his ofthem, John xvii. 5. " And now, O Father, glorify works of old ; that he was set up froth everlasting, me with thineown self, with the glory which I had with from the beginning, or ever the earth was," Prov. viii. thee before the world was." To suppose that the Lord 22, 23. The eternal personal existence of the Son of Christ prayeth in these words, for such a real commu- God is supposed in these expressions, as I have else- nication of the properties of the divine nature unto the where proved. Without it none of these things could human, as should render it immense, omniscient, and un- be affirmed of him. But there is a regard in them, confined unto any space, is to think that he prayed for both unto his future incarnation, and the accomplish- the destruction, and not the exaltation of it. For on ment of the counsels of God thereby. With respect that supposition, it must necessarily lose all its own es- thereunto, God possessed him in the beginning of his sential properties, and consequently its being. Nor ways, and set him up from everlasting. God possessed doth he seem to pray only for the manifestation of his him eternally as his essential wisdom, as he was always, divine nature, which was eclipsed inhis exinanition or and is always in the bosom of the Father, in the Mu- appearance in the form of a servant. There was no tual ineffable love of the Father and Son, in the eter- need to express this, by the glory which he had with the nal bond of the Spirit. But he signally possessed him Father before the world seas, for he had it notin any spe- in the beginning of his ways, as his wisdom acting in the cial manner before the world was; but equally from e- production of all the ways and works that are outward- ternity, and in every moment oftime: wherefore he had ly of him. The beginning of God's ways before his a peculiar glory of his own with the Father before the works, are his counsels concerning them, even as our world was; and this was no other, but that special exal- counsels are the beginning of our ways, with respect tation which he had when he was setup from everlast- unto future works. And he set him upfrom everlasting, ing, as the foundation of the counsels si God, for the as the foundation of all the counsels of his will, in and salvation of the church. In those eternal transactions by whom they were to be executed and accomplished. that were between the Father and the Son, with respect So it is expressed, ver. 30, s1. " I was by him, as unto his incarnation and mediation, or his undertaking one brought up with him: I was daily his delight, re- to execute and fulfil the eternal counsels of thewisdom joicing before him: rejoicing in the habitable parts of and grace of the Father, there was an especial glory the earth, and my delights were with the sons of men." which the Son had with him. The glorywhich he had And it is added, that thus it was before thefoundation with the Father before the worldwas. For the manifes, oftheworld was laid, or thechiefest part ofthe dust ofthe tation hereof he now prays; and that the glory of his earth was made, that is, man was created. Not only goodness, grace and love in his peculiarundertakingof was the delight of the Father in him, but his delight the execution of the counsels of God, Might be made to