Owen - BX9315 O81

or ALL THE COUÑeEL3 OFGoll. 19 appear. And this is the principal design of the gospel. It is the declaration as of the grace of God the Father, so of the love, grace, goodness and compassion of the Son, in undertaking from everlasting the accomplish- ment of God's counsels in the salvation of the church. And hereby doth he hold trp the pillars of the earth, or support this inferior creation, which otherwise, with the inhabitants of it, would by sin have been dissolved. And those by whom his eternal divine pre-existence in the form of God, antecedent unto his incarnation, is de- nied, do what lies in them expressly to despoil him of all that glory which he had with the Father before the world was. So we have herein the whole ofour design, In the beginning ofGod's ways, before his works ofold that is, in his eternal counsels with respect unto the cihldren of men, or the sanctification and salvation of the church, the Lord possessed, enjoyed the Son as his eternal wisdom in and with whom theywere laid, in and bywhom they were to be accomplished, wherein his de- lights were with the sons of men. 2. That there was an ineffable delight between the Father and the Son in this his setting upor exaltation, Iwas, saith he, daily his delights, rejoicing always before him. It is not absolutely the mutual eternal delight of the Father and the Son, arising from the perfectionof the same divine excellencies in each person that is intend- ed; but respect is plainly had unto the counsels ofGod, concerning the salvation of mankind, by him who is his power and wisdom unto that end. This counsel of peace was originally betweenJEttov,tu and the Branch, Zech. vi. 13. or the Father and the Son as he was to be incarnate. For therein was he " foreordained before the foundation of the world," 1 Pet. i. 20.; namely, to be a Saviour and deliverer, by whom all the counsels of God were to be accomplished ; and this, by his own will and concurrence in counsel with the Father. And such a foundation was laid of the salvation of the church in these counsels of God, as transacted between the Father and the Son, that it is said, that eternal a life was pro- mised before the world began," Tit. i. 2. For although the firstformal promise was given after the fall; yet was there such a preparation ofgrace and eternal life in these counsels of God, with his unchangeable purpose to com- municate them unto us, that ail the faithfulness of God was engaged in them. God that cannot lie, halh pro- mised before the world began.' There was eternal life with the Father, that is, in his counsel treasured up in Christ, and in himwas afterwards manifested unto us, I John i. 2. And to shew the stability of this purpose and counsel of God, with the infallible consequence of his actual promise, and efficacious accomplishment there- of, grace is said to be " given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," 2 Tim. i. 9. In these counsels did God delight, or in theperson of Christ, as his eternal wisdom in their contrivance; and as the means of their accomplishment in his future in- carnation. Hence he so testifieth of him, '< Behold my servant whom I uphold, my elect in whom my soul de- lighteth," Isa. xlii. 1.; as he also proclaims the same de- light in him from heaven in the days of his flesh, Matth. iii. 17. chap. xvii. 5. He was the delight of God, ache in whom all his counsels, for his own glory, in the re. demption and salvation of the church, were laid and founded, Isa. xlix. 3, " My servant in whom I willbe glorified, (that is,) by raising the tribes of Jacob restor- ing the preserved of Israel, in being a light unto the Gentiles, and the salvation of God unto the ends of the earth," ver. 0. We conceive not aright of the counsels of God, when we think of nothing but the effect of them, and theglory that ariseth from their accomplishment. It is certainly true, that they shall all issue inhis glory, and thedemon- stration of it shall fill up eternity. 'l'he manifestative glory ofGod unto eternity, consists in the effects and ac- complishment of his holy counsels. I-leaven is the state of the actual accomplishment of all the counsels of God in the sanctification and salvation of the church. But it is not with God as it is with men. Let men's counsels be ever so wise, it must needs abate of their satisfaction in them, because their conjectures (and more they have not) of their effects and events are altogether uncertain. But all the counsels ofGod having their entire accomplish- ment through revolutions perplexing and surpassing all created understandings, inclosed in them infallibly and immutably the great satisfaction, complacency, and de light of the divine being is in these counselsthemselves. God doth delight in the actual accomplishment ofhis works. He made not this world, nor any thing in it for its own sake. Much less did he make this earth to be a theatre for men to act their lusts upon, the use which it is now put to and groans under. But he made all thingsfor himself, Prov. 'CO. 4. He made themfor his