Owen - BX9315 O81

24 things unto his glory, but in him, as he was to be in- carnate. Wherefore in his person were laid all the foundation of the counsels of God, for the sanctification and salvation of the church. Herein he is glorified, and that in a way unspeakably exceeding all that glory which would have accrued unto him from the first crea- tion, had all things abode in their primitive constitu- tion. THE PERSONOF CHRIST THE GREAT His person therefore is the foundationof thechurch, thegreat mystery ofgodliness, or the religion we profess ; the entire life and soul of all spiritual truth; in that all the counsels of the wisdom, grace, and goodnessofGod, for the redemption, vocation, sanctification, and salva- tion of the church, were all laid in him, and by him were all to be accomplished. CHAP. V. THE PERSON OF CHRIST T GREAT REPRESENTATIVE OF GOD AND'HIS WILL. WHAT maybe known of God, is his nature and ex- istence, with the holy counsels ofhis will. A representa- tion of them unto us, is the foundation of all religion, and the means of our conformity unto him, wherein our present duty, and future blessedness do consist. For to know God, so as thereby tobe made like untohim, is the chief endof man. This is done perfectly only in the person of Christ, all other means of it being subordinate thereunto, and none of them of the same nature there- withal. The end of the word itself is to instruct us in the knowledgeof God in Christ. That therefore which I shall now demonstrate is, that in the person and me- diation of Christ, (which are inseparable in all the re- spects of faith unto him,) there is made unto us ables- sed representation of the glorious properties of the di- vine nature, andof the holycounsels of the willof God. The first of these I shall speak unto in this chapter; the other in that which ensues, wherein we shall manifest howall divine truths do centre in the person of Christ. And the consideration of sundry things are necessary unto the explication hereof. 1. God in his own essence, being and existence, is ab- solutely incomprehensible. His nature being immense; and all his holyproperties essentially infinite, no creature can directly or perfectly comprehend them, or any of them. He must be infinite, that can perfectly compre- hend that which is infinite. Wherefore God is perfect- ly known unto himself only; but as for us, how little a portion is heardofhim? Hence he is called the invisi- ble God, and said to dwell in light inaccessible. The !subsistence of his most single and simple nature in three . distinctpersons, though it raises and ennobles faith in its revelation, yet it amaxeth reason, which would trust to itself in thecontemplation of it; whence mengrow gid. dy whowill own no other guide, and are carried out of the way of truth. a No man bath seen God at any time; the only begotten, who is in the bosom of the Father, he bath declared him," John i. 18. 1 Tim. vi.lb. 2. Therefore we can have no direct intuitive notions or apprehensions ofthe divine essence, or its properties. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us. Whatever is pleaded for an' intellectual vision of the essenceof God in the light of glory, yet none pretend unto a possibility of an immediate full comprehension of it. But in our . present state God is unto us, as he was unto Moses un- der all the external manifestation of his glory, in thick darkness, Exod. xx. 21. All the rational conceptions of the minds of men, are swallowed up and lost, when they would exercise themselves directlyon that which is absolutely immense, eternal, infinite. When we say it is so, we know not what we say, but only that it is not otherwise. What we deny of God, we know -in some measure, but what we affirm, we know not; only we declarewhat we believeand adore. Negate sonsuseste jus, nequephaniasia, neque opinio, nec ratio, necscientia, says Dionys. de Divin. Nomini. 1. We havenomeans, no corporal, no intellectual instrument er powerfor the comprehension of him; nor bath any other creature: leal alci leig lerry d Oed si µour of 11g00ra,, axx' á8S ayyaxoe M,,, tira agxáyytxow, áxx' lár 11isHoeb alci5 äxisa ,real pis rae