Owen - BX9315 O81

RP.PRESENTATIYE OF Arms iSév &oroxgisotaévos 8da ev iv 1 4íroi; Amu &Iovr£; rá ©£w. o&v ?rag& rb, X£gsäµ ñ 7E6V, oíga¢syc évn9vµfo&5 r, 1s Pti, r µvur,xdv rí: bryraoµe /51005 âxoicn, 505 tel eAr',ess i eigavis aa,'i yn viii li ,ç airs, "For that which is God (theessenceofGod) "not only have not the prophets seen, but neither the 4' angels nor the archangels. If thou wilt inquireof "them, thou shalt have nothing of the substance, of "God, but only hear them say, Glory to God on high. " If thou askest the cherubims and seraphims, thou " shalt only hear the praise of holiness. The whole " earth is full of his glory," says Chrysostom, in cap. 1. Joh. v. 18. That God is in himself absolutely incom- prehensible unto us, is a necessary effect of our infinite distance from him. But as heexternally represents him- self unto us, and by the notions which are ingenerated in us by theeffects of his properties, are our conceptions of him, Paul. xix. 1. Rom. i. 21. This is declared in the answer given unto that re- quest of Moses; I beseech thee, skewmelispglory, Exod. xxxiii. 18. Moses had heard a voicespeaking unto him, but he that spoke was in thick darkness, he sawhim not. Glorious evidences he gave of his majestical presence, but no appearance was made of his essence or person. Hereon Moses desireth for the full satisfaction ofhis soul, (as the nearer any one is unto God, the more ear- nest will be his desire after the full fruition of him,) that he might have a sight of his glory, not of that created glory, in the tokens of his presence and power which he had beheld, but of the increasedglory of his essence and being. Through a transport of love to God, he would have been in heaven whilst lie was on the earth; yea, desired more than heaven itself will afford, if he would have seen the essence of Godwith his corporeal eyes. In answerhereunto, God tells him, That he can- notsee hisface and live; none can have either bodily sight or direct mental intuition Of the divine Being. But this I will do, saith God, " I will make my glory pass before thee, and thou shalt see my back parts," Exod. xxxiii. 18 -23, &c. This is all that Godwould grant, namely, such external representationsof himselfin the proclamation of his name, and created appearances of bis glory, is we have of a man whose badeparts only we behold as he passeth by us. But as to the being of God, and his subsistence in the Trinity ofpersons, we have no direct intuition unto them, much less compre- hension of them. 2 GOD AND HIS WILL. 45 3. It is evident therefore, that our conceptions of God, and of the glorious properties of his nature, are both ingenerated in us, and regulated under the conduct of divine revelation, by reflections of his glory on other things, and representations ofhis divine excellencies in the effects of them. So the invisible things of God, "even his eternal power and Godhead, areclearly seen, being manifested and understood by the things that are made," Rom. i. 20. Yet must it be granted, that no mere creature, not the angels above, not the heaven of heavens, are meet or able to receive upon them such characters of the divine excellencies, as to be a complete satisfactory representation of the being and properties of God unto us. They are allfzzzite and limited, and so cannot properlyrepresent that which is infinite and im- mense. And this is the true reason why all worship or religious adoration of them is idolatry. Yet are there such effects of God's glory in them, such impressions of divine excellencies upon them, aswecannotcomprehend nor search out unto perfection. How little dowe con- ceive of the nature, glory, and power of angels? so re- mote are we from an immediate comprehension of the untreated glory of God, as that we cannot fully appre- hend, nor conceive aright, the reflection of it on crea- tures in themselves finite and limited. Hence they thought of old, when they had seen an angel, that so much of the divine perfections had been manifestedun- to them, that thereon they must die, Judg. xiii. 21, 22, Howbeit they come infinitely short of making any com- plete representation of God, nor is it otherwise with any creature whatever. 4: Mankind seemed to have always had a common apprehension, that there was need of a nearer and more full representation of God unto them, than was made in any of the works of creation or providence. The heavens indeed declared his glory, and the firmamental- ways showed his handy-work. The invisible things of . his eternal power and Godhead, were continually made known by the things that are made. But men general- lymiscarried andmissed it in the contemplation ofthem,. as the apostle declares, Rom. i. For still they were in-, fluenced by a common presumption, that theremust be a nearer, and more evident manifestation of God; that made by the works ofcreation and providence, being not sufficient to guide them unto him. But in the pur- suit hereof, they utterly ruined themselves. They G