Owen - BX9315 O81

REPRESENTATIVE OF GOD AND HIS w1Lt. 27 being and excellencies. I donot speak of itabsolutely, but as God proposeth himself as the object ofourfaith, trust, and obedience. Hence it is God as theFather, who is so peculiarly represented in him and byhim; as he says, " He that hath seen the Son, bath seen the Father also," John xiv. 9. Unto such a representation two things are required. (1.) That all the properties of the divine nature, the knowledge whereof is necessary untoour present obedi- ence and future blessedness, be expressed in it, and ma- nifested unto us. (2.) That there be therein the nearest approach of the divinenature made unto us whereof it is capable, and which we can receive. And both these are found in the personof Christ, and therein alone. In the personof Christ we consider both the constitu- tion of it in the union ofhis natures and therespect of it untohis workof mediation, which was the end of that constitution. And, (1.) Therein, as so considered, is therea blessed representation made untous ofall the ho- ly properties of the nature of God; of his wisdom, his power, his goodness, grace and love, his righteousness, truth and holiness, his mercy and patience. As this is affirmedconcerning them all in general, or the glory of God in them, which is seen and known only in theface ofChrist; so it were easy to manifest the same concern- ingevery one of them in particular, by express testimo- nies of scripture. But I shall at present confinemy- self unto the proofsof the whole assertionwhich doen- sue. (2.) There is therein the most incomprehensible ap- proach of the divine nature made unto ours; such as all the imaginations of men did ever infinitely fall short of; as hath been before declared. In the assumptionof our nature intopersonal union with himself, and our cogna- tion unto God thereby, with the union which believers obtain with him thereon, being one in the Father and the Son, as the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father," John xvii. 20, 21, there is the nearest approach of the divine being unto us, that the nature of things is capable of. Both these ends weredesigned in those re- presentations of God, which were of human invention. But inboth of them they utterly failed. For insteadof representing anyofthegloriousproperties ofthe nature of God, they debased it, dishonoured it, and filledtheminds ofmen with vile conceptions ofit. And instead of bring- ing God nearer unto them, they put themselves at an in- finite moral distance from him. But my design is the confirmation of our assertions from the scripture. Col. i. 15. " He is the image of the invisible God." This title or property of invisible, the apostle here gives unto God, to shew what need there was of an image or representation of him unto us, as well as of one in whom he would declare the counsels of his will. For he intends not only the absolute invisibility of his essence, but his being unknown unto us in himself. Wherefore, as was before observed, mankind was ge- nerally prone to make visible representationsof this in- visible God, that in them theymight contemplateon him, andhavehimpresent with them, as they foolishly imagin- ed. Unto the craft of Satan abusing this inclination of mankind, idolatry owes its original and progress in the world. Howbeit, necessary it was that this invisible God should be so represented unto us by some image of him, as that we might know him, -and that therein he might be worshipped according unto his ownmind and will. But this must be of his own contrivance, an ef- fect of his own infinite wisdom. Hence, as he absolute- ly rejecteth all images andrepresentations ofhim ofmen's devisings, for the reasons before mentioned, and de- clares-that the honour that any should think would thereby redound unto him, was not givenunto him, but unto the devil; so that which he bath provided himsel unto his ownholy ends and purposes, is everywayapprov- ed ofhim. For he will have all men honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; and so, as that he who " honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father," John v. 23, 25. This image therefore is the person of Christ; He is the image ofthe invisible God. This, in the first place, respects the divine person absolutely, as he is the essen- tial image of the Father; which must briefly bedeclar- ed. I. The Son is sometimes said to be i, ndcg,, in the Father, and the Father in the Son. John xiv. 10. " Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" This is from the unity or sameness of their nature; for " he and the Father are one" John x. 30. Thence " all things that the Father bath are his," chap. xvi. 15. because their nature is one and the same. With respect unto the divineessence absolutely considered, wherein the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, the one cannot be said to be the