Owen - BX9315 O81

SO THE PERSON OF CHRIST THE GREAT of the glory of God unto us; as in the testimonies in- sisted on. - 2. Medium revelans, or lumen 'deferens; the means of its revelation, or the objective light whereby the percep- tion and knowledge of it is conveyed unto our minds. This is thegospel; compared unto a glass, because ofthe prospect which we have of the image of God therein. 1 Cor. iii. I3. But without it, by any other means, and not by it, wecan behold nothing of this image of God. 3. Lumen prseparans, elevans, disponens subjectum. The internal light of the mind, in the saving illumina- tion of the Holy Spirit, enablingus by that means, and in the use of it, spiritually to behold and discern the glory of God in the faceof Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. Through both these, in their several ways of opera- tion, there proceedeth from the real object of ourfaith, Christ as the imageof God a transformingpower, where- by the soul is changed into the same image, or is made conformable unto Christ, which is that whereunto we are predestinated. But wemay yet a little farther con- template on these things, in some instances wherein the glory of God and our own duty are concerned. 1. The glory ofGod's wisdom is exalted, and the pride of the imaginations of men is proportionably debased. And in these twoconsists the realfoundation of all reli- gion in our souls. This God designedin the dispensa- tion of himself and his will, 1 Cor. i. 29, 31. This he calls us unto, Is. ii. 22. Zech. ii. 13. As this frame of heart is prevalent in us, so do all other graces shine and flourish. And it is that which influences all our duties, so faras they are acceptable unto God. And there is no truth more instructive unto it, than that be- fore us. It is taken for granted, and the event hath de- monstrated it to be so, that some express representation should be madeof God untous; wherein we might con. template the glorious excellenciesof his nature, andthe might draw nigh unto us, and be present with u,. This therefore men attemptedto effect and accomplish, and this God alone hath performed, and could so do. And their several ways for this end are herein manifest. As the way wherebyGod path done it, is the principal exalt- ation of his infinite wisdom and goodness, as shall be immediately more fullydeclared, so the way whereby men attempted it, was the highest instance of wickedness and folly. It is, as we have declared, in Christ alone that God hath done it; and that therein he bath exalted and manifested the riches, the treasures of his infinite wisdom and goodness, is that which the gospel, the Spirit, and the church do give testimony unto. A more glorious effect of divine wisdom and goodness, a more illustrious manifestation of them, there never was, nor ever shall be, than in the finding out, and constitution of this way of the representation of God unto us. The ways of men for the same end, were so far from giving a right representation of the perfection of the divine nature, that they were all of them below, beneath, and unworthy of our own. For in nothing did the blind- ness, darkness, and folly of our nature in its depraved condition, everso exert and evidence themselves, as in, contriving ways for the representation of God unto us, that is, in idolatry, the worst and vilest of evils. So Psal. cxv. 4 -8. Isa. xliv. Rev. i. 19, 20, 4e. This pride and,folly of men, was that which lost all knowledge of God in the world, and all obedience unto him. The ten commandments are but a transcript of the light and law of nature. The first of these required, that God, the only true God, the Creator and Governor of all, should - beacknowledged, worshipped, believed in, and obeyed. And the second was, that we should not make unto ourselves any image or representation of hint. Whatever he would do himself, yet he strictly forbid that we should make any such unto ourselves. And here began the apostacy of the world from God. They did not absolutelyreject him, and so cast off the first funda- mental precept of the law of nature; but they submit- ted not unto hiswisdom and authority in thenext, which was evidently educed from it. They would makeimages and representations of him unto themselves: and by this invention of their own, they first dishonoured him, and then forsook him, giving themselves up unto the rule and service of the devil. Wherefore as the way that God in infinite wisdom found out, for the representation of himselfunto us, was the onlymeans of recovery from the first apostacy; the way found out by men unto the same end, was the great means of casting thegenerality of mankind into the farthest degree of a new apostacy fromGod, whereof our nature is capable. And of the samekind will all our contrivances in what belongs unto his worship and glory, be found to be, though unto us they may appear both specious and necessary. This therefore should lead us into a continual admiration of the wisdom and grace of God, with a due sense of our