Owen - BX9315 O81

34 THE PERSON OF CHRIST THE GREAT (2.) Efficacy or power is the secondproperty of di- vine truth. And the end of this efficacy is to make us like unto God, Eph. iv. 20-24. The mortification of sin, the renovation of our natures, the sanctification of our minds, hearts and affections, the consolationof our souls, with their edification in all the parts of the life of God, and the like, are the things that God bath de- signed to effect by his truth, John xvii. 17. Whence it is able to "build us up, and give us ,san inheritance among all them that are sanctified, Acts xx. 32. But it is from their relation unto the personof Christ, that they have any thing of this power and efficacy. For they have it no otherwise but as they are conveyances of his grace unto the souls of men. So 1 John i. 1, 2. Wherefore, as professors of the truth, if separated from Christ as unto real union, are withering branches; so truthsprofessed, ifdoctrinally separated fromhim, or their respect unto him, haveno living power or efficacy in the souls of men. When Christ is formed in the heart by them, when he dwelleth plentifielly in the soul through their operation, then and not else do they put forth their proper power and efficacy. Otherwise they are as waters separated from the fountain, they quickly dry up or become a noisomepuddle; or as a beam inter- rupted from its continuity unto thesun, is immediately deprived of light. 9. All divine spiritual truths are declarative either of thegreice and love of God unto us, or of our duty, obe- dience, and gratitude unto him. But as unto these things, Christ is all and in all. We can have no due apprehensions of the love and grace of God, no under- standing of the divine truths of the word wherein they are revealed, and whereby they are exhibited unto them that believe, but in the exercise offaith on Christ him- self. For in, by, and from him alone it is, that they are proposed unto us, that we are made partakers of them. It is from hisfulness that all grace is received. No truth concerning them car by any imagination be separated from him. He is the life and soul of all such truths, without which as they are written in the word, they are but a dead letter, and that of such a character as is illegible unto us, as unto any real discovery ofthe grace and love ofGod. And as unto those of the other sort, which are instructiveuntous in our duty, obedience, and gratitude, wecannot come unto a practical compli4 ance with any one of them but by the aids of grace re- ceived from him. For " without himwe can do no- thing," John xv. 5. And he alone understands divine truth, who cloth it, John vii. 15. There is not there- fore any one text ofscripture which presseth our duty unto God, that wecan so understand as toperform that duty in an acceptable manner, withoutan actual regard unto Christ, from whom alone we receiveability for the performance of it, and in or through whom alone it is accepted with God. 8. All the evidence of divine spiritual truth, and all the foundation of our real interest in thethings whereof it is a declaration, as to benefit, advantage, and comfort, depends on their relation unto Christ. We may take an instance in one article of divine truth, which seems to be most disengaged from any such relation, namely the resurrection of the dead. But there is no man who rightly believes or comprehends this truth, who cloth it notupon the evidence given unto it, and example of it in theperson of Christ risingfrom the dead. Nor can any man have a comfortable expectation or faith of an especial interest in a blessed resurrection, (which is our whole concern in that truth, Phil. iii. 11.), but by virtue of a mystical union unto him as the Head of the church that shall be raised unto glory. Both these the apostle insists upon at large, 1 Cor. xv. So is it with all other truths whatever. Wherefore, all divine supernatural truths, revealed in the scripture, being nothing but the declaration of these counsels of God, whose foundation waslaid in the person of Christ; and whereas they are all ofthem ex- pressive of the love, wisdom, goodness, and grace of God unto us, or instructive in our obedience and duty tohim, all the actings ofGod towardsus, and allours towards him, being in and through him alone; and whereas all the life and power of these truths, all their beauty, symmetry, and harmony in their union and conjunction, which is expressive of divine wisdom, is all from him,' who as a living spirit diffused through the whole system, both acts and animates it, all the trea- sures of truth, wisdom, and knowledge may be well said to be hid in him. And we may consider some things that ensue hereon. 1. Hence it is that those who reject the divine per- son of Christ, who believe it not, who discern not the wisdom, grace, love, and power of God therein, do