Owen - BX9315 O81

REPOSITORY OF SACREDTRUTH. constantly reject or corrupt all other spiritual truths of divine revelation, nor can it otherwise be. For they have a consistencyonly intheir relation untothe mystery, ofgodliness, God manifest in the flesh; and from thence derive their sense and meaning. This being removed, the truth in all other articles ofreligion immediately falls to the ground. An instance hereof we have in the Socinians. For although they retain the common no- tions of the unity and existence of the divine nature, which are indelibly fixed on the minds of men, yet is there no one truth that belongs peculiarly untoChristian religion, but they either deny it, or horribly deprave it. Many things concerning God and his essential proper- ties; as his immutability, immensity, prescience, they have greatly perverted. So is that fulfilled in them, which was spoken by Jude the apostle, verse10. " They speak evil of the things which they know not; and what they do know naturally, as brute beasts, in them they corrupt themselves." So they do in the things whereof there are natural notions in the minds of men. But of evangelical truths, which they know not, they speak evil, and deride them. The Holy Trinity they blaspheme; the incarnation of the Son of God they scorn; the work of his mediation in his oblation and intercession, with the satisfaction and merit ofhis obedience and suffering, they reject. So do they whatever we are taught of the depravation of our natures by the fall, of the renovation of them by the Holy Ghost, and unto all other articles of our faith do they offer violence to corrupt them. The beginningof their transgression or apostacy is a disbelief of the di- vine person of Christ, that beingrejected, all other sa- cred truths are removed from their basis and centre; that which gives them their unity and harmony. Hereon they fluctuate up and down in the minds of men, and appearing unto them under various deceiving colours, are easily misapprehended or disbelieved. Yea, there can no direct proper representation be made of them unto the understandings of men. Dissolve the knot, centre, and harmony in the most beautiful composition or structure, and every part will contribute as much unto the deformity and ruin of the whole, as itdidbefore unto its beauty and consistency. So is it with every doctrine, so is it with the whole system of evangelical truths. Take the person of Christ out ofthem, dissolve their harmony in relation thereunto, whereby we no Sb longer hold thehead in the faith and profession of them, and the minds of men cannot deliver them from an irreconcileable difference among themselves. Hereon some of them are immediately rejected, and some of them corrupted. For they lose their native light and beauty. They will neither agreenor consist any where but in Christ. Hence it is, that no instance can be given of any who from the original of Christian religion, rejected the divine person of Christ, and preserved any one evangelical truth besides pure and uncorrupted. And I do freely confess, that all which we believe con- cerning the Holy Trinity, the eternal counsels of God, the efficacy of the mediation of Christ, his satisfaction and merit, theway which we own of the sanctification, justification, and salvation of the church, are to be es- teemed fables, or as Socinians contend, if what we be- lieve concerning the person of Christ, be so also. 2. Hence it is that the knowledge and profession of the truth with many is sofruitless, inefficacious, and use- less. It is not known, it is not understood nor believ- ed in its relation unto Christ, on which account alone it conveys either light or power to the soul. Men pro- fess they know the truth, but they know it not in its proper order, in its harmony and use. It leads them not to Christ, it brings not Christ untothem, and soislifeless anduseless. Henceofttimesnoneare moreestranged from the life of God, than such as have much notional know- ledge of thedoctrines ofthe scriptures. For theyareallof them useless and subject to beabused, if theyare not im- proved to form Christ in the soul; and transform the wholeperson into his likeness and image. This theywill not effect where their relationunto him is notunderstood where they are not received and learned as a revelation ofhim, withthe mystery ofthe will and wisdomof God in him. For whereas he is our life, and in our living unto God wedo not so much liveas heliveth in us, and the life which we lead in the flesh is by the faith of him, so that we have neither principle nor power ofspiritual life but in, by, and from him, whatever knowledge we have of the truth, if it do not effect an union between him and our souls, it will be lifeless in us, and unprofit- able unto us. It is learning the truth as it is in Jesus, which alone reneweth the image of God in us, Eph. iv. 21-24. Where it is otherwise, where men have no- tionsofevangelicaltruths, but knownot Christ in them,