Owen - BX9315 O81

FOR THE SALVATION OF THE CHURCH FROM HIS PERSON. 37 respect unto the angels, and therefore be took not their nature on him, Heb. ii. 16. ykg Sims iuyyfxwv kAaaßssa- Tar. He took not the nature of angels unto him, because he was not to be a Mediator for them, a Saviour unto them. Thoseof them who had sinned were left unto everlasting ruin, and those who retained their original righteousness, needed no redemption. But God pre- pared a bodyfor hiim; that is, an human nature, Heb. x. 5. The promise hereof, namely, that he should be of the seed of the woman, was the foundation of the church; that is, he was made so unto the church, in and by that promise, Gen. iii. 15. In the accomplish- ment thereof he was made ofa woman, that so he might be made under the law, Gal. iv. 4. " And he took upon him the seed of Abraham," Heb. ii. 16. " Forbecause the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same," ver. 14. "For in all things it behoved him to be made likeunto his brethren; that he might bea merciful and faithful High Priest, in things appertaining unto God," ver. 17. And this was absolutely necessaryunto the discharge of his offices on the twofold account before mentioned. For, 1. Those actsof his offices whereon the sanctification and salvation of thechurch do principally depend, could not be performed but in and by that nature. Therein alone could he yield obedience unto the law, that it might befulfilled in us, without which we could not stand in judgment before God. See Rom. viii. 3. chap. x. 3, 4. Therein alone could he undergo the curse of the law, or bemadea cursefor us, that the blessing might come upon us, Gal. iii. 13, 14. It was necessary that as a Priest he should have something of his own to of- fer unto God to make atonement for sin, Heb. viii. 3. The like may be said ofhis whole ministry on the earth, of all the effects of his incarnation. 2. Herein that cognation and alliance between him and the church, which were necessary to entitle it unto a participation of the benefits of his mediation, do de- pend. For hereby he became our God, the next of kin, unto whom belonged the right of redemption, and from whom alone we could claim relief and succour in our lost condition. This is divinely and at large declar- ed by the apostle, Heb. ii. 10-18. Having at large explained this context inour expositionof that chapter, and therein declared both the necessity and benefit of the cognation between the church and its High Priest, 2 I shall not here farther insist upon it. See to the same purpose, Eph. v. 25, 26, 27. Wherefore, had he not been partaker of our nature, we could have received no benefit, not that without which wemust eternally perish, by any office that he could have undertaken. This therefore was necessaryunto the constitution of his per- son with respect unto his offices. But, II. Therewas yet more required thereunto, or to ren- der his officeseffectual unto their properends. Not one of them could have been so, had he been no more than a man, had he had no nature but ours. This I shall particularly demonstrate, considering them in-their u- sual distribution, unto the glory of his divine person, and our own edification in believing. First, He could not have been thegreat andsingular Prophet of the Church, had he beena man only, though never so excellent and glorious, and that for these three reasons. 1. He was to be the Prophet of the whole catholic church, that is, of all the elect of God, ofall that shall be saved in all ages and placee, from the beginning of the world unto the end thereof. He had apersonal min- istry for the instruction of the church whilst he was on the earth, but his prophetical office was not confined thereunto; for that was limited unto one nation, Matth. xv. 24. Rom. xv. 8. and was for a short season only. But the church was never without a prophet; that is, one on whom it was incumbent to reveal unto it, and instruct it in the will of God, nor can be so unto the consummation of all things. This is Christ alone. For, 1st, I take it for granted, that from the beginning, from the giving ofthe first promise, the Souof God did in an especial manner undertake the care of the church, as unto all the ends of the wisdom, will, and grace of God. And I take it for granted here; because I have proved it at large elsewhere. It evidently followeth on the eternal compact between the Father and him unto this end. In the work which belonged hereunto, that which concerned its instruction in the will of God, its saving illumination and spiritual wisdom, is ofsuch im- portance, as that without it, none can be partaker of any other blessings whatever. In this instruction and illumination consists the discharge of the prophetical office of Christ. 2dly, Upon the account ofhis susceptionof his office K