Owen - BX9315 O81

FOR THE SALVATION OF THE CHURCH PROM HIS PERSON. 39 aess itself; that darkness which is come on theminds of 2. Thefull comprehension of the mind andwill ofGod, men by sin, tho' the darkness comprehendedit not, ver. 5. of the wholedivine counsel concerning his glory in the (4.) By the ministryof holy men, acted and moved sanctification and salvation of the church, could not at by his Spirit. So he gave forth the word that was writ- once reside in the mindofany merecreature. Yet wasthis ten for an everlasting rule of faith and obedience unto necessary unto him, Who was to be the Prophet of the the church. church, that is, the fountain of truth, life, and know- Thus were the office and work of instructing and ledge unto it. Hence is his name Wonderful, Counsellor, illuminating of the church on his hand alone from the as he who was participant ofall the eternal counsels of beginning, and thus were they by him discharged. This God; whereon in him as incarnate, all the treasures of was not a work for him who was no more but a man. divine wisdom and knowledge were hid, Col. ii. S. In His human nature had no existence until the fulness of him this could be alone, in whom was life, and the time, the latter days, and therefore could affect or Oper- life was the light ofmen, John i. 4. God did reveal his ate nothingbefore. Andwhereas the apostle distinguish- mind and will by angels and men. But as he did it at eth between the speaking of God in the Son, and his sundry times, so he did it by several parts, or various speaking in the Prophets, opposing the oneto the other, parcels, not only as the church was fit to receive it, but Heb. i. 1, 2. he doth it with respect unto his personal as they were able to communicate it. The whole of the ministry unto the church of the Jews, and not with re- divine counsels could not be comprehended,,and so not spect unto his being the peculiar fountain of life and declared by any of them. Hence theangels themselves, light, unto the whole church in all ages. notwithstanding their residence in the presence of God, It is true, we have under the gospel many unspeak- beholding his face, and all the glorious messages where- able advantages from theprophetical office of Christ, a- in they were employed, learned more of his mind after hove what they enjoyed under the Old Testament. But the personal ministryof Christ, and the revelation ofthe he was the Prophet of the church equally in all ages. mysteries of his counsel therein, than ever they knew Only he bath given out the knowledge of the mind of before, Eph. iii. 8, 9, 11.1 Pet. i. 13. And on the God in different degrees and measures; that whichwas account of their imperfection in the comprehension of most perfect, being for many reasons reserved unto the his counsels, it is said that he chargeth his angels with times of the gospel; the sum whereof is that God de- folly, Job iv. 15. And the best of the prophets not only signed him unto a pre-eminence above all, in his own received divine truth by parcels, but comprehended not personal ministry. the depths of the revelations made unto them, 1 Pet. i. If any shall now inquire, bow the Lord Christ could 11, 12. be the Prophet of the church, before he took our nature To this purpose is that divine testimony, John i. 18. on him, and dwelt among us? I shall also ask, how " No man bath seen God at any time; the only begot- they suppose him to be the Prophet of thechurch, now ten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he bath he bath left the world and is gone to heaven; so as that declared him." It is of all the prophets concerning we neither see him, nor hear him any more. If they whom it is affirmed, that no man bath seen God at any shall say, that he is so by his Spirit, his word, and time. So is it evident that theantithesis is between Moses the ministry which he bath ordained; I say, so was he the principal of them, and the Lord Christ in the the Prophet of the church before his incarnation also, verse foregoing. " For the law was given by Moses, To confine the offices ofChrist, as to their virtue, pow- but grace and truth cameby Jesus Christ." Wherefore, er, and efficacy, unto the times of the gospel only, is no man, no other man or prophetwhatever, path seen utterly to evacuate the first promise, with thecovenant God at any time; that is, had a perfect comprehension of grace founded thereon. And their mindsare secret- of his counsels, his mind and will, as they were to be ly influenced by a disbelief of his divine person, who declared unto the church. This is the privilege of the suppose that the respect of the church unto Christ in only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father ; faith, love, trust, and instruction, commenceth from not only as being his eternal delight and love, but also the date of his incarnation.