Owen - BX9315 O81

40 POwEs COMMUNICATED UNTO THE OFFICE OF CHRIST he himself alone. And unto him it is ascribed on a double account; first, thathe came downfrom heaven; secondly, that when he did so, he pet still continued in heaven; which two properties give us such a description of the person of Christ, as declare him a full possessor of all the counsels of God. He descendedfrom heaven in his incarnation, whereby he became the Son of man; and he is and was then in heaven, in the essence and glory ofhis divine nature. This is the full of what we assert. In the knowledge and revelation of heavenly mysteries unto the calling, sanctification, and salvation of the church, doth the prophetical office of Christ consist. This be positively affirms could not otherwise be, but that hewho came down from heaven, was also at the same instant in heaven. This is that glorious person whereof we speak. He who being always in heaven, in thegloryand essenceof hisdivinenature, came down from heaven, not locally by a mutation of his residence, but by dispensation in theassumption of our nature into personal union with himself; he alone is meet and able to be the prophet of the church, in the revelation of the heavenly mysteries of the counsels of the will of God. " In him alone were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," .Col. ii. 3. be- cause in him alone "dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily," ver. fi. I do not hereby ascribe an infusion of omniscience, of infinite understanding, wisdom, and knowledge into the human nature of Christ. It was and is a creature finite and limited, nor is a capable subject of properties absolutely infinite and immense. Filled it was with light andwisdom, to the utmost capacity of a creature. But it was so, not by being changed into a divine nature or essence, but by the communication of the Spirit unto it without measure. The Spirit of the Lord did rest upon him, "the Spirit of wisdom and understand- ing, the Spirit of courage and might, the Spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord, and made him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord," Is. xi. 25. S. The Spirit of God dwelling in him, in all the ful- ness of his graces and gifts, gave him an understanding peculiar untohimself; as above that of all creatures, so beneath the essential omniscience of the divine na- ture. Hence some things as he was a man he "knew not," Mark xiii. 32. but as they were given him by as oneacquaintedwith all his secret counsels, as his fel- low and participant of all his bosom thoughts. He says, that all " that ever came before him were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them," John x. 5. This some of old impiously applied unto the prophets of the Old Testament; whereas he iniéñded it only of thosefalseprophets, who pretended of them- selves, that they, anyof them were the Messiah, the great Shepherd of the sheep, whom his elect sheep would not attend unto. But it is true, that all who went before him,.neither separately nor jointly had the knowledge of God, so as to declare him fully unto the church. It is the most fond and wicked imagination of the Socinians, invented to countenance their disbelief and hatred of his, divine person, that during the time of his flesh, he was taken up into heaven, and there taught the doctrine of the.gospel, as Mahomet feigned concerning himself and his Alteran. The reason and foundation ofhis perfect knowledge of God, was his being the on- ly begotten Son in the bosom of the Father; and not a fictitious rapture of his human nature. To this purpose havewe his own testimony, John iii. 13. " And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." The matter whereof he treats, is the revelation of heavenly things; for finding Nicode- mus slow in the understanding of the doctrine and ne- cessity of regeneration, which yet was plain and evi- dent in comparison of some other heavenly mysteries, he asks ofhim, " If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not," (things wrought in the earth, and in your own breasts), " how will ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?" if I declare unto you the deep counsels of the will of God above? ver.12. But here- ona question might arise, How he should himself come to the knowledge of these heavenly things whereofthey had never heard before, and which no other man could tell them of, especially considering what hehad said be- fore, ver. 11. " We speak that we do know, and testify what wehave seen ?" Hereofhegives an account in these words. Wherefore, the ascending intoheaven, which he denies unto all men whatever, no manbath as- cended up to heaven, is an entrance into all the divine heavenly counselsof God; no man either -bath, or ever had, a full comprehension of these heavenly things but