Owen - BX9315 O81

Pon THE SALVATION OS' THE CHUCRH FROM HIS PERSON. 41 " revelation," Rev. i. 1. But he is the Prophet of the want of that which he neither doth nor can know, be- church in his whole entire person, and revealedthe coun- selof God, ashe was in heaven in the bosom ofthe Father. Cursed be he that trusteth in man, that maketh flesh his arm, as to the revelations of the counsels of God. Here lies the safety, the security, the glory of the church. How deplorable is the darkness of mankind in their ig- norance of God and heavenly things? In what ways of vanity and misery have the generalityof them wander- ed ever since our first apostacy from God! Nothing but hell is more full of horror and confusion, than theminds and ways of men destitute of heavenly light. How miserably did those among them, who boasted themselves to be wise, waxfoolish in their imaginations? How WO- fully did all their enquiries after the nature and will of God, their own state, duty, and happiness, issue in cu- riosity, uncertainty, vanity and falsehood? He who is infinitely good and compassionate, did from the begin- ning give some relief in this woful state, by such par- cels of divine revelations as he thought meet to com- municate unto them by the prophets of old, such as theywere able to receive. By them he set up a- light shining in a dark place, as the light of stars in the night. But it was the rising of the Sun ofrighteousness alone that dispelled the darknes that was on the earth, the thickdarkness that was on the people, bringing life and immortality to light by the gospel. The divine person of the Son of God, in whom were all the trea- sures of wisdom and knowledge, who is in the bosom of the Father, hath now made known all things unto the church, giving us the perfectidea and certainty of all sacred truth, and the full assurance of things invisible and eternal. Three things are necessary that we mayhave the ben- efit and comfort of divine light or truth. 1st, The ful- ness of its revelation; Idly, The infallibility of it; and, Idly, The authority from whence it Both proceed. If either of these be wanting, we cannot attain unto stabil- ity and assurance in the faith of it, or obedience unto it. 1st, Pull it must be, to free us from all attempts of fear that any thing is detained or hidden from us, that were needful for us to know. Without this the mind of men can never come to rest in the knowledge of truth. All that he knows may be useless unto him, for the 3 causenot revealed. And, Idly, re must be infallible also. For this divine truth whereof we treat, being concerning things unseen, heavenly, eternal mysteries, transcending the reach of human reason, nothing but the absolute infallibility of the revealer, canbring the mind of man to assurance and acquiescency. And whereas the same truth enjoins unto us duties, many of them contrary unto our inclina- tions, and cross unto our several interests, the great guides of corrupted nature; the revelation Of it most proceed from sovereign authority, that the will may comply with the mind in the embracement of it. All' these are absolutely secured in the divine'person of the great Prophet of the church. His infinite wisdom, Isis infinite goodness, his essential veracity, his sovereign authority over all, give the highest assurance whereof a created understanding is capable, that nothing is de- tained from us, that there is no possibility of error or mistake in what is declared unto ús, nor any pretence left of declining obedience unto the commands of the truth that we do receive. This gives the soul assured rest and peace in the belief of things which. eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor can enter into the heart of men to conceive. Upon theassurance of this truth alone, can it with joy prefer things invisible and eternal above all present satisfactions and desires. In the persuasion hereof, can it forego the best of present enjoyments, and undergo the worst of .present evils; namely, in the ex- perience of its present efficacy, and choice of that fu- ture recompence which it loth secure. And he believes not the gospel unto Isis own advantage, or the glory of God, whose faith rests not in the divine person of Jesus Christ, the great Prophet of the church. And he who there finds rest unto Isis soul, dares not admit of any copartners with him as to instruction in the mind of God. idly, It was requisite unto the office of this great Prophet of the church, and the discharge thereof, that he should have power and authority to send Ilse Holy Spirit to make his revelations of divine truths elleclual unto the minds of men. For the church whirls hewas to instruct, was not only in darkness, by reason cf ignorance, and want of objective light or divine revela- tions, but was incapacitated to receive spiritual things in a due manner when revealed. Wherefore it was the L