Owen - BX9315 O81

42 POWER COMMUNICATED UNT work of this Prophet, not only to make known and de- clare the doctrines of truth, which are our external di- rective light, but also to irradiate and illuminate our minds, so as that we might savingly apprehend them. And it is no wonder, if those who are otherwise mind- ed, who suppose themselves able to receive' spiritual things, the things of God in a due manner, upon their external proposal unto them, are regardless of the divine person of Christ, as the prophet of the church. But hereon they will never have experience of the life and power of the doctrine of the gospel, if the apostle is to be believed, 1 Cor. ii. 9-12. Now this internal illu- mination of the minds of men unto the acknowledgment of the truth, can be wrought in them only by the holy Spirit of God, Eph. i. 17, 18, 19. 2 Cor. iii. 18. None therefore could be the Prophet of the church, but he who had power to send the Holy Spirit to enable it to receive his doctrine, by the saving illumination of the minds of men. And tisis alone he could do, whose Spi- rit he is, proceeding from him, whom he therefore fre- quently promised to send. Without a respect unto these things, we cannot really be made partakers of the saving benefits and fruits of the prophetical office of Christ. And this we can have only in the exercise of faith on his divine person which is the eternalspring from whence this office derives all life and efficacy. The command of God in respect unto him, as the prophet of the church, is, This is my beloved Son in whom I ant well pleased, hear him. Unless we actually regard him by faith as the only begotten Son of God, we can perform no duty aright in the hearing of him, nor shall we learn the truth as we ought. Hence it is, thatthose who deny his divine person, though they pre- tend to attend unto him as the teacher of-the church, do yet learn no truth from him, but embrace pernicious errors in the stead thereof. So it is with the Socinians, and all that follow them. For whereas they scarcely awn any other office of Christ but his prophetical, look- ing on him as a man sent to teach the mind of God, and to confirm his doctrine by his sufferings, whereon he was afterwards highly exalted of God, they learn no- thing from him ina due manner. But this respect unto theperson of Christ, is that which will ingenerate in us all those holy qualifications that are necessary to enableus toknow the mind and will of 0 THE OFFICE OF CHRIST God. For hence do reverence, humility, faith, delight, and assurance arise and flow, without whose continual exercise in vain shall men hope to learn the will of God by the utmost of their endeavours. And the want of these things is the cause of much of that lifeless, unsanc- tified knowledge ofthe doctrine of the gospel, whichis amongst many. They learn not the truth from Christ, so as to expect all teachings from his divine power. Hence they never come to know it, either in its native beauty, drawing the soul into the love and delight of what they know, nor in its transforming cffeacy, chang- ing the mind into its own image and likeness. Secondly, The same also is the state of things, wills respect unto his kingly office and power, But tisis I haveat large treated on elsewhere, and that much unto the same propose; namely, in the exposition ofthe third verse of the first chapter of the epistle unto the Hebrews. Wherefore, I shall not here enlarge upon it. Some seem to imagine, that the kingly power of Christ, towards the chureh, consists only in external rule by the gospel and the laws thereof, requiring obedience unto the officers and rulers that be bath appointed therein. It is true, that this also belongs unto his kingly power and rule. But tosuppose that it consisted) solely there- in, is in ebulition from the poisonous fountain of the denial of his divine person. For if he be not God over all, whatever in words may be pretended or ascribed unto him, he is capable of no other rule or power. But indeed no one act of his kingly office can be aright conceived or acknowledged, without a respect had unto his divineperson. I shall instance onlyunto thispurpose in two things in general. . 1. The extent of his power and rule gives evidence hereunto. It is over the t° whole creation ofGod. All power is given him in heaven and earth," Matth. xxviii. 18. " All things are put under his feet, he only ex. cepted who put all things under him, 1 Cor. xv. 27. And heis made " head over all things unto the church," Eph. i. 22. Not only those who are above the rule of external law, as the holy angels: and those who have cast off all such rule, as thedevils themselves; but all things that in their own nature are not capable of obedi- ence to an external law or rule, as the whole inanimate creation, heaven and earth and the sea, with all things in them and under them, Phil. ii. 10. with the dead bu. dies of men which he shall raise at the last day.