Owen - BX9315 O81

FOR THE SALVATION OP TH For this power over the whole creation is not only a moral right to rule and govern it; but it is also ac- companied with virtue, force, or almighty power to act, order, and dispose of it at his pleasure. So is it de- scribed by the apostle from the Psalmist, Heb. i. 10, 11, 12. " Thou, Lord, in the beginning hastlaid the foun- dation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy hands. Theyshall perish, but thou remainest; and they shall all wax old as doth a garment: and as avesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years fail not." That power is required unto his kingly office, whereby he created all things in the beginning; and shall change them all asa man folds up a vesture, in the end. Om- nipoteney, accompanied with eternity and immutability, are required hereunto. It is a vain imagination to suppose that this power can reside ina mere creature, however glorified and exalted. All essential divine properties are concurrent with it; and inseparable from it. And where are the proper- ties of God, there is the nature of God; for his being and his properties are one and the saine. If the Lord Christ as King of the church be only a mere man, and be as such only to be considered, how- ever he may be exalted and glorified, however he may be endowed with honour, dignity, and authority, yet he cannot put forth or net any real physical power imme- diately and directly, but where he is present. But this is in heaven only; for the " heavens most receive him until the time of the restitution of all things," Acts iii. 21. And hereon his rule and power would be the great- est disadvantage unto the church that could befal it. For suppose it immediately under the rule of God even the Father; his omnipotency and omnipresence, his omniscience and infinite wisdom, whereby he could be always present with every one of them, know all their wants, andgive immediate reliefaccording to the coun- sel of his will, was a stable foundation for faith to rest upon, and an everlasting spring of consolation. But now whereas all power, all judgment, all rule is com- mitted unto the Son, and the Father loth nothing to- wards the church, but in and by him, if he have not the same divine power and properties with him, the foun- dation ofthe church's faith is cast down, and the spring of its consolation utterly stopped up. I cannot believe .in him as my heavenly King, who E CHURCH FROM HIS PERSON 43 is not able by himself, and by the virtue Of his presence with me, to make what changes and alterations he pleas- eth in the minds of men, and in the whole creation of God, to relieve, preserve, and deliver nie, and to raise my body at the last day. To suppose that the Lord Christ as the king and lientl of the church, tenthnot an infinite, divine power, where- by he is able always to relieve, succour, save, and deliv- er it, ifit were to be done by the alteration of the whole, or anypart of God's creation, sous that the fire should not burn, nor the water overwhelm them, nor men be able to retain their thoughts or ability one moment to afflict them; and that their distresses arenot always ef- fects of his wisdom, and never from the defect of his power, is utterly to overthrow all faith, hope, and the whole, ofreligion itself. Ascribe therefore unto the Lord Christ in 'the exer- cise of his kingly office, only a moral power operative by rules and laws, with the help of external instruments; deprive him of omnipresence, andomniscience, with in- finite divine power and virtue to be acted at his pleasure in and over the whole creation, and you raze the foun- dation of all. Christian faith and hope to the ground. There areno true believers who will part with their faith herein for the whole world; namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ is able by his Divine power and presence immediately to aid, assist, relieve, and deliver them in every moment of their sui-prisals, fears, and dangers, in every trial or duty they may be called unto, in every difficulty they have to conflict withal. And to expect these. things any otherwise but by virtue of his divine nature, is wofully to deceive our own souls. For this is the work of God. 2. The rule of Christ as king of the church is inter- nal and spiritual, over the minds, souls and consciences of all that do believe. There isno one gracióus acting of soul in any one believer at any time in the whole world, either in opposition unto sin, or the performance of duty, but it is influenced and under the guidanceof the kinglypower of Christ. I suppose we have herein not only the common faith, but also the common spi- ritual sense and experience of them all. They know that in their spiritual life it is he that liveth in them as the efficient cause of all its acts, and that without hint they can do nothing. Unto him they have respect in everythe most secret and retired acting; of grace, not