Owen - BX9315 O81

THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH UNDER THE OLD TESTAMENT, &C. 4,5 CHAP VIII. THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH UNDER THE OLD TESTAMENT, IN AND CONCERNING THE PERSON OF CHRIST. A BRIEF view of the faith of the Churchunder the Old Testament, concerning the divine person of Christ, shall close these discourses, and make way for those that ensue, wherein our own duty with respect thereunto shall be declared. That the faith of all believers from the foundation of the world had arespect unto him, I shall afterwards de- monstrate; and to deny it, is to renounce both the Old Testament and the New. But that this faith of theirs did principally respect his person, is what shall here be declared. Therein they knew was laid the foundation . of the counsels of God for their deliverance, sanctifica- tion, and salvation: otherwise it was but little theyclear- ly understood of his office, or the way whereby hewould redeem the church. The apostle Peter, in the confessionhe made of him, Matth. xvi. 16. exceeded the faith of the Old Testa- ment in this, that heapplied the promise concerning the Messiah, unto that individual person; Thou art Christ, tie Son ofthe living God: he that was to be the Redeem- er and Saviour of the church. Howbeit Peter then knew little of the way and manner whereby he was prin- cipally so to be: and thereforewhen he began to declare them unto his disciples, namely, that they should be by his death and sufferings, he in particular was not able to comply with it, but saith he, Master, that be far from thee, ver. 22. As flesh and blood, that is, his own reason and understanding, did not reveal or declare him unto Peter to be the Christ, the Son of the living God, but the Father which is in heaven; sohe stood in need of fresh assistance from the same almighty hand, to believe that he should redeem and save his churchby his death. And therefore he did refuse the external re- velation and proposition of it, though made by Christ himself, until he received internal aid from above. And to suppose that wehave faith nowin Christ or his death, on any other terms, is an evidence that we have no faith at all. Wherefore the faith of the saints under theOld Tes- tament did principally respect theperson of Christ, both 3 what it was, and what it was to be in the fulness of time, when he was to become the seed of the woman. What his especial work was to be, and 'the mystery of the redemption of the church thereby, they referred un- to his own wisdom and grace; only they believed, that by him they should be saved from the hand of all their enemies, or all the evil that befel them on the account of thefirst sin and apostacy from God. God gave them indeed representations and prrgura- tions of his office and work also. He did so by the highpriest of the law, the tabernacle, with all the sacri- fices and services thereunto belonging. All that Moses did as a faithful servant in the house of God, was but a " testimony of those things which were afterwards to be declared," Heb. iii. 5. Howbeit the apostle tells us, that all those things had but a "shadow of hood things to come, and not the very image of the thiigs them- selves," Heb. x. 1. And although they are now to us full of light and instruction, evidently expressing the principal work ofChrist's mediation, yet were they not so unto them. For the mail is now taken off from them in their accomplishment, and a declaration is made of the counsels of God in themby the gospel. Themean- est believer may now find out more of the work of Christ, in the types of the Old Testament, than any prophets or wise men could have done of old. There- fore they always earnestly longed for their accomplish- ment; that the day might break, and the shadows fly away by the rising of the Sun of righteousness with healing in his wings. But as unto his person, they had glorious revelationsconcerning it, and their faith in him was the life ofall their obedience. Thefirstpromise, which established a new intercourse between God and man, was concerning his incarnation, that he should be the seed of the woman, Gen, iii, 15. that is, that the Son ofGod should be madeofa woman, made under the law, Gal. iv. 4. From the giving of that promise the faithof the wholechurch was fixed on him, whom God would send in our nature, to redeem and save them. Other way of acceptance with him