Owen - BX9315 O81

46 THE FAITH OF TIIE CIIURCIY UNDER TIIE OLD TESTAMENT, &C. there was none provided, none declared, but only by rit of Christ that was in them testified beforehand of faith in this promise. The design of God, in this pro- his sufferings, and the glory that should ensue," 1 Pet. mise, which was to reveal and propose the only ;say, i. 11. an illustrious testimony whereunto we have giv- Which in his wisdom and grace he had prepared fbr the en us, Psal. xxii. and Isa. liii. Nevertheless, their con- deliverance of mankind from the state of sin and aposta- ceptions concerning them were darts and obscure. It cy whereunto they were cast, with the nature of the faith was his person that their faith principally regarded. and obedience of the church, will not admit of a2J other Thence were they filled with desires and expectations of try of salvation, but only faith in himwho was thus his corning, or his exhibition and appearance in the promised to be a Saviour. To suppose that men might flesh. With renewed promises hereof dici God conti- fall off from faith in God, by the revelation of himself nually refresh the church in its straits and difficulties, in this promise, and yet be saved by attending to iss- And hereby did God call off the body of the people structions given by the works ofcreation and providence, from trust in themselves, or boasting in their present is an imagination that will no longer possess the minds privileges, which they were exceedingly prone unto. of men, than whilst they are ignorant of, or do forget In process of time, this faith which wrought effectual- what it is to believe and to be cavéel. ly in the church of Israel, degenerated into a lifeless o- The great promise made unto Abraham seas, that -he pinion, that proved the ruin of it. Whilst they really should take his seed upon him, in whom all the nations lived in the faith of him as the Saviour and Redeemer of the earth should be blessed, Gen. xii. 3. chap. xv. 18. of the church from all its spiritual adversaries, as he chap. xxii. 18. which promise is explained tiny the a- who was to snake an end of sin, and bring in everlasting pestle, and applied unto Christ, Gal. iii. 10. Here- righteousness, unto whom all their present ordinances on " Abrahambelieved on the Lord, and it was count- were subservient and directive; all grace, love, zeal, ed unto Lim for righteousness," Gen. xv. 6. For he and patient waiting for the accomplishment of the pro- saw the d%ry of Christ and rejoiced, John viii. 56. mise, flourished among them. But in process of time The f.tth that Jacob instructed bis sons in, was, that grossing carnal, trusting in their own righteousness, "the Süiloh should come, and unto him should be the and the privileges which they had, by the law, their gathering of the nations," Gen. xlix. 10. Job's faith faith concerning the person of Christ degenerated into was, that iris " Redeemer was the living One, and that a corrupt, obstinate opinion, that he should be only a he should stand on the earth in the latter days," Job temporal king and deliverer, but as unto .righteousness six. 25. and salvation, they were to trust unto themselves and The revelations made unto David principally con- the law. And this prejudicate opinion being indeed a cerned his person and the glory thereof; see Psal. ii. renunciation of all the grace of the promises of God, xlv. lxviii. lxxii. ex..cxviii. especially Psal. xlvth. and proved their utter ruin. For when he came in the flesh, compared, which give an account of their appre- after so many ages, filed up with continued expecta- hensions concerning him. tiers, they rejected and despised him as one that had The faith of Daniel was, that Godwould " spew mer- neither form nor comeliness for which he should be de- cy for the Lord's sake," Dan. ix. 17.; and of all the sired. So doth it fall out in other churches. That prophets, that the "Redeemer should come to Sion, which was faith truly spiritual and evangelical in their and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob," first planting, becomes a lifeless opinion. in succeeding Isa. Iix. 20. ages. The same truths are still professed, but that pro- Of the same nature were all his personal appearances fession springs not from the same causes, nor loth it under the Old Testament, especially that most illus- produce the saine effects in the hearts and lives of men. trions representation made of him unto the prophet Hence in process of time, some churches continue to Isaiah, chap. vi. and the glorious revelation of his name, have an appearanceof the same body which they were chap. ix. 6. at first, but being examined, are like a lifeless, breath - It is true, that both these and other prophets had re- less carcase; wherein the animating spirit of grace chitin velations concerning his shferinps also. For " the Spi-