Owen - BX9315 O81

HONOUR DUE TO THE PERSON OP CHRIST; &C. 47 not dwell. And then is any church, as it was with that í1 merly professed truths, to accommodate them unto the of the Jews, nigh to destruction, when it corrupts for- . present lusts and inclinations of men. CHAP. IX. IIONOUR DUE TO THE PERSON 01' CHRIST; THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF IT. MANY other considerationsof the same natúre with those foregoing, relating unto the glory and honour of the person of Christ, may be taken from all the funda- mental principles of religion. And our duty it is in them all, to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, the author and finisher ofour faith." I shall not insist on more, but proceed unto those princi- ples of truth, which are immediately directive of our duty towards him; without diligent attendance where- unto, do we but in vain bear the name of Christians. And the substanceof what is designed, may be includ- ed in the following assertion. " The glory, life, and power of Christian religion, as Christian religion, and as seated in the souls of men, with all the acts and duties whichproperly belong there- unto, and are therefore peculiarly Christian, and all the benefits and privileges we receive by it, or by virtue of it, with the wholeof the honour and glory that arise unto God thereby, have all of them their formal nature and reason, from their respect and relation unto the person of Christ; nor is he a Christian who is other- wise minded." In the confirmation hereof, it will appear whatjudg; ment ought to be passed on that enquiry, which after the uninterrupted pròfession of the catholic church for so many ages of a faith unto the contrary, is begun to be macle by some amongst us; namely, of what.use is the person of Christ in religion. For it proceeds on this supposition, and is determined accordingly, that there is something in religion wherein the person of Christ is of no use at all. A vain imagination, and such as is destructive unto the whole real intercourse be- tween God and man, by the one and only Mediator. The respect which we have in all acts of religion un- to the person of Christ, may be reduced into these four heads; (I.) Honour. (2.) Obedience. (S.) Conformity. (4.) The use we make of him, for the attaining and re- relying of all gospel-privileges, all grace and glory. And hereunto the whole of our religion, as it is Chris- tian or evangelical, may be reduced. First, The person of Christ is the object of divine honour and worship. The Formal object and reason hereofis the divine nature, and its essential infinite ex- cellencies. For theyare nothing but that respect unto the divine Being, which is clue unto it from all rational creatures regulated by revelation, and enforced by di- vine operations. Wherefore the person of Christ is primarily the object ofdivine honour and worship, up- on the account of his divine nature and excellencies. And those who denying that nature in him, do yet pre- tend to worship him with divine and religiousadoration, dobut worship a golden calf of their own setting up; for a Christ who is not over all God blessed for ever, is not better. And it implies a contradiction, that Any creature should ón any account, be the immediatepro- per object of divine worship; unless the divine essential excellencies be communicated unto it, or transfused in- to it, whereby it would cease to be a creature. For ! that worship is nothing but the ascription of divine.ex- cellencies unto what is só worshipped. But we now consider the Lord Christ, in his whole entire person, the Son of God incarnate, God manifest in the flesh. His infinite condescension in the assump- tion of our nature, slid no way divest himof his divine essential excellencies. For a time, they were shadowed and veiled thereby, from the eyes of men; 'when he made himselfof no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant. But he eternally and unchange- ably continued " in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to beequal unto him," Phil. ii. 6, 7. Ile can no more really and essentially, by any act of condes- cension'or humiliation, cease to be God, than God can cease to be. Wherefore, his being clothed with our nature, derogates nothing from the true reason of db-