Owen - BX9315 O81

THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF IT, 51 on the contrary, that he on whom we are bound to be- lieve, on him it is our duty to call. So the whole scrip- ture is closed with a prayer of the church unto the Lord Christ, expressing their faith in him; .e Even so, come, Lord Jesus," Rev. xxii. 20. There is not any one reason of prayer, not any one motive unto it, not any consideration of its use or effi- cacy, but render this peculiar invocation of Christ a ne- cessary duty. Two things in general are required to render the duty of invocation lawful and useful. First, that it have a proper object; secondly, that it have pre- valent motives and encouragements unto it. These in concurrence are the formal reason and ground of all religious worship in general, and of prayer in particu- lar. So are they laid down as the foundation of all re- ligion, Exod. xx. 2, 3. " I am the Lord thy God," that is, the proper object of all religious worship, " which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage," which being summarily and typically representative of all divine benefits, temporal, spiritual and eternal, is the great motive thereunto. The want of both thesein all mere creatures, saints and angels, makes the invocation ofthem, not only useless, but idolatrous. But they both eminently concur in the personof Christ, and his actings towards us. All the perfections of the divine nature are in him, whence he is the proper object of religious invocation. On this account when he acted in and towards the church as the great Angel ofthe covenant, God instructed the peo- ple unto all religious observance of him, and obedience unto him, Exod. xxiii. 21. "Beware of him, and o- bey his voice, provoke him not: for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in hint." Because the name of God was in him, that is, the divine nature, with sovereign authority to punish or pardon sin, there- forewas all religious obedience due untohim. And no motives are wanting hereunto. All that theLord Christ bath done for us, and all the principles of love, grace, compassion, and power from whence what he bath so done did proceed, are all of this nature. And they are accompaniedwith the encouragement of his relation un- to us, and charge concerning us. Take away this du- ty, and the peculiar advantage of Christian religion is destroyed. We have lived to see the utmost extremes that Chris- tian religion can divert into. Some with all earnestness and hereby it is our duty to give honour unto the per- son of Christ. When he himself died in the flesh, he committed his departing soul by solemn invocation into the hands of his Father, Psal. xxxi. 5. Luke xxiii. +. " Father, in- to thy hands I commit my spirit." And to evidence that it is the will of God, that we should honour the Son, as we honour the Father, even as the Son him- self in his human nature, who is our example, honour- ed the Father; he who first died in the faith of the gos- pel, bequeathed his departing soul into the hands of " Jesus Christ by solemn invocation," Acts vii. 59. " They stoned Stephen, imsar eso,, solemnly invocating, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And hav- ing by faith and prayer, left his own soul safe in the :hand of the Lord Jesus, he adds one petition more un- to him, wherewith he died, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge," ver. G0. Herein did he give divine ho- nour unto Christ in the especial invocation of his name, in the highest instances that can be conceived. .In his first request wherein he committed his departing soul into his hands, he ascribed unto him divine omniscience, omnipresence, love and power. And in the latter for his enemies, divine authority and mercy to be exercis- ed in the pardon of sin. In his example is the rule es- tablished, for the especial invocation of Christ for the effects of divine power and mercy. Hence the apostle describeth the church or believers, and distinguisbeth it, or them, from all others, by the discharge of this duty, 1 Cor. i. 5. " With all that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours." To call on the name of the Lord Jesus ex- presseth solemn invocation in the way of 'religious wor- ship. The Jews did call on the name of God. All others in their way called on the names of their gods. This is that whereby the church is distinguished from them all; " it calls on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." He requires, that as we believe on God, that is, the Father, so we should believe on him also, and therein honour the Son, as we honour the Father, Johnxiv. 1. The nature of this faith, and the manner how it is ex- ercisedon Christ, we shall declare afterwards. But the apostle treating of the nature and efficacyof this invo- cation, affirms that we " cannot call on him in whom we have tibt believed," Rom. x. 14. Whence it follows