Owen - BX9315 O81

THE NATURE AND CAUSES of IT. , .53 themselves, as is commonly done by physicians of no value, it is an aggravation of their distress and sorrow. And theygreatly value every sincere endeavour for relief either by counsel or prayer. In this state and condition the Lord Christ in the gospel is proposed as full of ten- der compassion, as he alone who is able to relieve them. In that himselfhath sufferedbeing tempted, he is touch- ed with e feeling of our infirmities, and knows how to have compassion on them thatare out of theway," Heb. ii. 18. chap. iv. 15. chap. v. 6. So is he also, as he alone who is able to succour, to relieve and to deliver them. " He is able to succour them that are tempted," Heb. ii. 18. Hereon are they drawn, constrained, encour- aged to make applications unto him by prayer, that he woulddeal with them according to his compassion and power. This is a season rendering the discharge. of this duty necessary. And hereby have innumerable souls found consolation, refreshment, and deliverance. A time of trouble is a time of the especial exercise of faith in Christ. So himself gives direction, John xiv. 1. " Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." Distinct actings of faith on Christ, are the great means of supportment and relief in trouble. And it is by especial invocation, whereby they put forthand exert themselves. An instance hereof as unto temptation, and the dis- tress wherewith it is attended, we have in the apostle Paul. He had a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Sa- tan to buffet him. Both expressions declare the deep sensehe had of his temptation, and the perplexity where- with it was accompanied. " For this cause he besought the Lord thrice, that it -might depart from him," 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8. He applied himself solemnly unto prayer for its removal, and that frequently. And it was the Lord, that is, the Lord Jesus Chirst unto whom he made his application. For. so the name Lord is to be interpreted, if there be nothing contrary in the context, as the name of God, is of the Father, by virtue of that rule, 1 Cor. viii.- 6, 7. " To us there is one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ." And it is evident also in the context. The answer he received unto his prayer was, " My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect in weakness." And whose pow- er that was, who gave him that answer, he declares in the nextwords: " Most gladly therefore will I glory in my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon 3 me," that is, the power of him on whom he called who gave him that answer, my power is madeperfect in weak- ness.. 2. Times of gracious discoveries either of the glory of Christ in himself, or of his love unto us, are seasons that , call for this duty. The glory of Christ in his person and offices is always the same. And the revelation that is made of it in the scripture varieth not.. But as unto our perception and apprehension of it, whereby our hearts and minds are affected with it in an especial man- ner, there are apparent seasons of it, which no believers are unacquaintedwithal. Sometimes such a sense of it is attained under thedispensation of the word, wherein as Christ on the one hand issetforth evidently erodedbe- fore our eyes, so on the other he is gloriously exalted. Sometimes it is so in prayer, in meditation, in contem- plationon him. As an ability was given unto the bodi- ly sight of Stephen, to see upon the opening of the hea- vens, the glory. of God, and Jesus standing at his right hand, Acts vii. 56, 57.; so he opens the Vail sometimes, . and gives a clear affecting discovery of bis glory unto theminds and souls of believers: and in such seasons are theydrawn forthand' excited unto invocation and praise. So Thomas being surprised with an apprehension andev-. idence of his divine glory and power after his resurrect., tion, (whereinhewas declared tobe the Son of God with power, Rom. i. 4. cried unto- him, My Lord and my God, John xx. 28.;) there was in his words both a pro-_ fession of his own faith, and a solemn invocation of Christ. When thereforewe have real discoveries of the gloryof Christ, we cannot but speak to him, or ofhim. "These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and spake of him," John xii. 41. And Stephen upon a view it in the midst of his enraged enemies, testified immediately, " I see the heavens opened, and the Son, of man standing at the right hand of God." And there- by was he prepared for that solemn invocation of his name, which he used presentlyafter, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, Acts vii. 56, 59. And so also upon his ap- pearance as the Lamb to open the book of prophecies, whereinthere was an eminent manifestation of his glory, seeing hone else could be found in heaven or earth, or under the earth, that was able to open thebook, or so much as to look thereon, Rev. v. 3. " the four and twenty elders fell down before him," and presentingall the prayers of the saints, sang a new song ofpraise unto