Owen - BX9315 O81

.54 HONOUR DUE TO THE PERSON OP CHRIST; him, ver. 9, 9, T'0. This is Our duty, this will be our i either solicitous about his love, er rejoicing in it. And wisdom, upon affecting discoveriesof theglory of Christ; namely, to apply ourselves unto him by invocation or praise; and thereby will the refreshment and advantage of them abideupon our minds. So is it also as unto his love. The love of Christ is always the same, and equal unto the church. Howbeit there are peculiar seasons of the manifestation and ap- plication of a sense of it unto the souls of believers. So it is when it is witnessed unto them, or shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost. Then is it accompani- ed with a constraining power, to oblige us to live unto him who died for us, and rose again, 2 Cor. v. 14., 15. And of our spiritual life unto Christ, invocation ofhim is no small portion. And this sense of his love we might enjoy more frequently than for the most part we do, were we not so much wanting unto ourselves and our own concerns. For although it be an act of sove- reign grace in God, to grant it unto us, and affect us with it, as it seems goodunto him; yet is our duty re- quired to dispose our hearts unto its reception. Were we diligent in casting out all that filthiness and, super- fluity of naughtiness, which corrupts our affections, and disposes the mind to abound in vain imaginations; were our hearts more taken off from the love of the world, which is exclusive of a sense of divine love; did we more meditate on Christ and his glory, we should more frequentlyenjoy these constraining visits of his love than now we do. So himself expresseth it, Rev. iii. 20. .c Behold I stand at the door and knock:. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in unto him, and sup with him, and he with me." He makes intimation of his love and kindness unto us. But oft- times we neither hear his voice when he speaks, nor do open our hearts unto him. So do we lose that gracious refreshing sense of his love which he expresseth in that promise, Iwill sup with him, and he shall sup with me. No tongue can express that heavenly communion and blessed intercourse which is intimated in this promise. The expression is metaphorical, but the grace expressed is real, and more valued than the whole world, by all that have experience of it. This sense of the love of Christ, and the effect of it in communion with him, by prayer andpraises, is divinely set forth in the book of Canticles. The church therein is represented as the Spouse of Christ; and as afaithful spouse she is always when she bath attained a sense of it, she aboundeth in invocation, admiration and praise. So dolls the church of the New Testament upon an apprehension of Isis love, and the unspeakablefruits of it. " Unto hint that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his ownblood, and bath made us kings and priests sunto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen," Rev. i. 5, 6. This thereforeis-another season that calls for this duty. 3. " Times of persecution for his name's sake, and for the profession of the gospel," are another season rendering this peculiar invocation of Christ both come- ly and necessary. Two things will hefal the minds of believers in such a season. (I.) That their thoughts will be greatly exercised about him, and conversant with him. They cannot but continually think and meditate cn him for whom they suffer. None eversuffered per- secution on just grounds, with sincere ends, and in a due manner; but it was so with them. The invincible reasons they have to suffer for him, taken from his per- son, love,.grace and authority, from what he is in him- self what he bath done for them, and what account of all things is to be given unto hint; do continually pre- sent themselves tinto their Hinds. Wildernesses, pri- sons and dungeons have been filled with thoughts of Christ and his love. And many in former and latter ages have given,an account of their communion and ho- ly intercourse with the Lord Christ under their re- straints and sufferings. And those who at any time have madean entrance into such a condition, will all of them give in the testimony of their own experience in this matter. (2.) Such persons have deep and fixed ap- prehensions of the especial concernment which the Lord Christ bath in them as unto their present condition; as also of Isis power to support them, or to work out their deliverance. They know andconsider, That in all their afflictions, he is afflicted, suffers in all their sufferings, is persecuted in all their persecutions. That in them all he is full of love, pity and unspeakable compassion towards them; that his grace is sufficient for them, that his power shall be perfected in their weakness, to carry them through all their sufferings unto his and their own glory. In these circumstances, it is impossible for them whoare under the conduct of his Spirit, not to make especial applications continually unto him, for those