Owen - BX9315 O81

62 THE FEtlCIPLE OF THE ASSIGNATION OF that is, the whole spiritual life and eternal salvation of the church. 2. This faith in the person of Christ, which is the foundation of all that divine honour in sacred adoration and invocation which is assigned unto him, may be con- sidered two ways. (I.) As it respects his person abso. lutely. (2.) As he is considered in the dischargeof the office ofmediation. Ist, In the first sense faith is placed absolutely and ultimately on the person of Christ, even as on the per- son of the Father. He counts it no robbery herein to be equal with the Father. And the reason hereof is, because the divine nature itself is theproper and imme. diate object of this faith, and all the acts of it. This being one and the same ill the person of the Father and of the Son, as also of the I-Ioly Spirit, two things do' follow thereon. (1.) That each person is equally the object of our faith, because equally participant of that nature which is the formal reason and object of it. (2.) It follows also, that in acting faith on, and ascribing there withal divine honour unto any one person, the others are not excluded, yea, they are included therein.. For by reason of the mutual inbeingof the divine per- sons, in the unity of the same nature, the object of all spiritual worship is undivided. I-Ience are those expres. sions of the scriptures; " He that bath seen the Son, bath seen the Father; he that honoureth the Son, ho- noureth the Father, for he and the Father are one." And to clear our present design, three things maybe observed from hence, namely, that the divine nature, with all its essential properties, is the formal reason, andonly ground of divine faith. As, 1. That the Lord Christ is not tlreabsolute and ulti- mate object of our faith, any otherwise but under this consideration, of his being partaker of the nature of God, of his being in the form of God, and equal unto him. Without this, to place our faith in him would be robbery and sacrilege; as it is all-the pretended faith of them, who believe not hisdivine person. 2. There is no derogation from the honour and glory of the Father, not the least diversion of any one single act of duty from him, nor from the Holy Spirit, by the especial actings of faith on the person of ("-' ist. For all divine honour is given solely unto the divine nature. And this being absolutely the same in each person, in the honouring of one, they are all equallyhonoured. we do believe. If his person was the seat of his owl love, it is the object of our faith. And thisfaith is not only our duty, but our life. He that hath it not, is dead in the sight of God. But I hope it is not yet necessary ìò multiply testi- rponies to prove it our duty to believe in Jesus Christ; that is, to believe in the person of the Son of God, for other faith in Christ there is none; yet Ì shall add one or two considerations in the confirmation of it. 1st, There is no more necessary hereunto, namely, to prove the person of Christ, the Son of God, to be the proper and distinct object of faith divine, than what we have already demonstrated concerning the solemn invocation of him. For saith the apostle, " how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?" Rom. x. 14. It holds on either side. We cannot, we ought not to call on him in whom we do not, we ought not, to believe; and in whom we do believe, on himwe ought to call. Wherefore if it be our duty to call on the name of Christ, it is our duty to believe in the per- son of Christ. And if to believe in Christ be no more but to believe the doctrine of the gospel which lie bath 'revealed, then every one whose doctrine we areobliged to believe, on themwe ought to call also. And on this ground we may call on the names of the prophets and apostles, as well as on the name of Jesus Christ, and be saved thereby. But whereas invocation or prayer proceedeth from faith, and that prayer is for mercy, grace, life, and eternal salvation, faith most be fixed on the person so called on as able to give them all unto us, or that prayer is in vain. 2d135, Again, that We are baptized into the name of Jesus Christ, and that distinctly with the Father, is a sufficient evidence of the necessity of faith in his person. For we are therein given up unto universalspiritual sub- jection of soul unto him, and dependenceon him. Not to believe in him, on hisname, that is, hisperson, when we are so given up unto him, or baptized into him, is virtually to renounce him. But to put a present close unto this contest. Faith in Christ is that grace where- by the church is united unto him, incorporated into one mystical body with him. It is thereby that he dwells in them, and they in him. By this alone are all sup- plies of grace derived from him unto the whole body. Denyhis person to be the proper and immediate object of this faith, and all these things are utterly overthrown,