Owen - BX9315 O81

64 TILE PRINCIPLE Or TH brance of what the blessed Lord Jesus bath donefor us, of the ineffable love which was the spring cause and fountain of what he so did, thoughts of the mercy, grace, peace, and glory which he hath procured there- by, are the great and unconquerablemotives to fix our faith, hoper trust and confidence in him. His divine nature is the ground and warrant for our no doing. This is that from whence.he is the due and proper object of all divine faith and worship. From the power and virtue thereof do we expect and receive all those things which in our believing onhim we seek after. For none but God can bestow them- on us, or work them in us. There is in all the actings of our faith on him, the voice of the confession of Thomas, My Lord, andmy God. His divine person wherein he is God and man, where- in he bath that nature which is the formal object of di- vine worship, and wherein he wrought all those things which are the motives thereunto, is the object of this faith, which gives difference and distinction from faith in God in general, and faith in theperson of the Father, as the fountain of grace, love, and power. 2d/y, Faith is acted on Christ under the formal no- tion of " Mediator between God and man." So it is expressed, 1 Pet. i. 21. as Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God." And this acting of faith towards Christ, is not contrary unto that before described, nor inconsistent with it, though it be distinct from it. To deny the person of Christ to fall under this double consideration, of a di- vine person absolutely, wherein he is " over ail God blessed for ever, and as manifested inthe flesh," exercis- ing the office of Mediator between God and man, is to renounce the gospel. And according unto the variety of.these respects, so are .the actings of faith various; some on him absolutely on the motives of his mediation; some on him as Mediator only. And how necessary this variety is unto the life, snpportment, and comfort of be- lievers they all know in some measure who are so. See our Exposition on Heb. i. I, 2, 3. Sometimes faith considers him ason the throne; sometimesas standing at the right hand ofGod; sometimes as over all Godblessed for ever; sometimes as the Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Sometimes his glorious E ASSIGNATION Or power; sometimes his infinite condescension is their relief. Wherefore in the sense now intended, he is consider- ed as the ordinance, as the servant of God, who raised hinz upfi sso the dead, andgave himglory. So our faith respectsnot only his person, but all the acts ofhis office. It is faith in his blood, Rom. iii. 25. It is the will of God, that we should place our faith and trust in him and them, as the only means of our acéeptance with him, of all grace and glory from him. This is the pro- per notion of a Mediator. So is he not the ultimate objectof our faith, wherein it rests, but God through him. " Through him have we an access in one Spirit unto the Father," Eph. ii. 18. So he is theway where.. by we go to God, John xiv. 6. See Heb. x. 19, 20, 21. And this also is faith in him, because he is the immediate, though not the ultimate, object of it, Acts xxvi. 18. This is that which renders our faith in God evangeli- cal. The especial nature of it ariseth from our respect unto God in Christ and through him. And herein faith principally regards Christ in the discharge of his sacerdotal office. For although it is also the principleof all obedience unto him in his other offices, yet as, unto fixing our faith in God through him, it is his sacerdotal office and the effects of it, that we rest upon and trust unto. It is through him as the High Priest over the houseof God, as he who bathmade for us a new and living way into the holy place, that we draw nigh to God, -Heb. iv. 14., 15, 16. chap. x. 15, 21, 22. 1 John i. 2. No comfortable refreshing thoughts of God, no war- rantable or acceptableboldness in an approach and access unto him, can any one entertain or receive, but in this exercise of faith on Christ as the Mediator between God and man. And if in the practice of religion, this regard of faith unto him, this acting of faith on God through him, be not the principle whereby the whole is animated and, guided, Christianity is renounced, and the vain cloud of natural religion embraced ill the room- of it. Not a verbal mention of 1úm, bat the real intention of heart to come unto God by him is required of us; and thereinto all expectation of ac- ceptance with God, as unto our persons or duties is resolved. We have had great endeavours of late by the Soci-