Owen - BX9315 O81

THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF IT. .67 ly evangelical. And although the law bath never lost, nor ever.can lose its original power of obliging us unto universal obedience as we are reasonable creatures, yet it is our obedience unto it as Christians, as believers, immediately influenced by its confirmation unto the e- vangelical church in the hand of our Mediator. For, 2d/y, God bath given unto the Lord Christ all power in his name to require this obedience from all that re- ceive the gospel. Others are left under theoriginal au- thority of thelaw either as implanted in our natures at their first creation, as are the Gentiles, or as delivered by Moses, and written in tables ofstone, as it was with the Jews, Rom. ii. 12, 13, 14. But as to them that are called unto the faithof the gospel, theauthority ofChrist cloth immediately affect their minds and consciences. He feeds or rules his people " in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God," Mic. v. 4. All the authority and majesty of God is in him, and with him; so of old, as the great Angel of God's presence, he was in the church in the wilderness with a delegated power, Exod. xxiii. 20, 21, 22. " Be- hold, I send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have pre- pared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not: for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak;" the name of God the Father is so in him, that is, he is so partaker of the same nature with him, that his voice is the voice of the Father. If thou obey his voice, and do all that I speak. Nevertheless he acts herein as the Angel of God, with power and authority delegated from him. So is he still immediately present with the church, requiring obedi- ence in the name and majesty ofGod. idly, Alljudgment, upon and concerning this obedi- ence is committed unto him by the Father. For the Father judgeth no man, (that is, immediately as the Fa- ther); " but bath committed all judgment unto the Son," John v. 22. He bath "given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man," ver. 27. And his judgment is the judgment of God; for the Father who judgeth none immediately in his own per- son, judgeth all in him, 1 Pet. i. 17. " If you call on the Father, who without respect of'persons, judgeth ev- cry one according to his work. He Both, so in and by the Son, unto whom all judgment is committed. And unto him are we to have regard in all our obedience, unto whom we must give our account concerning it, and by whomwe are and must be finally judged upon it. To this purpose speaks the apostle, Rom. xiv.-10, 11, 12. "We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ: for it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee, shall bow to me, and every tongue shallcon- fess to Goa. So every one of us shall give an account of himselfto God," He proveth, that we shall all stand before the judgment-seat ofChrist, or be judged by him, by a testimony of scripture that we shall all be so judg- ed by God himself; and give an account of ourselves unto him. And as this doth undeniably prove and con- firm thedivine nature of Christ, without the faith where- of, there is neither cogency in the apostle's testimony, nor force in his arguing; so he declares that God judg- eth us only in and by him. In this regard of our mo- ral obedience unto Christ, lies the way whereby God will be glorified. Secondly, All things are yet more plain with respect unto institutionsof divine worship. The appointment of all divine ordinances under the New Testament, was his especial province and work, as the Son and Lord over his own house. And obedience unto him in the observance of them is that which he gives in especial charge unto all his disciples, Matth. xxviii. 18, 19, 20. And it is nothing but a loss of that subjection of soul and conscience unto him, which is indispensably re- quired of all believers, that bath set the minds of so many at liberty to do and observe in divine worship what they please, without any regard unto his institu- tions. It is otherwise with respect unto moral duties. For the things of the moral law, have an obligation on our consciences, atecedent unto the enforcement of them by the authority of Christ, and there holds us fast. But as unto things of the latter sort, our consciences can no waybe affected with a sense of them, or a necessity of obedience in them, but by the sole and immediate au- thority of Christ himself. If a sense hereof be lost in our minds, we shall not abide in the observance of his commands.