Owen - BX9315 O81

TINTO- TIIE- PERS 1. In reference unto the first of these, the ensuing position shall be the subject of the remainder of this chapter. " Theperson of Christ is the principal object of the love of God, and of the whole creation participant of his image." The reason why Ithus extend the assertion, will appear in the declaration of it. (2.) No small part of the.eternal blessedness of the holy God, consisteth in the mutual love of' the Father and the Son, by the Spirit. As he is the only-begotten of the Father, he is the first necessary, adequate, com- plete object of the whole love of the Father. Hence he says of himself, that as from eternity he was by him, as brought up with him, and was daily his delight, re- joicing always before him," Prov. viii. 80. Which place wasopened before. In him wasthe ineffable, eter- nal, unchangeabledelight and complacency of the Fa- ther, as the full object of Isis love. The same is expres- sed in that description of him, John i. 18: " The on- ly- begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father." His being the only-begotten Son declares his eternal relation unto the person of the Father, of whom he was begotten in the entire communication of the whole divine nature. Hereon he is in the bosom of the Fa- ther; in the eternal embraces of his love, as his only- begotten Son. The Father loves, and cannot but love his own nature and essential image in him. Herein originally is God love. For God is love, 1 John iv. 8. This is the fountain and prototype of all love, as being eternal and necessary. All other acts of love are in God but emanationsfrom hence, and effects of it. As he doth good, because he is good, so he loveth, because he is love. He is love eternally and necessarily in this love of the Son; and all other workingsof love are but acts of his will, whereby somewhat of it is out- wardly expressed. And all love in the creation was introduced from this fountain, to give a shadow and re- semblance of it. Love is that which contemplative men have always al- most adored. Many things have they spoken to evince it to be the light, life, lustre, and glory of the whole creation. But the original and pattern of it, was al- ways hid from the wisest philosophers of old. Some- thing they reached after about God's love unto himself, with rest and complacency inhis own infinite excellen- cies. But of this ineffable mutual love of the Father ON OP CHRIST. 71 and the Son, both in and by that Spirit, which pro seeds from them both, they had neither apprehension nor conjecture. Yet as herein cloth the principal part (if we may so speak) of the blessedness of the holy God consist, so is it the only fountain and prototype of all that is truly called love. A blessing and glory which the creation had never been made partaker of, but only to express, according to the capacity of their several natures, this infinite and eternal love of God. For God's love of himself, which is natural and necessary unto the divine Being, consists in the mutual compla- cency of the Father and the Son, by the Spirit. And it was to express himself, that God made any thing without himself. He made the heavens and the earth to express his being, goodness and power. He creat- ed man in his ores image, to express his holiness and righteousness; and he implanted love in our natures, to express this eternal mutual love of the holy persons of the Trinity. But we must leave it under the vail of infinite incomprehensibleness; though admiration and adora- tion of it be not without the highest spiritual satisfac- tion. Again, he is the peculiar object of the love of the Father, of the love of God, as he is incarnate, as he hath taken on him, and bath now discharged the work of mediation or continues in thedischarge of it; that is, the person of Christ as God-man is the peculiar object of the divine love of the Father. The person of Christ in his divine nature is the adequate object of that love of the Father which is ad intro, a natural necessary act of the divine essence in its distinct personal existence: and the person of Christ as incarnate, as clothed with human nature, is the firstand full object of the loveof the Father in those acts of it which are ad extra, or are to- wards any thing without himself. So he declares him- self in the prospect of his future incarnation and work, " Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth," Isa. xlii. 1. The delight of the soul of God, his rest and complacency, which are the great effects of love, are in the Lord Christ as his elect and servant in the work of mediation. And the testimony hereofhe renewed twice from heaven after- wards, Matth. iii. 17. " Lo, avoice from heaven, say- ing, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleas - ed;" as it is again repeated, Matth. xvii. .5. All things are disposed to give a due sense unto us, of this love