Owen - BX9315 O81

2 THE ESPECIAL ralmengE OP OREDIL^-.'C>; of God unto him. The testimony concerning it is twice repeated in the sane words front heaven. And the words of it are emphatical unto the utmost of our comprehension. " My Son, my Servant, mine Elect, my beloved Son in whom I rest, in whom I delight," and am well pleased. It is the will of God to leave up- on our hearts a sense of this his love unto Christ; for this voice came from heaven, not for his sake, who was always filled with a sense ofthis divine Iove, but for ours, that we might believe it. This he pleaded as the foundation of all the trust re- posed in him, and all the power committed unto him: " 'The Father loveth the Son, and bath given all things into his hand," John iii. 35. " The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself sloth," John v. 20. And thesense or due apprehension of it, is the foundation of Christian religion. Hence he prays, that wemay " know that God. hath loved him," Johnxvii. 23, 26. In this sense, the person of Christ is the .r;Cro, Isav,- or, the first recipient subject of all that divine love which extends itself unto the church. It is all, the whole of it, in the first place fixed upon him, and by and through him is communicated unto the church. Whatever it receives ingrace and glory, it is but the streamsof this fountain, love untohimself. ' So heprays for all his disciples, that the love, saith he, wherewith thou bast loved me, may be in them, and I in them, John xvii. 26. They can be partakers of no other love, nei titer in itself nor in its fruits, but that alone wherewith the Father first loved him. He loveth him for us all, and us no otherwise but as in him. He makes usaccept- ed in the Beloved, Eph. i. 6. He is the Beloved of the Father, xas' iI,z4'; as in all things he was to have the pre-eminence, Có1. i. 18. 'The love of the body is de- rived unto it from the love unto the head. And in the love of him sloth God love thewhole church, and no otherwise. He loves none but as united unto him, and participant of his nature. Wherefore the loveof the Father únto the Son, as the only-begotten, and the essential image of his person, wherein the ineffable delight of the divine nature doth consist, *as the fountain and cause of all love in the creation, by als act of the will of God for its representa- tion. And the love of God the Father unto the person of Christ as incarnate, being the first adequate objectof divine love wherein there is any thing ad extra, .. is the fountain andespecial cause of all gracious love towards us and in us. And our love unto Christ being the on-. ly outward expression and representation of this loveof the Father unto him, therein consists the principal part of our renovation into his image. Nothing ren- ders us so like unto God as our love unto Jesus Christ, for he is the principal object of his love; in him doth his soul rest, in him is he always well pleased. Where- ever this is wanting, whatever' there may be besides, there is nothing of the image of God. He that loves not Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maran-atha; for he is unlike unto God, his carnal mind is enmity a- gainst God. Among those who are in the image of God, the an- gels above are of the first consideration. We are in- deed as yet much in the dark unto the things that are within the vail. They are above us as unto our present capacity, andhid from us, as unto our present state. But thereis enough in the scripture to manifest the ad- hesion of angels unto the personof Christbydivine love. For love proceeding from sight, is the life of the church above; as love proceeding from faith is the life of the church below. And this life the angels themselves do live. For, 1. They wereall, unto their inexpressible present ad- vantage and security for the future, brought ihto that recovery and recapitulation of all things which God bath made in him. He bath " gathered together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him," Eph. i. 10. The things in heaven, and things in earth, angels above, and men below, wereoriginally united in the will of God. God's love unto them, whence springs their mutual love be- tween.themselves, was a bond of union between them, rendering them one complete family of God in heaven andearth, as it is called, Eph. iii. 15. On the entrance of sin, whereby mankind forfeited their interest in the love of God, and lost all love tinto him or any thing for him, this union was utterly dissolved, and mutual en- mity came into the place of its principle in love. God is pleased to gather up these divided parts of his family into one, in one head, which is Christ Jesus. AIM as there is hereby an union established again between an- gels and thechurch in love, so their adherence unto the head, the centre, life, and spring of this union, is by