Owen - BX9315 O81

1 AS IT RESPECTS THE-:PERSON OF CHRIST: 79 cal declaration of the mutual love between Christ and the church. And it is expressed by all such ways and means as may represent it intense, fervent, and exceed- ing all other love whatever, which none I suppose will deny, at least on the part of Christ. And a great part of it consists in suet] descriptions of the person of Christ and his love, as may render hint amiable and desirable unto our souls, even altogether lovely. To what end doth the Holy Spirit no graphically describe and re- laresent unto us the beauty and desirableness of his person, if it be not to ingenerate love in us unto him? All want of love unto bins on this proposal, is the effect of prevalent unbelief. It is pretended, that the descriptionsgiven of Christ in this book, are allegorical, from whence nothing can be gathered or concluded. But God forbid we should so reflect on the wisdom and love of the Holy Spirit unto the church, that he bath proposed unto the faith of the church, an empty sound and noise of words without mind or sense.. The expres- sions he meth are figurative, and the whole nature of the discourse, as to its outward structure, is allegorical. But the things intended are real and substantial, and the metaphorsused in the expressionof them, aresuited, M a due attendance unto the analogy of faith, to con- vey a spiritual understanding and sense of the things themselves proposed in them.. The church. of Godwill not part with the unspeakable advantage and consola- tion,. -those supports of faith; and incentives of love, which it receives by that divine proposal of the person of Christ, and his love which is made therein, because some menhave no experience of them, nor understand- ing in them. The faith and love of believers, is not to be regulated by the ignorance and boldness of them, who have neither the one nor the other. The title of the forty-fifth psalm is, n;5,,.ß,e A song of loves; that is, of the mutual love of Christ and the church. And unto this end that our souls may be stir- red up unto the most ardent affections towards him, is a description given us of his person, as altogether lovely. To what other end is he So evidently delineated in the whole harmony of his divine beauties by the pencil of the Holy Spirit? Not to insist on pnrticular testimonies, it is evident unto all whose eyes are opened to discern these things, that there is no property of the divine nature which is peculiarly amiable, such as are goodness, grace, love, and bounty, with infinite power and holiness, but it is represented and proposed unto us in the person of the Sou of God, to this end, that we should love him above all, 'and cleave unto him. There is nothing in the hu- man nature, in that fulness of grace and truth which dwelt therein, in that inhabitation of the Spirit which: was in hint without measure, in any thing of those all' things wherein he,hath the pre-eminence, nothing in his love, condescension, grace, and mercy, nothing in the work that lie fulfilled, what he did and suffered therein;. nothing in the benefits we receive thereby; nothing in the power and glory that lie is exalted unto at the right hand of God, but it is net forth in the scripture and proposed unto us, that believing in himwe may love Wmwith all our hearts and souls. And besides all this,. that singular, that infinite effect of divine wisdom, where- unto there is nothing like in all the works of God, and wherewith none of them may be compared, namely, the constitution of his person by the union of his natures therein, whereby he becomes unto us the image of the invisible God, and wherein all theblessed excellencies of Ids distinct natures are made most illustriously conspi- cuous, in becoming one entire principle of all his me- diatory operations on our behalf, is proposed unto us as the complete object of our faith and love. 'Phis is that person,, whose loveliness and beauty all the angels of God, all the holy ones above do eternally admire and adore. In him are the infinite treasures of divine wis- dom and goodness continually represented unto them. This is he, who is thejoy, the delight, thelove, the glo- ry of the church below. Thouwhom our souls do love, is the title whereby they know Lim and converse with him, Cant. i. 7. chap. iii. f -4. This is he who is the desire of all nations, the beloved of God and men. The mutual intercourse on this ground of love be- tween Christ and the church, is the life and soul of the whole creation; for on the account hereof all things con- sist in him. There is more glory under the eye of God, in the sighs, groans, and monrnings of poor souls filled with the love of Christ, after the enjoyment of him accord- ing to his promises, in their fervent prayers for lasman- ifestation of himselfunto them, in the refreshments and unspeakable joys which they have in his gracious visits and embraces of his love, than in the thrones and dia- dems of all the monarchs on the earth. Nor will they