Owen - BX9315 O81

80 THE NATURE, OPERATIONS, A henaseivespart with the ineffable satisfactionswhich they have in these things, for all that this world can do for them, or unto them. Molest suers. cum Christo, quern regnare cum Cssare. These things have not only ren- dered prisons and dungeons snore desirable unto them than the most goodly palaces on future accounts; but have made them really places of such refreshment and ,joys, as men shall seek in vain to extract out of all the comforts that this world can afford. O curas in terris anines éi ecelestiunt inanes. NI) CAUSES OF AIVINE LOVE, Many there are who not comprehending, not being affected with that divine spiritual description of the person of Christ which is given us by the Holy Ghost in the scripture, do feign unto themselves false represen- tations ofhim by images and pictures, so to excite carnal and corrupt affections in their minds. Bythe help of their outward senses, they reflect on their imaginations the shape of an human body, cast into postures and cir- cumstances dolorous or triumphant, and so by the work- ing of their fancy raise a commotion of mind in them- selves, which they suppose to be love unto Christ. But all these idols are teachers of lies. The true beauty and amiableness of the person of Christ, which is the formal object acid cause of divine love, is so far from being represented herein, as that the mind is thereby wholly diverted from the contemplation of it. For no more can be so pictured unto us, but what may belong unto a mere mass, and what is arbitrarily referred unto Christ, not by faith, but by corrupt imagination. The beauty of the person. of Christ as represented in the scripture, consists in things invisible unto the eyes of flesh. They are such as no hand of man can repre- sent or shadow. It is the eye of faith alone that can see this King in his beauty. What else can contemplate on the úncreated glories of his divine nature? can the hand of man represent the union of his natures in the same person, wherein he is peculiarly amiable? what eye can discern the mutual communications of the proper- tiesof his different natures in the same personwhich de- pends thereon, whence it is that " God laid down his life for us, and purchased his church with his own blood?" In these things, O vain man, doth the loveliness of the person of Christ unto the souls of believers consist, and not in those strokes of art whirls fancy bath guided a skilful hand and pencil unto. And what eyes of flesh can discern the inhabitation of the Spirit in all fulness in the human nature? Can his condescension, his love, Isis grace, Isis power, his compassion, his offices, his fit- ness, and ability to save sinners, be deciphered on a ta- blet, or engravers on wood or stone? However such . pictures may be adorned, however beautified and en- riched, they arenot that Christ which the soul of the spouse doth love; they are not anymeans of represent- ing his loveunto us, or of conveying our loveunto him; they only divert the minds of superstitious personsfrom the Sou of God; unto the embraces ofa cloud, compos- ed of fancy and imagination. - Others there are who abhor these idols, and when they have so done commit sacrilege. As they reject i- mages, so they seem to do all love unto the person of Christ, distinct from other acts of.obedience, as a fond imagination. But the most superstitious love unto Christ, that is, love acted in ways tainted with supersti- tion, is better than none at all.- But withwhat eyes do such persons read the scriptures? with what 'heartsdo they consider them? what do they conceive is the inten- tion of the Holy Ghost in all those descriptions which he gives us of the person.of Christ, as amiable and desi- rable aboveall things, making therewithal a proposal of him unto our affections, inciting unto receive him by faith, and to cleave unto him in love? yea, to wheat end is our stature endued with this affection? unto what end is the power of it renewed in its by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, ifit may not be fixed on this most pro- per and excellent object of it? This is the foundation of our loveunto Christ, name- ly, the revelation and proposal of him unto us in the scripture, as altogether lovely. The discovery that is made therein of the glorious excellencies and endow- mentsof his person, of Isis love, his goodness, andgrace, ofhis worth and work, is that which engageth the affec- tions of believers untobins. It may besaid, that if there be such a proposal of him madeunto all promiscuously, thenall would equally discern his amiableness, and be affected with it, who assent equally unto the truth of that revelation. But it baths always fallen out other- wise. In the days of his flesh, some that looked on him could see neither form nor comeliness in him wherefore he should be desired. Others saw his glory, theglory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and