Owen - BX9315 O81

AS IT RESPECTS THE PERSON OF CHRIST. 8 hear," which he affirms that he had not done, Deut. xxix. 4.; they were not moved unto faith or obedience by them. So is it in the preaching of the gospel. Not- withstanding all the blessed revelation that is made of the excellencies of the person of Christ therein, yet those into whose hearts God Both not shine, to give the knowledge of his glory in his face, can discern nothing of it, nor are their hearts affected with it. We do not therefore in these things follow cunning- ly devised fables; we do not indulge unto our own fan- cies and imaginations; they are hot unaccountable rap- tures or ecstacies which are pretended unto; nor such an artificial concatenation of thoughts, as some, igno- rant of these things do boast that they can give an ac- count of. Our love to Christ ariseth alone from the revelation that is made of him in the scripture, is inge- nerated, regulated, measured, and is tobe judged there- truth. To some he is precious, unto others he is disal- lowed and rejected; a. stone which the builders refused, whenothers brought it forth, crying, Grace, grace un- to it, as the head of the corner. Some can see nothing but weakness inhim; unto others the wisdom and pow- er of God do evidently shine forth in him. Wherefore it must be said, that notwithstanding that open plain representation that is made ofhim in the scripture, un- less the Holy Spirit give us eyes to discern it, and cir- cumcise our hearts, by the cutting off corrupt prejudi- ces, and all effects of unbelief, implanting in them by the efficacy of his grace, this blessed affection of love unto him, all these things will make no impression on our minds. As it was with the people on the giving of the law; notwithstanding all the great and mighty works which God had wrought among them, yet having not given them 01 a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to by. CHAP. XIV. MOTIVES UNTO THE LOVE OP CHRIST. THE motives unto this love of Christ, is the last thing on this head of our religious respect unto him, that I shall speak unto. When God required of the church the first and high- est act of religion, the sole foundation of all others, namely, to take him as their God, to own, believe, and trust in him alone as such, which is wholly due unto him for what he is, without any other consideration whatever; yet he thought meet to add a motive unto the performance of that duty, from what he had done for them, Exod. xx. I, 2. The sense of the first com- mand is, that we should take him alone for our God; for he is so, and there is no other. But in the pre- scription of this duty unto the church, he minds them of the benefits which they had received from -him, in "bringing them out of the house of bondage." God in his wisdom and grace ordereth all the causes and reasons of our duty, sous that all the rational pow: ers and faculties of our souls may be exercised therein. Wherefore he doth not only propose himself unto us, nor is Christ merely proposed unto us as the proper object of our affections, but he calls us also unto the 5 consideration of all those things that may satisfy our souls that it is the most just, necessary, reasonable, and advantageous course for us so to fix our affections on him. And these considerations are taken from all that he did for us, with the reasons and grounds why he did it. We love him principally and ultimately for what he is; but nextly and immediately for what he did. What he did for us, is first proposed unto us, and it is that which our souls are first affected withal. For they are origi- nally acted in all things by a sense of the want' which they have, and a desire of blessedness which they have not. This directs them unto what he hath done for sin- ners, but that leads immediately unto the consideration of what he is in himself. And when our love is fixed on him, or his person, then all those things, wherewith from a sense of oar ownwants and desires we were first affected, beeome motives unto the confirming and in- creasing of that love. This is the constant method of the scripture; it first proposeth unto us what the Lord Christ hath done for us, especially in the discharge of his sacerdotal office, in his oblation and intercession,' X