Owen - BX9315 O81

AND FOLLOWING HIS EXAMPLE. 89 him, and endeavour to be like him. In that whereof 2. The due improvement of, and continual growth in we now discourse, namely, of conformity unto him, he every grace, is the other general part of this duty. In is the representative of the image of God unto us. And the exercise of his own all-fulness ofgrace, both in mo- if we donot love and prize above all things those graci- ral duties of obedience, and the especial duties of his ous qualifications and dispositions of mind wherein it office, did the glory of Christ on the earth consist. doth consist, whatever we may pretend of the imitation Wherefore to abound in the exercise of every grace, to of Christ in any outward acts or duties of obedience, we grow in the root, and thrive in the fruit of them, is to have no design of conformity unto him. He who sees be conformed unto the image of the Son of God. and admires the glory of Christ as filled with these gra- Secondly, The following the example of Christ in all ces, as he was fairer than the children of men, because duties towards God and men, in his whole conversation grace was poured into his lips, unto whom nothing is so on the earth, is the second part of the instance now desirable, m to have the same mind, the same heart, given concerning theuse of the person of Christ in re-" the same spirit that was in Christ Jesus, he is prepared ligion. The field is large which here lies before us, to press after conformity unto him. And unto such a and filled with numberless blessed instances: I cannot soul the representation of all these excellencies in the here enter into it; and the mistakes that have been in person of Christ, is the great incentive, motive and a pretence unto it, requires that it should be handled guide, in and unto all internal obedienceunto God. distinctly and at large by itself, which, if God will, may That wherein we are to labour for this conformity be done-in due time. One or two general instances may be reduced unto two heads. wherein he was most eminently our example, shall close 1. Anopposition unto all sin, in the root, principle, this discourse. and most secret springs of it, or original cleavings unto I. His meekness, lowliness ofmind, condescension unto our nature. He did no sin, neither was thereany guile all sorts ofpersons; his love and kindnessunto mankind, found in his mouth. He was holy, harmless, undefiled, his readiness to do good unto all, with patience and for- separate from sinners. He was the Lamb of God with hemance, are continually set before us in his example. out spot or blemish; like unto us, yet without sin. Not I place them all under one head, as proceeding all from the least tincture of sin did ever make an approach unto the same spring of divine goodness, and having effects his holy nature. He was absolutely free from every of the same nature. With respect unto them, it is re- drop of thatfomes which hath invaded us in ourdeprav- quired that the same mind be in us that was in Christ Je- ed condition. Wherefore to be freed from all sin, is sus, Phil. ii. 5. and that we teallc in love, as he also tee- the first general part of an endeavour for conformity un- ed us, Eph. v. 2. to Christ. And although we cannot perfectly attain In these things was he the great representative of the hereunto in this life, as we have not alreadyattained, divine goodness unto us. In the acting of these graces nor are already-perfect,yet hewho groanethnotin him- on all occasions did hedeclare and manifest the nature self after it, who doth not loathe every thing that is of of God from whom he came. And this was one end the remainder of sin in him, and himself,for it, who of his exhibition in the flesh, Sin had filled the world doth not labour after its absolute and universal extirpa- with a representation of the devil and his nature, in mu- tion, hath no sincere design of conformity unto Christ, tuai hatred, strife, variance, envy, wrath, pride, fierce- nor can so have. He who endeavours to be like him, nessand rage against one another, all which are of the must purifyhimself even as he is pure. Thoughts of old murderer. The instances of a cured, of a contrary the purity of Christ, in his absolute freedom from the frame were obscure and weak in the best of the saints least tinctureof sin, will not suffer a believer to be negli- of old. But in our Lord Jesus the light of the glory of gent at any time, for the endeavouring the utter ruin of God herein first shone upon the world. In the exercise that which makes him unlike unto him. And it is a of these graces which he most abounded in, because the blessed advantage unto faith in the work of mortifica- sins, weaknesses, and infirmities of men gave continual tion of sin, that we have such a pattern continually be- occasion thereunto, did he represent the divine nature, fore us. as love, as infinitelygood, benign, merciful and patient, 5 'L