Owen - BX9315 O81

I( 92 HUMBLE INQUIRY INTO THE INFINITE WISDOM OF GOD, mystery, we can only say, " O the depths of the riches of itself in any blessedor graciouseffects unto the crea- tures, is goodness. (2.) Wisdom, which is the directive power or excel- lency of the divine nature. Hereby God guides, dis- poseth, orders and directs all things unto his own glory, in and by their own immediate proper ends, Prov. xvi. 4. Rev. iv. 11. (3.) Power, which is the effective 'excellency of the divine nature, effecting and accomplishingwhat wisdom Both design and order. Whereas wisdom therefore is that holy excellency or power of the divine Being, wherein God designs, and whereby he effects the glory of all the other properties of his nature, we cannot trace the paths of it in any work of God, unless weknow the interest andconcern- ment of those other properties in that work. For that which wisdom principally designs, is the glorificationof . them. And unto this end the effective property of the divine nature, which is almighty power, always accom- panies or is subservient unto the directiveor infinite wis- dom, which is requisite unto perfection in operation. What infinite goodness will communicate ad extra, what it will open the eternal fountain of the divine Being and all-sufficiency to give forth; that infinite wisdom designs, contrives, and directs to the glory of God; and what wisdom so designs, infinite power effects. See Is. xl. 13, 14, 15, 17, 28. 2. We can have no apprehensions of the interest of the other properties of the divine nature, in this great mystery of-godliness, whose glory was designed in in- finite wisdom, without the consideration of that state and condition of our own, wherein they are so concern- ed. That which was designed unto the eternal glory of God in this great work of the incarnation of his Son, was the redemption of mankind, or the recovery and salvation of the church. What bath been disputed by some concerning it, without respect unto the sin of man, and the salvation of the church, is curiosity, and indeed presumptuous folly. The whole scripture con- stantly assigneth this sole end of that effect of divine goodness and wisdom, yea, asserts it as the gnly founda- tion of the gospel, John iii. 16. Wherefore unto a due contemplation of divine wisdom in it, it is necessary we should consider what is the nature of sin, especial- ly of that first sin, wherein our original apostacyfrom God did consist; what was the condition of mankind both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how un- searchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" This alone is left unto us in the way of duty, that in the effects of them, we should contemplate on their excellency, so as to give glory to God, and live in an holy,admiration of his wisdom and grace. For to give glory unto him, and admire him is our present duty, until he " shall come eternally to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe," 2 Thess. i. 10. We can do no more but stand at the shore of this o- cean, and adore its unsearchable depths. What is de- .livered from them by divine revelation, we may receive as pearls ofprice, to enrich and adorn our souls. " For secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed, unto us, thatwe may do the words ofhis law," Deut. xxix. 29. We shall not there- fore in our inquiry into this great mystery, intrude our- selves into the things which we have not seen, but only endeavour a right understanding of what is revealed concerning it. For the end of all divine revelations is our knowledge of the things revealed, with our o- bedience thereon; and unto this end, things revealeddo belong unto us. Some things in general are to be premised unto our present inquiry. 1. We can have no view or due prospect of the wis- dom of God in any of his works, much less in this of sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, or the constitution of his person, and the work of redemption to be accomplished thereby, unless we consider also the interest of the other holy properties of the divine na- ture in them. Such are his holiness, his righteous- ness, his sovereign authority, his goodness, love and grace. There are three excellencies of the divine nature principally tobe considered in all the external works of God. (I.) His goodness, which is the communicative pro- perty thereof. This is the eternal fountain and spring of all divine communications. Whatever is good in and unto any creatures, isan emanation from divine good- ness. He is good, and he doth good. That which acts originally in the divine nature, unto the communication "orlass.--'á.