Owen - BX9315 O81

IN THE CONSTITUTION OF thereon; what is the concernment of the holy God there- in; on the account of theblessed properties of his nature; what way was suited unto our recovery, that God might be glorified in them all. Without a previous considera- tionof these things, wecan have nodue conceptionsofthe wisdom of God in this glorious work, which we inquire after. Wherefore I shall so far speak of them, that if it be the will of God, the minds of those who read and consider them, may be opened and prepared to give ad- mittance unto some rays of that divine wisdom in this glorious work, the lustre of whose full light we are not able in this world to behold. When there was a visible pledge of the presence of God in the bush that burned and was not consumed, Moses said, he would turn aside to see Mat great sight, Exod. iii. 3. And this great representation of the glo- ry of God being made and proposed unto us, it is cer- tainly our duty to divert from all other occasions unto the contemplation of it. But as Moses was then com- manded to put off his shoes, the place whereon he stood being holy ground, so it will be the wisdom of him that writes, and of them that read, todivest themselves of all carnal affections and imaginations, that theymay draw nigh unto this great object of faith, with due re- verence and fear. The first thing we are to consider in order unto the end proposed, is, the nature of our sin and apostacy from God. For from thence we must learn the con- cernment of the divine excellencies of God in this work. And there are three things that are eminent therein. First, A reflection on the honour of the holiness and wisdomof God in the rejection of his image. He had newly made man in his own image. And this work he so expresseth, as to intimate a peculiar effect of divine wisdom in it, whereby it was distinguished from all o- ther external works of creation whatever, Gen. i. 26, 27. cc And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness: soGod created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." Nowhere is theresuch an emphasis of expression concerning any Work of God. And sundry things are represented as peculiar therein_ 1. That the word of consultationand that of execution are distinct. In all other works of creation, theword of determinationand execution was the same. When he created light, which seems to be the beauty and glo- 5 THE PERSON OF CHRIST. 93 ry of the whole creation, he only said, Let there be light, and there was light, Gen. i. 3. So it was with all other things. But when lie comes unto the creation of man, another process is proposed unto our faith. These several words are distinct, not in time, but in nature: " God said, Let us make man in our image and like- ness; and thereon it is added distinctly, as the execu- tion of that antecedent counsel; cc So God made man in his own image." This puts a signal eminency on this work of God. '2. A distinctpeculiar concernment of all the persons ofthe Holy Trinity, in their consultation and operation,- is in like manner proposed unto us. And God said, Let us make man. The truth hereof I have sufficiently evinced elsewhere, and discovered the vanity of all other glosses and expositions. The properties of the divine nature, principally and originally considerable in all ex- ternal operations, (as we have newly observed), are goodness, wisdom, and power. In this great work, di- vine goodness exerted itself eminently and effectually in the person of the Father; the eternal fountain and spring, asof the divine nature, so of all divineoperations. Divine wisdom acted itself peculiarly in the person ofthe Son, this being the principal notion thereof, the eternal wisdom of the Father. Divine power wrought effectu- ally in the person of the Holy Spirit; who is the im- mediate actor of all divine operations. 3. The proposition of the effecting this work, be- ing by way of consultation, represents it a signal effect of infinite wisdom. These expressions are used to lead us unto the contemplation of that wisdom. Thus God made man in his own image, that is, in such a rectitude of nature, as represented his righteous- ness and holiness, in such a state and condition as had a reflection on it of his power and rule. The former was the substanceof it, the latter a necessaryconsequent thereof. This representation, I say, of God, in power and rule, was not that image of God wherein man was created, buta consequent of it. So the words and their order declare. cc Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea," &c. Because he was made in the image of God, this dominion and rule weregranted unto him. So fond is their imagination who would have the image of God to consist solely in these things. Wherefore the loss of the image of God was not originally the loss of power and dominion, or a right thereunto: but man A