Owen - BX9315 O81

94 IIUM1LE INQUIRY INTO TIIE INFINITE WISDOM OF GOD, was deprived of that right, on the loss of that image which it was granted unto. Wherein it did consist, see Eccl. vii. 29. Eph. iv. 24. Three things God designed in this communication of his image unto our nature, which were his principal ends in the creation of all things here below. And therefore - was divine wisdom more eminently exerted therein, than in all the other works of this inferior crea- tion. I. The first was, that he might therein make a re- presentation of his holiness and righteousnessamong his creatures. This was not done in any other of them. Characters they had on them of his goodness, wisdom, and power. In these thingsthe " heavens declare the glo- ryof God, and the firmament sheweth his handy-work." His eternal power and Godhead are manifest in the things that are made. But noneof them, not the whole fabric of (heaven and earth, with all their gloriousorna- ments and endowments, were either fit or able to receive any impression of his holiness and righteousness, of any of the moral perfections, or universal rectitude of his nature. Yet in the demonstration and representationof these things doth the glory of God principally consist. Without them he could not be known and glorified as God. Wherefore he would have an image and repre- sentation of them in the creation here below. And this he will always haveso long as he will be worshipped by any of his creatures. And therefore when it was lost in Adam, it was renewed in Christ; as hath been declar- ed. .2. The second was, that it mightbe a means of ren- dering actual glory unto him, from all other parts of the creation. Without this, which is as the animating life and form of the whole, the other creaturesare but as a dead thing. They could not anyway declare the glo- ry of God, but passively and objectively. They were as an harmonious well-tuned instrument, which gives no sound, unless there be a skilful hand to move and act it. What is light, if there be no eye to see it? or what is music, if there be no ear to hear it? How glorious and beautiful serverany of the works of creation appear to be, from impressions of divine power, wisdom, and goodness on them, yet without this image of God in man, there was nothing herebelow to understand God in them, to glorify God by them. This alone is that, whereby in a way of admiration, obedience, and praise, we were enabled to render unto God all the glory which he designed from thoseworks of his power. 3. The thirdwas, that it might bea méans to brim man unto that eternal enjoyment of himself, which he was fitted for, and designed unto. For this was to be done in a way of obedience: Do this and live, was that rule of it which the nature of God and man, with their mutual relation unto one another, did require. But we were made meet for this obedience, and enabled unto it, only by virtue of this image of God implanted in our natures. It was morally a power to live unto God in obedience, that we might come to the enjoyment of him in glory. Evident it is, that these were the principal ends of God in the creation of all things. Wherefore this constitution of our nature, and the furnishment of it with the image of. God, was the most eminent effect of infinite wisdom in all the outward works of the divine nature Secondly, In the entrance of sin, and by apostacy from God, man voluntarily rejected and defaced this blessed representation of the righteousness and holiness of God, this greateffect of his goodness and wisdom, in its tendency unto hiseternal glory, and our enjoy- ment of him. No greater dishonour could be done un- to him, no endeavour could have been more pernicious in casting contempt on his counsel. For as his holiness which was represented in that image was despoiled, so we didwhat lay in us to defeat the contrivance of his wisdom. This will be evident by reflecting on the ends of it nowmentioned. For, I. Hereon there remainednothing in all the creation here below, whereby any representation might be made of God's holiness and righteousness, or any of the mo- ral perfections of his nature. How could it be done, this image being lost out of the world? The brute in- animatepart of the creation, however stupendously great in its matter, and glorious in its outward form, was co way capable ofit. The nature of man under the loss of this image, fallen, depraved, polluted, and corrupt- ed, gives rather a representation and image of Satan, than of God. Hence instead of goodness, love, right- eousness, holiness, peace, all virtues usefully commu- nicative and effective of the good of the whole race of mankind, which wouldhave been effects of this image of God, and representatives of his nature, the whole