BLTC Press Titles

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My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

An exposition of the epistle to the Hebrew with the preliminary exercitations

by John Owen


(1.) That the whole mystery of his will, antecedently to the revelation of it, is said to be "hid in God," that is, the Father, Ephes. iii, 9. It lay wrapt up from the eyes of men and angels, in his eternal wisdom and counsel, Col. i, 26, 27. The Son, indeed, who was from eternity in the bosom of the Father, John i, 18, as one brought up with him, his eternal delight and wisdom, Prov. viii, 29, 30. was partaker with him in this counsel, ver. 31, as also his eternal Spirit, who searches and knows all the deep things of God; 1 Cor. ii, 10, 11, but yet the rise and spring of this mystery was in the Father. For the order of acting in the blessed Trinity, follows the order of subsistence. As the Father, therefore, is the fountain of the Trinity, as to subsistence, so also as to operation.

(2.) That the revelation of the mystery of the will of God, so hidden in the counsel of his will from eternity, was always made in pursuit and for the accomplishment of the purpose of the Father; or, that etasnal purpose is by way of eminency, ascribed to him, Ephes. i, 8, .9, "He hath abounded towards us in aH wisdom and prudence, having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself." It is the Fatter of whom he speaks, ver. 3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Now he abounds to usward by wisdom and prudence, or abundantly manifests his infinite wisdom in his dealings with us, by the revelation of the mystery of his will; and this he doth in pursuit of his good pleasure which he purposed in himself or that purpose of his will which had its foundation solely in his good pleasure.

(3.) This purpose of God the Father being communicated to the Son, whence resulted the counsel of peace between them both; Zech. vi, 13, and the Son rejoicing to do the work that was incumbent on him for its accomplishment; Prov. viii, 30—32, it became peculiarly the care and work of the Father, to see thaj the inheritance promised him upon his undertaking, should be given to him. This is done by the revelation of the will of God to men concerning their obedience and salvation whereby they are made the lot, the seed, the portion, and inheritance of Christ: to this end the Father, who said to the Son, "Sit thou on my right hand," Psalm ex, 2; sends the rod of his power out of Sion, ver. 2, to declare his rule even over his enemies, and to make those people given him willing and obedient, ver. 3. But the inheritance thus given by the Father to the Messiah being wholly in the possession of another, it became him to take it out of the usurper's hands, and deliver it up to him whose right it was; and this he doth by the revelation of his mind in the preaching of his word, Col. i, 12,13. And from these considerations it is that,

(4.) The whole revelation and dispensation of the will of God in and by the word, is, as before observed, eminently appropriated to the Father. Eternal life (the purpose, the counsel. the means, and procurer of it) was with the Father, and was manifested to us by the Word of truth, 1 John i, 1,2. And it is the Father, that is, his will, mind, grace, love, and purpose, that the Son declares, John i, 18, in which work he speaks nothing but what he heard and learned from the Father, John viii, 28. And thence he says, '-The doctrine is not mine," (that is, principally and originally) "but his that sent me," John vii, 16. And the gospel is called the gospel of the glory of the "blessed God," which is a periphrasis of the person of the Father, who is the "Father of glory." And we might also remark that the great work of making this gospel effectual on the minds of men. doth peculiarly belong to the Father, which he accomplisheth by his Spirit, 2 Cor. Hi, 18; iv, 6.

§26. And from the appropriating of this work originally and principally to the Father, there are three things that are particularly intimated unto us:

1. The authority that is to be considered in it: the Father is the original of all power and authority; of him the whole family of heaven and earth is named, Eph. iii, 15. He is the Father of the whole family, from whom Christ himself receives all his power and authority as mediator, Matt, xxviii, 18; which, when his work is accomplished, he shall give up again into his hand, 1 Cor. xv, 28. He sent him into the world, set him over his house, gave him command and commission for his work. The very name and title of "Father" carries authority along with it; Mai. i, 6; he hath all power essentially in him over the souls and eternal conditions of them to whom he speaks. And what holy reverence, humility, and universal subjection of soul to the word doth this require? In this representation,

2. There is also love. In the economy of the blessed Trinity, about the work of our salvation, that which is eminently and in an especial manner ascribed to the Father is love, 1 John iv, 9, 10, 16. "God," that is, the Father, "is love." To be love, full of love, to be the special spring of all fruits of love, is peculiar to him as the Father. It is out of love, infinite love, mercy, and compassion, that God would at all reveal his mind and will to sinners. He might for ever have locked up the treasures of his wisdom and prudence, wherein he abounds towards us in his word, in his own eternal breast. He might have left all the sons of men to that woful darkness, whereunto by sin they had cast themselves, and kept them under the chains and power of it, with the angels that sinned before them, unto the judgment of the great day. But it was from infinite love that he made this condescension to reveal himself and his will unto us. This mixture of authority and love, which is the spring of the revelation of the will of God to us, requires all readiness, willingness, and cheerfulness in our reception of it. Besides these,

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