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bodies, the inward or outward man, without the continual actings of divine power in us, and towards us; so in the glorified state our all shall depend eternally on divine power and goodness, communicating themselves unto us, for all the ends of our blessed subsistence in heaven.
2. What is the way and manner of these communications, we cannot comprehend. We cannot indeed fully understand the nature and way of his spiritual communications unto us in this life. We know these things by their signs, their outward means, and principally by the effects they produce in the real change of our natures. But in themselves we see but little of them. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and we hear the sound thereof, but we know not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit;' John iii. 8. All God's real operations in heaven and earth are incomprehensible, as being acts of infinite power, and we cannot search them out unto perfection.
3. All communications from the Divine Being and infinite fulness in heaven unto glorified saints, are in and through Christ Jesus, who shall for ever be the medium of communication between God and the church, even in glory. All things being gathered into one head in him, even things in heaven, and things in earth; that head being in immediate dependance on God, this order shall never be dissolved, Eph. i. 10, 11, 1 Cor. iii. 23. And on these communications from God through Christ depends entirely our continuance in a state of blessedness and glory. We shall no more be self-subsistent in glory, than we are in nature or grace.
4. The way on our part whereby we shall receive these communications from God by Christ, which are the eternal springs of life, peace, joy, and blessedness, is this vision, the sight whereof we speak. For as it is expressly assigned thereunto in the Scripture; so whereas it contains the perfect operation of our minds and souls in a perfect state, on the most perfect object, it is the only means of our blessed
And this is the true cause whence there neither is, nor can be, any satiety or weariness in heaven, in the eternal contemplation of the same glory. For not only the object of our sight is absolutely infinite, which can never be
searched into the bottom; yea, is perpetually new unto a finite understanding; so our subjective blessedness consisting in continual fresh communications from the infinite fulness of the divine nature, derived unto us through vision, is always new, and always will be so to eternity. Herein shall all the saints of God drink of the rivers of pleasure that are at his right hand, be satisfied with his likeness, and refresh themselves in the eternal springs of life, light, and joy, for evermore.
This effect that view which we have by faith of the glory of Christ in this world, doth not produce. It is sanctifying, not glorifying. The best of saints are far from a perfect or glorified state in this life. And that not only on the account of the outward evils, which in their persons they are exposed unto; but also of the weakness and imperfection of their inward state in grace. Yet we may observe some things unto the honour of faith in them who have received it. As,
1. In its due exercise on Christ, it will give unto the souls of believers some previous participation of future glory, working in them dispositions unto, and preparation for, the enjoyment of it.
2. There is no glory, no peace, no joy, no satisfaction in this world, to be compared with what we receive by that weak and imperfect view which we have of the glory of Christ by faith. Yea, all the joys of the world are a thing of nought in comparison of what we so receive.
3. It is sufficient to give us such a perception, such a foretaste of future blessedness in the enjoyment of Christ, as may continually stir us up to breathe and pant after it. But it is not beatifical.
Other differences of an alike nature between our beholding of the glory of Christ in this life by faith, and that vision of it, which is reserved for heaven, might be insisted on; but I shall proceed no farther. There is nothing farther for us to do herein but that now and always we shut up all our meditations concerning it, with the deepest selfabasement, out of a sense of our unworthiness and insufficiency to comprehend those things, admiration of that excellent glory which we cannot comprehend, and vehement longings for that season when we shall see him as he is, be ever with him, and know him, even as we are known.
MEDITATIONS AND DISCOURSES
THE GLORY OF CHRIST,
SAINTS UNDER SPIRITUAL DECAYS:
IN TWO CHAPTERS, FROM JOHN XVII. 24.
TO THE READER.
The design of this Preface is not to commend either the Author or the matter contained in this little book. Let every reader do as he finds cause. Nor need any assurance be given that Dr. Owen was the Author, to any who have conversed with his writings, and will be at the pains to read this over. It is indeed his application of the former discourses upon this subject, printed in the year 1684. But the reason why it was not then added (the omission whereof rendered that book imperfect to judicious readers) seems necessary to be given. Had it pleased God he had lived a little longer, it would have come out as perfect as his other works. But there being no more transcribed in his life-time than what was then printed, and that published soon after his death; these two chapters wrote only with his own hand, were found too late to be then added. They are therefore now printed to complete those discourses. And it is presumed, that as no serious Christian who reads this, will be satisfied without the other also ; so all who prize the former, will be glad of the opportunity to add this thereunto.