Excerpts from Owen, Vol. 1
“He, therefore, is the Word, the Christ, and the cause of old of our being; for he was in God, and the cause of our well-being. But now he has appeared unto men, the same eternal Word, who alone is both God and man, and unto us the cause of all that is good” (Clement).As he was in God the cause of our being and well-being from eternity, he was the foundation of the divine counsels in the way explained; and in his incarnation, the execution of them all was committed unto him, that through him all actual good, all the fruits of those counsels, might be communicated unto us.
Some amongst us say, that if there were no other way for the redemption and salvation of the church, but this only of the incarnation and mediation of the Son of God, there was no wisdom in the contrivance of it. Vain man indeed would be wise, but is like the wild ass’s colt. Was there no wisdom in the contrivance of that which, when it is effected, leaves nothing but admiration unto the utmost of all created wisdom? Who has known the mind of the Lord in this thing, or who has been his couselor in this work, wherein the mighty God became a child born to us, a son given unto us? Let all vain imaginations cease: there is nothing left unto the sons of men, but either to reject the divine person of Christ — as many do unto their own destruction — or humbly to adore the mystery of infinite wisdom and grace therein. And it will require a condescending charity, to judge that those do really believe the incarnation of the Son of God, who live not in the admiration of it, as the most adorable effect of divine wisdom.
There is not any thing that he did or does, in the discharge of his mediatory office, from the first susception of it in his incarnation in the womb of the blessed Virgin unto his present intercession in heaven, but is an effectual motive unto the love of him; and as such is proposed unto us in the Scripture. Whatever he did or does with or towards us in the name of God, as the king and prophet of the church — whatever he did or does with God for us, as our high priest — it all speaks this language in the hearts of them that believe: O love the Lord Jesus in sincerity.
The consideration of what Christ thus did and does for us is inseparable from that of the benefits which we receive thereby. A due mixture of both these — of what he did for us, and what we obtain thereby — compriseth the substance of these motives: “Who loved me, and gave himself for me” — “Who loved us, and washed us in his own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God” — “For thou wast slain, and hast bought us unto God with thy blood.” And both these are of a transcendent nature, requiring our love to be so also. Who is able to comprehend the glory of the mediatory acting of the Son of God, in the assumption of our nature — in what he did and suffered therein? And for us, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor can it
enter into the heart of man to conceive, what we receive thereby. The least benefit, and that obtained by the least expense of trouble or charge, deserveth love, and leaveth the brand of a crime where it is not so entertained. What, then, do the greatest deserve, and thou procured by the greatest expense even the price of the blood of the Son of God?