Tag Archives: Works of John Owen

“The spring and cause of our everlasting blessedness” by John Owen

“The sight of the glory of Christ is the spring and cause of our everlasting blessedness.

‘We shall ever be with the Lord,’ (1 Thess. 4:17), or ‘be with Christ,’ which is best of all, (Phil. 1:23). For there shall we ‘behold His glory,’ (John 17:24); and by ‘seeing Him as He is, we shall be made like Him,’ (1 John 3:2);– which is our everlasting blessedness.

The enjoyment of God by sight is commonly called the BEATIFICAL VISION; and it is the sole fountain of all the actings of our souls in the state of blessedness: which the old philosophers knew nothing of; neither do we know distinctly what they are, or what is this sight of God.

Howbeit, this we know, that God in His immense essence is invisible unto our corporeal eyes, and will be so to eternity; as also incomprehensible unto our minds. For nothing can perfectly comprehend that which is infinite, but what is itself infinite.

Wherefore the blessed and blessing sight which we shall have of God will be always ‘in the face of Jesus Christ.’ Therein will that manifestation of the glory of God, in His infinite perfections, and all their blessed operations, so shine into our souls, as shall immediately fill us with peace, rest, and glory.

These things we here admire, but cannot comprehend. We know not well what we say when we speak of them: yet is there in true believers a foresight and foretaste of this glorious condition.

There enters sometimes, by the Word and Spirit, into their hearts such a sense of the uncreated glory of God, shining forth in Christ, as affects and satiates their souls with ineffable joy.

Hence ariseth that ‘peace of God which passeth all understanding,’ keeping ‘our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ,’ (Phil. 4:7). ‘Christ,’ in believers, ‘the hope of glory,’ gives them to taste of the first-fruits of it; yea, sometimes to bathe their souls in the fountain of life, and to drink of the rivers of pleasure that are at His right hand.

Where any are utterly unacquainted with these things, they are carnal, yea, blind, and see nothing afar off. These enjoyments, indeed, are rare, and for the most part of short continuance. ‘Rara hora, brevis mora.’ (‘A rare hour but quickly gone.’)

But it is from our own sloth and darkness that we do not enjoy more visits of this grace, and that the dawnings of glory do not more shine on our souls.”

–John Owen, The Works of John OwenVolume 1: The Glory of Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1684/2000), 1: 292-293.

 

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“Meditation on Christ produces a thriving heart for Christ” by John Owen

“The gospel hath a reflection upon it of all the glories of Christ, and makes a representation of them unto us.

What is our work and business? Why, it is to behold this glory, that is, to contemplate upon it by faith, to meditate upon it,—which is here called making ‘things touching the King,’ (Psalm 45:1).

This is also called ‘Christ’s dwelling in us,’ (Eph. 3:17) and, ‘The word of Christ dwelling richly in us,’ (Col. 3:16);—which is, when the soul abounds in thoughts of Christ.

I have had more advantage by private thoughts of Christ than by anything in this world.

And I think when a soul hath satisfying and exalting thoughts of Christ Himself, His person and His glory, it is the way whereby Christ dwells in such a soul.

If I have observed anything by experience, it is this: a man may take the measure of his growth and decay in grace according to his thoughts and meditations upon the person of Christ, and the glory of Christ’s kingdom, and of His love.

A heart that is inclined to converse with Christ as He is represented in the gospel is a thriving heart.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 9: Sermons to the Church (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1850-53/1997), 9: 474-475.

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“Be ruining sin in prayer, or sin will be ruining prayer” by John Owen

“Know, therefore, that there is no more effectual preservative of the soul from the power of sin than a gracious readiness for and disposition unto this duty of prayer in private and public, according to its proper seasons.

This is an observation confirmed by long experience: If prayer does not constantly endeavour the ruin of sin, sin will ruin prayer, and utterly alienate the soul from it.

This is the way of backsliders in heart; as they grow in sin they decay in prayer, until they are weary of it and utterly relinquish it.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 7: Sin and Grace (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1850-53/1997), 7: 531.

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“Gospel truth is the only root whereon gospel holiness will grow” by John Owen

“These things are inseparable. Gospel truth is the only root whereon gospel holiness will grow.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 7: Sin and Grace (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1850-53/1997), 7: 188.

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“His sufferings and His glory” by John Owen

“These are the two heads whereunto all the prophecies and predictions concerning Jesus Christ under the Old Testament are referred– namely, His sufferings, and the glory that ensued thereon (1 Peter 1:11).

All the prophets testified beforehand ‘of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.’

So when He Himself opened the Scriptures unto His disciples, He gave them this as the sum of the doctrine contained in them, ‘Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?’ (Luke 24:26). The same is frequently expressed elsewhere in Rom. 14:9 and Phil. 2:5–9.

So much as we know of Christ, His sufferings, and His glory, so much do we understand of the Scripture, and no more.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 1: The Glory of Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1684/2000), 342–343.

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“Never-failing compassion” by John Owen

“There is mercy and never-failing compassion in God, so that though my own present condition be full of darkness, and I see no deliverance, yet I purpose still to abide waiting on Him. Who knows what those infinite stores and treasures of mercy and relief that are with Him may at length afford unto me?”

–John Owen, Temptation and Sin in The Works of John Owen, ed. William Goold, 24 vols. (Edinburgh: Johnson & Hunter; 1850-1855; reprint by Banner of Truth, 1966), Vol. 6:417-418.

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“None but Christ” by John Owen

“To have all the clouds and darkness that are raised by sin between us and the throne of God dispelled; to have the fire, and storms, and tempests, that are kindled and stirred up about Him by the law removed; to have His glorious face unveiled, and His holy heart laid open, and a view given of those infinite treasures and stores of goodness, mercy, love, and kindness which have had an unchangeable habitation therein from all eternity; to have a discovery of these eternal springs of forbearance and forgiveness,– is that which none but Christ can accomplish and bring about (John 17:6).”

–John Owen, Temptation and Sin in The Works of John Owen, ed. William Goold, 24 vols. (Edinburgh: Johnson & Hunter; 1850-1855; reprint by Banner of Truth, 1966), Vol. 6:401.

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