Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

May 19, 2005

Quotatious

I pulled the following quotations of John Owen, the 17th century Puritan divine, from JohnOwen.org:

It is not the glorious battlements, the painted windows, the crouching gargoyles that support a building, but the stones that lie unseen in or upon the earth. It is often those who are despised and trampled on that bear up the weight of a whole nation.

***

I will not judge a person to be spiritually dead whom I have judged formerly to have had spiritual life, though I see him at present in a swoon as to all evidences of the spiritual life. And the reason why I will not judge him so is this -- because if you judge a person dead, you neglect him, you leave him; but if you judge him in a swoon, though never so dangerous, you use all means for the retrieving of his life.

***

It is not the distance of the earth from the sun, nor the sun's withdrawing itself, that makes a dark and gloomy day; but the interposition of clouds and vaporous exhalations. Neither is thy soul beyond the reach of the promise, nor does God withdraw Himself; but the vapours of thy carnal, unbelieving heart do cloud thee.

***

See in the meantime that your faith brings forth obedience, and God in due time will cause it to bring forth peace.

***

Let our hearts admit, "I am poor and weak. Satan is too subtle, too cunning, too powerful; he watches constantly for advantages over my soul. The world presses in upon me with all sorts of pressures, pleas, and pretenses. My own corruption is violent, tumultuous, enticing, and entangling. As it conceives sin, it wars within me and against me. Occasions and opportunities for temptation are innumerable. No wonder I do not know how deeply involved I have been with sin. Therefore, on God alone will I rely for my keeping. I will continually look to Him."

***

If we do not abide in prayer, we will abide in temptation. Let this be one aspect of our daily intercession: "God, preserve my soul, and keep my heart and all its ways so that I will not be entangled." When this is true in our lives, a passing temptation will not overcome us. We will remain free while others lie in bondage.

***

To believe that He will preserve us is, indeed, a means of preservation. God will certainly preserve us, and make a way of escape for us out of the temptation, should we fall. We are to pray for what God has already promised. Our requests are to be regulated by His promises and commands. Faith embraces the promises and so finds relief.

***

Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, if it has its own way it will go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could, every thought of unbelief would be atheism if allowed to develop. Every rise of lust, if it has its way reaches the height of villainy; it is like the grave that is never satisfied. The deceitfulness of sin is seen in that it is modest in its first proposals but when it prevails it hardens mens' hearts, and brings them to ruin.

***

Your state is not at all to be measured by the opposition that sin makes to you, but by the opposition you make to it.

***

Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.

5 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

Beautiful!

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

WOW

11:55 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Double Wow! The one about prayer or temptation really spoke to me.

9:49 PM  
Blogger John said...

Bob, I love these Puritan's, it makes me want to get closer to the Lord! Thanks for posting this.

GBYAY

11:12 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Yes, the Puritans were incredibly insightful. They seemed to have thought more (and more clearly)about the life in Christ than anyone else. Owen is a great one. I also recently read the first chapter of Samuel Bolton's "The True Bounds of Christian Freedom." Excellent.

7:40 AM  

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