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John Owen Quotes & Sayings
31 entries tagged including 8 subtopics.
Last updated May 2020
John Owen Topics
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.
Common experience declares how momentary and how useless are those violent fits and gusts of endeavours which proceed from fear and uncertainty, both in things spiritual and things temporal, or civil. Whilst men are under the power of actual impressions from such fears, they will convert to God, yea, they will turn in a moment, and perfect their holiness in an instant; but so soon as that impression wears off as it will do on every occasion, and upon none at all such persons are as dead and cold towards God as the lead or iron, which but now ran in a fiery stream, is now when the heat is departed from it.
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.
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.
It is not the distance of the earth from the sun, nor the suns 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.
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 (faint)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.
How can we possibly believe the promises concerning Heaven, immortality, and glory, when we do not believe the promises concerning our present life? And how can we be trusted when we say we believe these promises but make no effort to experience them ourselves? It is just here that men deceive themselves. It is not that they do not want the Gospel privileges of joy, peace and assurance, but they are not prepared to repent of their evil attitudes and careless life-styles. Some have even attempted to reconcile these things and ruined their souls. But without the diligent exercise of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the graces of joy, peace and assurance.
If we would talk less and pray more about them, things would be better than they are in the world: at least, we should be better enabled to bear them.
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.
Did you never run for shelter in a storm, and find fruit which you expected not? Did you never go to God for safeguard, driven by outward storms, and there find unexpected fruit?
See in the meantime that your faith brings forth obedience, and God in due time will cause it to bring forth peace.
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.
Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers.
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.
Let no man pretend to fear sin that does not fear temptation also! These two are too closely united to be separated. He does not truly hate the fruit who delights in the root.
A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.
Temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction
Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you
The house built on the sand may oftentimes be built higher, have more fair parapets and battlements, windows and ornaments, than that which is built upon the rock; yet all gifts and privileges equal not one grace
The vigor and power and comfort of our spiritual life depends on our mortification of deeds of the flesh.
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