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 John Owen Quotes
70 Famous Quotes by John Owen
- 8/24/1683
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The world, indeed, seems to be weary of the just, righteous, holy ways of God, and of that exactness in walking according to His institutions and commands which it will be one day known that He doth require. But the way to put a stop to this declension is not by accommodating the commands of God to the corrupt courses and ways of men. The truths of God and the holiness of His precepts must be pleaded and defended, though the world dislike them here and perish hereafter. His law must not be made to lackey after the wills of men, nor be dissolved by vain interpretations, because they complain they cannot -- indeed, because they will not -- comply with it. Our Lord Jesus Christ came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them, and to supply men with spiritual strength to fulfill them also. It is evil to break the least commandment; but there is a great aggravation of that evil in them that shall teach men so to do.

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That faith alone will never forsake Christ which springs out of or is built upon a conviction of the need for Him.

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Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896 Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958 We admit no faith to be justifying, which is not itself and in its own nature a spiritually vital principle of obedience and good works.

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Feast of All Saints Let men in whose hearts are the ways of God seriously consider the use that hath been made, under the blessing of God, of the conscientious observation of the Lord's day, in the past and present ages, unto the promotion of holiness, righteousness, and religion universally, in the power of it; and if they are not under invincible prejudices, it will be very difficult for them to judge that it is a plant which our heavenly Father hath not planted. For my part, I must not only say, but plead whilst I live in this world, and leave this testimony to the present and future ages, if these papers see the light and do survive, that if I have ever seen any thing in the ways and worship of God wherein the power of religion or godliness hath been expressed, any thing that hath represented the holiness of the gospel and the Author of it, any thing that hath looked like a preludium unto the everlasting Sabbath and rest with God, which we aim through grace to come unto, it hath been there and with them where and amongst whom the Lord's day hath been had in highest esteem, and a strict observation of it attended unto, as an ordinance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Commemoration of Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, Servant of the Poor, 1916 No heart can conceive that treasury of mercies which lies in this one privilege, in having liberty and ability to approach unto God at all times, according to His mind and will.

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I am persuaded that some have scarce any better or more forcible argument to satisfy their own minds that they are in the right in religion than the inclination they find in themselves to hate and persecute them whom they suppose to be in the wrong.

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It is the "terror of the Lord" that causes us to "persuade" others, but it is the love of Christ that constraineth us to live to Him.

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Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597 Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373 Then are we servants of God, then are we the disciples of Christ, when we do what is commanded us and because it is commanded us.

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Commemoration of Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester (Oxon), Apostle of Wessex, 650 I have seen and read somewhat of the writings of learned men concerning the state of future glory; some of them are filled with excellent notions of truth, and elegancy of speech, whereby they cannot but much affect the minds of those who duly consider what they say. But -- I know not well whence it comes to pass -- the things spoken do not abide nor incorporate in our minds. They please and refresh for a little while, like a shower of rain in a dry season, that soaketh not unto the roots of things; the power of them doth not enter into us. Is it not from hence, that their notions of future things are not educed out of the experience which we have of the beginnings of them in this world? Yea, the soul is disturbed, not edified, in all contemplations of future glory, where things are proposed to it whereof in this life it hath neither foretaste, sense, experience, nor evidence. No man ought to look for anything in heaven, but what one way or other he hath some experience of in this life.

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Steadfastness in believing doth not exclude all temptations from without. When we say a tree is firmly rooted, we do not say the wind never blows upon it.

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Ability of speech in time and season is an especial gift of God, and that eminently with respect unto the spiritual things of the Gospel; but a profluency of speech, venting itself on all occasions and on no occasions, making men open their mouths wide when indeed they should shut them and open their ears, and to pour out all that they know and ... what they do not know, making them angry if they are not heard and impatient if they are contradicted, is an unconquerable fortification against all true spiritual wisdom.

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Feast of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326 He that is alive may know that he was born, though he know neither the place where nor the time when he was so; and so may he that is spiritually alive, and hath ground of evidence that he is so, that he was born again, though he know neither when, nor where, nor how. And this case is usual in persons of quiet natural tempers, who have had the advantage of education under means of light and grace. God ofttimes, in such persons, begins and carries on the work of his grace insensibly, so that they come to good growth and maturity before they know that they are alive.

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Nothing shall be lost that is done for God or in obedience to Him.

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Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851 Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965 The renewal of our natures is a work of great importance. It is not to be done in a day. We have not only a new house to build up, but an old one to pull down. ... George Whitefield, letter [Thanks to Bill Blake at pilgrimwb@aol.com] September 7, 2000 Commemoration of Douglas Downes, Founder of the Society of Saint Francis, 1957 There are three lessons I would write, Three words, as with a burning pen, In tracings of eternal light, Upon the hearts of men. Have Hope. Though clouds environ round, And gladness hides her face in scorn, Put off the shadow from thy brow: No night but hath its morn. Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven - The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth - Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven, The inhabitants of earth. Have Love. Not love alone for one, But man, as man, thy brother call; And scatter, like a circling sun, Thy charities on all. ... Friedrich von Schiller September 8, 2000 Temptations and occasions put nothing into a man, but only draw out what was in him before.

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Feast of Luke the Evangelist He who prays as he ought will endeavour to live as he prays.

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Let them pretend what they please, the true reason why any despise the new birth is because they hate a new life. He that cannot endure to live to God will as little endure to bear of being born of God.

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Feast of Matthias the Apostle I shall not value his prayers at all, be he never so earnest and frequent in them, who gives not alms according to his ability.

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Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089 I whould be very sorry that any man living should outgo me in desires that all who fear God throughout the world, especially in these nations, were of one way as well as of one heart. I know I desire it sincerely; but I do verily believe that when God shall accomplish it, it will be the effect of love, and not the cause of love. It will proceed from love, before it brings forth love.

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If errors must be tolerated, say some, then men may do what they please, without control. No means, it seems, must be used to reclaim them. But is gospel conviction no means? Hath the sword of discipline no edge? Is there no means of instruction in the New Testament established, but a prison and a halter?

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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 he be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so will he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.

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Our forgiving of others will not procure forgiveness for ourselves; but our not forgiving others proves that we ourselves are not forgiven.

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It is sottish ignorance and infidelity to suppose that, under the Gospel, there is no communication between God and us but what is, on His part, in laws, commands, and promises; and an ours, by obedience performed in our strength and upon our convictions unto them. To exclude hence the real internal operations of the Holy Ghost, is to destroy the Gospel.

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Feast of All Souls To some men it is hard seeing a call of God through difficulties; when if it would but clothe itself with a few carnal advantages, how apparent it is to them! They can see It through a little cranny.

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When an unskillful servant gathers many herbs, flowers, and seeds in a garden, you gather them out that are useful, and cast the rest out of sight; so Christ deals with our performances. All the ingredients of self that are in them He takes away, and adds incense to what remains, and presents it to God. This is the cause that the saints at the last day, when they meet their own duties and performances, know them not, they are so changed from what they were when they went out of their hand. "Lord, when saw we Thee naked or hungry?" So God accepts a little, and Christ makes our little a great deal.

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Feast of Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, Teacher, 367 Commemoration of Kentigern (Mungo), Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde & Cumbria, 603 It is one thing to fear God as threatening, with a holy reverence, and another to be afraid of the evil threatened.

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