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 John Owen Quotes
70 Famous Quotes by John Owen
- 8/24/1683
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Commemoration of John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888 "Secret" sins, such as are not known to be sins (it may be) to ourselves, make way for those that are "presumptuous". Thus pride may seem to be nothing but a frame of mind belonging unto our wealth and dignity, or our ... abilities; sensuality may seem to be but a lawful participation of the good things of this life; passion and peevishness, but a due sense of the want of respect that we must suppose owing unto us; covetousness, a necessary care of ourselves and of our families. If the seeds of sin are covered with such pretences, they will in time spring up and bear bitter fruit in the minds and the lives of men; and the beginning of all apostasy, both in religion and in morality, lies in just such pretences. Men plead that they can do so-and-so lawfully, until they can do things openly unlawful.

Christianity Quotes, by John Owen

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Feast of Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865 None use instituted forms or ways of worship profitably, but such as find communion with God in them, or are seriously humbled because they do not.

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Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980 Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953 Clear shining from God must be at the bottom of deep labouring with God. What is the reason that so many in our days set their hands to the plough, and looked back again? -- begin to serve Providence in great things, but cannot finish? -- give over in the heat of the day? They never had any such revelation of the mind of God upon their spirits, such a discovery of His excellence, as might serve for a bottom of such undertakings.

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Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761 Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347 Commemoration of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest, Scientist, Visionary, 1955 What doth it profit thee to enter into deep discussions concerning the Holy Trinity, if thou lack humility, and be thus displeasing to the Trinity? For verily it is not deep words that make a man holy and upright; it is a good life which maketh a man dear to God. I had rather feel contrition than be skillful in the definition thereof. If thou knewest the whole Bible, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what should this profit thee without the love and grace of God? ...Thomas à Kempis, Of the Imitation of Christ April 11, 1996 Commemoration of George Augustus Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, 1878 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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God could, if I may say so, more easily have made a new world of innocent creatures, and have governed them by the old covenant, than have established this new one for the salvation of poor sinners; but then, where had been the glory of forgiveness? It could not have been known that there was forgiveness with Him. The old covenant could not have been preserved and sinners pardoned. Wherefore, God choose to leave the covenant than sinners unrelieved, than grace unexalted and pardon unexercised... Will we continue on the old bottom of the first covenant? All we can do therein is to set thorns and briars in the way of God, to secure ourselves from His coming against us and upon us with His indignation and fury. Our sins are so, and our righteousness is no better. And what will be the issue? Both they and we shall be trodden down, consumed, and burnt up. What way, then, what remedy is left unto us? Only this of laying hold on the arm and strength of God in that covenant wherein forgiveness of sin is provided.

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There is a state of perfect peace with God which can be attained under imperfect obedience.

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Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945 Faith is the leading grace in all our spiritual warfare and conflict; but all along, while we live, it hath faithful company that adheres to itand helps it. Love works, and hope works, and all other graces -- self-denial, readiness to the cross -- they all work and help faith. Yet when we come to die, faith is left alone. Now, try what faith will do. Not to be surprised with any thing is the substance of human wisdom; not to be surprised with death is a great part of the substance of our spiritual wisdom.

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Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910 Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978 Commemoration of John XXIII, Bishop of Rome, Inspirer of Renewal, 1963 The Gospel leaves men, unless upon extraordinary occasions, their names, their reputations, their wealth and honors, if lawfully obtained and possessed; but the league that is between the mind and these things in all natural men must be broken. They must be no longer looked upon as the chiefest good or in the place thereof.

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I do not know a warning that I judge more necessary to be given to those who are called this day, than to charge them not to trade too much with their natural gifts, and abilities, and learning. These are talents in their kind; but it is the Spirit that must manage all that learning they have, or it will prejudice them, and you also. I have known some good men who have been so addicted to their study, that they have thought the last day of the week sufficient to prepare for their ministry, though they employ all the rest of the week in other studies. But you business is to trade with your spiritual abilities... A man may preach a very good sermon, who is otherwise himself; but he will never make a good minister of Jesus Christ, whose mind and heart [are] not always in the work. Spiritual gifts will require continual ruminating on the things of the Gospel in our minds.

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Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566 God hath work to do in this world; and to desert it because of its difficulties and entanglements, is to cast off His authority. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness; but we must also serve our generation, as David did before he fell asleep. God hath a work to do; and not to help Him is to oppose Him.

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Commemoration of Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China, 1970 Religion is the same that ever it was, only it suffers by them that make profession of it. Never was there less regard for the Person and offices of Christ, of His grace, and of the benefits of His mediation, among them that are called Christians, than is found among many at this day.

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Some go to the light of nature and the use of "right reason" (that is, their own) as their guides; and some add the additional documents of the philosophers. They think a saying of Epictetus, or Seneca, or Arrianus, being wittily suited to their fancies and affections, to have more life and power in it than any precept of the Gospel. The reason why these things are more pleasing unto them than the commands and instructions of Christ is because, proceeding from the spring of natural light, they are suited to the workings of natural fancy and understanding; but those of Christ, proceeding from the fountain of eternal spiritual light, are not comprehended in their beauty and excellency without a principle of the same light in us, guiding our understanding and influencing our affections. Hence, take any precept, general or particular, about moral duties, that is materially the same in the writings of philosophers and in the doctrine of the Gospel; not a few prefer it as delivered in the first way before the latter.

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Pardon comes not to the soul alone; or rather, Christ comes not to the soul with pardon only! It is that which He opens the door and enters by, but He comes with a Spirit of life and power.

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It is to no purpose to boast of Christ, if we have not an evidence of His graces in our hearts and lives. But unto whom He is the hope of future glory, unto them He is the life of present grace.

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Men love to trust God (as they profess) for what they have in their hands, in possession, or what lies in an easy view; place their desires afar off, carry their accomplishment behind the clouds out of their sight, interpose difficulties and perplexities -- their hearts are instantly sick. They cannot wait for God; they do not trust Him, nor ever did. Would you have the presence of God with you? Learn to wait quietly for the salvation you expect from Him.

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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.

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Some relate ... that the eagle tries the eyes of her young by turning them to the sun; which if they cannot look steadily on, she rejects them as spurious. We may truly try our faith by immediate intuitions of the Sun of Righteousness. Direct faith to act itself, immediately and directly on the incarnation of Christ and His mediation; and if it be not the right kind and race, it will turn its eyes aside to anything else.

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Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253 Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752 Consider that it is not failing in this or that attempt to come to Christ, but a giving-over of your endeavors, that will be your ruin.

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Sometimes truth is lost first in a church, and then holiness and sometimes the decay or hatred of holiness is the cause of the loss of truth. But if either is rejected, the other will not abide.

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Thy word remaineth for ever, which word now appeareth unto us in the riddle of the clouds, and through the mirror of the heavens, not as it is: because that even we, though the well beloved of thy Son, yet it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. He looked through the lattice of our flesh and he spake us fair, yea, he set us on fire, and we hasten on his scent. But when he shall appear, then shall we be like him, for we shall see him as he is: as he is, Lord, will our sight be, though the time be not yet. ... The Confessions of St. Augustine June 19, 1996 Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929 Many we have who plead themselves to be Christians. This might be allowed them, would they not do such things as the Christian religion abhors. But this is the least part of their claim. They will also be the only Christians, all others who differ from them -- however so falsely called -- being only a drove of unbelievers, hastening unto hell.

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