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.
Quotes, by John Owen