Tuesday, January 16, 2007

the John Owen bandwagon rider

Like many evangelicals in the country, I am reading some John Owen. I spent about 3 hours last night combing through his book "Mortification of Sin." I found a free copy of the book online and am reading it from my pdf viewer. I am taking some notes as well. It's good stuff even though it's a bit hard to read.

Here's one very amazing quote:

(4.) A sin is not mortified when it is only diverted. Simon Magus for a season left his sorceries; but his covetousness and ambition, that set him on work, remained still, and would have been acting another way. Therefore Peter tells him, “I perceive thou art in the gall of bitterness;” — “Notwithstanding the profession thou hast made, notwithstanding thy relinquishment of thy sorceries, thy lust is as powerful as ever in thee; the same lust, only the streams of it are diverted. It now exerts and puts forth itself another way, but it is the old gall of bitterness still.” A man may be sensible of a lust, set himself against the eruptions of it, take care that it shall not break forth as it has done, but in the meantime suffer the same corrupted habit to vent itself some other way; as he who heals and skins a running sore thinks himself cured, but in the meantime his flesh festereth by the corruption of the same humour, and breaks out in another place. And this diversion, with the alterations that attend it, often befalls men on accounts wholly foreign unto grace: change of the course of life that a man was in, of relations, interests, designs, may effect it; yea, the very alterations in men’s constitutions, occasioned by a natural progress in the course of their lives, may produce such changes as these. Men in age do not usually persist in the pursuit of youthful lusts, although they have never mortified any one of them. And the same is the case of bartering of lusts, and leaving to serve one that a man may serve another. He that changes pride for worldliness, sensuality for Pharisaism, vanity in himself to the contempt of others, let him not think that he hath mortifiedthe sin that he seems to have left. He hath changed his master, but is a servant still. (pages 18-19)


Dan said...

I'm loving the John Owen bandwagon. Jen and I are reading it out loud to each other about 1 chapter at a time. He really is a skillful soul surgeon.

Noah Braymen said...

Good stuff!!

Tim said...

Wow. That was brutal. I see my sin more clearly. Thanks!