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  • THE WORKS OF JOHN OWEN


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    EDITED BY WILLIAM H. GOOLD VOLUME This Edition of THE WORKS OF JOHN OWEN first published by Johnstone & Hunter, 1850-53 CONTENTS OF VOL. 2.

    OF COMMUNION WITH GOD THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST, PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR PREFACE NOTE TO THE READER BY D.BURGESS Part 1.

    Chapter 1. That the saints have communion with God — 1 John 1:3 considered to that purpose — Somewhat of the nature of communion in general.

    Chapter 2. That the saints have this communion distinctly with the Father, Son, and Spirit, 1 John 5:7 opened to this purpose; also, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Ephesians 2:18 — Father and Son mentioned jointly in this communion; the Father solely, the Son also, and the Holy Ghost singly — The saints’ respective reward in all worship to each person manifested — Faith in the Father, John 5:9,10; and love towards him, 1 John 2:15, Malachi 1:6 — So in prayer and praise — It is so likewise with the Son, <431401>John 14:1 — Of our communion with the Holy Ghost — The truth farther confirmed.

    Chapter 3. Of the peculiar and distinct communion which the saints have with the Father — Observations for the clearing of the whole premised — Our peculiar communion with the Father is in love — 1 John 4:7,8; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 16:26,27; Romans 5:5; John 3:16, 14:23; Titus 3:4, opened to this purpose — What is required of believers to hold communion with the Father in love — His love received by faith — Returns of love to him — God’s love to us and ours to him — Wherein they agree — Wherein they differ.

    Chapter 4. Inferences on the former doctrine concerning communion with the Father in love.

    Part 2.

    Chapter 1. Of the fellowship which the saints have with Jesus Christ the Son of God — That they have such a fellowship proved, 1 Corinthians 1:9; Revelation 3:20; <200201>Song of Solomon 2:1-7 opened; also <200901>Proverbs 9:1-5.

    Chapter 2. What it is wherein we have peculiar fellowship with the Lord Christ — This is in grace — This proved, John 1:14,16,17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Thessalonians 3:17, 18 — Grace of various acceptations — Personal grace in Christ proposed to consideration — The grace of Christ as Mediator intended, Psalm 45:2 — Song of Solomon 5:10, Christ, how white and ruddy — His fitness to save, from the grace of union — His fullness to save — His suitableness to endear — These considerations improved.

    Chapter 3. Of the way and manner whereby the saints hold communion with the Lord Christ as to personal grace — The conjugal relation between Christ and the saints, Song of Solomon 2:16 Isaiah 54:5, etc.; Song of Solomon 3:11, opened — The way of communion in conjugal relation, Hosea 3:3; Song of Solomon 1:15 — On the part of Christ — On the part of the saints.

    Digression 1. Some excellencies of Christ proposed to consideration, to endear our hearts unto him — His description, <200501>Song of Solomon 5, opened.

    Digression 2. All solid wisdom laid up in Christ — True wisdom, wherein it consists — Knowledge of God, in Christ only to be obtained — What of God may be known by his works — Some properties of God not discovered but in Christ only; love, mercy — Others not fully but in him; as vindictive justice, patience, wisdom, all-sufficiency — No property of God savingly known but in Christ — What is required to a saving knowledge of the properties of God — No true knowledge of ourselves but in Christ — Knowledge of ourselves, wherein it consisteth — Knowledge of sin, how to be had in Christ; also of righteousness and of judgment — The wisdom of walking with God hid in Christ — What is required thereunto — Other pretenders to the title of wisdom examined and rejected — Christ alone exalted Chapter 4. Of communion with Christ in a conjugal relation in respect of consequential affections — His delight in his saints first insisted on, Isaiah 62:5; Song of Solomon 3:11 Proverbs 8:21 — Instance of Christ’s delight in believers — He reveals his whole heart to them, John 15:14,16; himself, 1 John 14:21; his kingdom; enables them to communicate their mind to him, giving them assistance, a way, boldness, Romans 8:26,27 — The saints delight in Christ; this manifested Song of Solomon 2:7; 8:6 — <200301>Song of Solomon 3:1-5, opened — Their delight in his servants and ordinances of worship for his sake.

    Chapter 5. Other consequential affections: — 1. On the part of Christ — He values his saints — Evidences of that valuation: — (1.) His incarnation; (2.) Exinanition, Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:6,7; (3.) Obedience as a servant; (4.) In his death.

    His valuation of them in comparison of others. 2. Believers’ estimation of Christ: — (1.) They value him above all other things and persons; (2.) Above their own lives; (3.)

    All spiritual excellencies. The sum of all on the part of Christ — The sum on the part of believers. The third conjugal affection — On the part of Christ, pity or compassion — Wherein manifested — Suffering and supply, fruits of compassion — Several ways whereby Christ relieves the saints under temptations — His compassion in their afflictions. Chastity, the third conjugal affection in the saints. The fourth — On the part of Christ, bounty; on the part of the saints, duty.

    Chapter 6. Of communion with Christ in purchased grace — Purchased grace considered in respect of its rise and fountain — The first rise of it, in the obedience of Christ — Obedience properly ascribed to Christ — Two ways considered: what it was, and wherein it did consist — Of his obedience to the law in general — Of the law of the Mediator — His habitual righteousness, how necessary; as also his obedience to the law of the Mediator — Of his actual obedience or active righteousness — All Christ’s obedience performed as he was Mediator — His active obedience for us — This proved at large, Galatians 4:4,5; Romans 5:19; Philippians 3:10; Zechariah 3:3-5 — One objection removed — Considerations of Christ’s active righteousness closed — Of the death of Christ, and its influence into our acceptation with God — A price; redemption, what it is — A sacrifice; atonement made thereby — A punishment; satisfaction thereby — The intercession of Christ; with its influence into our acceptation with God.

    Chapter 7. The nature of purchased grace; referred to three heads: — 1. Of our acceptation with God; two parts of it. 2. Of the grace of sanctification; the several parts of it.

    Chapter 8. How the saints hold communion with Christ as to their acceptation with God — What is required on the part of Christ hereunto; in his intention; in the declaration thereof — The sum of our acceptation with God, wherein it consists — What is required on the part of believers to this communion, and how they hold it, with Christ — Some objections proposed to consideration, why the elect are not accepted immediately on the undertaking and the death of Christ — In what sense they are so — Christ a common or public person — How he came to be so — The way of our acceptation with God on that account — The second objection — The necessity of our obedience stated, Ephesians 2:8-10 — The grounds, causes, and ends of it manifested — Its proper place in the new covenant — How the saints, in particular, hold communion with Christ in this purchased grace — They approve of this righteousness; the grounds thereof — Reject their own; the grounds thereof — The commutation of sin and righteousness between Christ and believers; some objections answered.

    Chapter 9. Of communion with Christ in holiness — The several acts ascribed unto the Lord Christ herein: 1. His intercession; 2. Sending of the Spirit; 3. Bestows habitual grace — What that is, and wherein it consists — This purchased by Christ; bestowed by him — Of actual grace — How the saints hold communion with Christ in these things; manifested in sundry particulars.

    Chapter 10. Of communion with Christ in privileges — Of adoption; the nature of it, the consequences of it — Peculiar privileges attending it; liberty, title, boldness, affliction — Communion with Christ hereby.

    Part 3.

    Chapter 1. — The foundation of our communion with the Holy ghost (<431601>John 16:1-7) opened at large — — Para>klhtov, a Comforter; who he is — The Holy Ghost; his own will in his coming to us; sent also by Christ — The Spirit sent as a sanctifier and as a comforter — The adjuncts of his mission considered — The foundation of his mission, John 15:26 — His procession from the Father twofold; as to personality, or to office — Things considerable in his procession as to office the manner of his collation — He is given freely; sent authoritatively — The sin against the Holy ghost, whence unpardonable — How we ask the Spirit of the Father — To grieve the Spirit, what — Poured out — How the Holy Ghost is received; by faith — Faith’s acting in receiving the Holy Ghost — His abode with us, how declared — How we may lose our comfort whilst the Comforter abides with us.

    Chapter 2. Of the acting of the Holy Ghost in us, being bestowed on us — He worketh effectually, distributeth, giveth.

    Chapter 3. Of the things wherein we have communion with the Holy Ghost — He brings to remembrance the things spoken by Christ, John 14:26 — The manner how he does it — The Spirit glorifies Christ in the hearts of believers, John 16:14, sheds abroad the love of God in them — The witness of the Spirit, what it is, Romans 8:l6 — The sealing of the Spirit, Ephesians 1:13 — The Spirit, how an earnest; on the part of God, on the part of the saints — Difference between the earnest of the Spirit and tasting of the powers of the world to come — Unction by the Spirit, Isaiah 11:2,3 — The various teachings of the Holy Ghost — How the Spirit of adoption and of supplication.

    Chapter 4. The general consequences in the hearts of believers of the effects of the Holy Ghost before mentioned — Consolation; its adjuncts, peace, joy — How it is wrought immediately.

    Chapter 5. Some observations and inferences from discourses foregoing concerning the Spirit — The contempt of the whole administration of the Spirit by some — The vain pretense of the Spirit by others — The false spirit discovered.

    Chapter 6. Of particular communion with the Holy Ghost — Of preparation thereunto — Valuation of the benefits we receive by him — What it is he comforts, us, in and against; wherewith; how.

    Chapter 7. The general ways of the saints’ acting in communion with the Holy Ghost.

    Chapter 8. Particular directions for communion with the Holy Ghost.

    A VINDICATION OF SOME PASSAGES IN A DISCOURSE CONCERNING COMMUNION WITH GOD.

    PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR AVINDICATION OF SOME PASSAGES,ETC.

    A BRIEF DECLARATION AND VINDICATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY.

    PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR TO THE READER PREFACE THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY TRINITY EXPLAINED AND VINDICATED OF THE PERSON OF CHRIST OF THE SATISFACTION OF CHRIST APPENDIX PREFACE. CHRISTIAN READER, IT is now six years past since I was brought under an engagement of promise for the publishing of some meditations on the subject which thou wilt find handled in the ensuing treatise. The reasons of this delay, being not of public concernment, I shall not need to mention. Those who have been in expectation of this duty from me, have, for the most part, been so far acquainted with my condition and employments, as to be able to satisfy themselves as to the deferring of their desires. That which I have to add at present is only this: — having had many opportunities, since the time I first delivered any thing in public on this subject (which was the means of bringing me under the engagements mentioned), to re-assume the consideration of what I had first fixed on, I have been enabled to give it that improvement, and to make those additions to the main of the design and matter treated on, that my first debt is come at length to be only the occasion of what is now tendered to the saints of God. I shall speak nothing of the subject here handled; it may, I hope, speak for itself, in that spiritual savor and relish which it will yield to them whose hearts are not so filled with other things as to render the sweet things of the gospel bitter to them. The design of the whole treatise thou wilt find, Christian reader, in the first chapters of the first part; and I shall not detain thee here with the perusal of any thing which in its proper place will offer itself unto thee: know only, that the whole of it hath been recommended to the grace of God in many supplications, for its usefulness unto them that are interested in the good things mentioned therein.

    J. O.

    OXON.CH.CH.COLL., July 10, 1657.

    TO THE READER.

    ALPHONSUS, king of Spain, is said to have found food and physic in reading Livy; and Ferdinand, king of Sicily, in reading Quintus Curtius: but thou hast here nobler entertainments, vastly richer dainties, incomparably more sovereign medicines; — I had almost said, the very highest of angel's food is here set before thee; and, as Pliny speaks, “permista deliciis auxilia,” — things that minister unto grace and comfort, to holy life and liveliness.

    Such is this treatise, — this, which is the only one extant upon its great and necessary subject, — this, whose praise hath been long in the churches, and hath gone enameled with the honorable reproaches of more than one English Bolsec, — this, whose great author, like the sun, is well known to the world, by eminence of heavenly light and labors, — this, which, as his many other works, can be no other than manna unto sound Christians, though no better than stone and serpent to Socinians and their fellow-commoners.

    Importunity hath drawn me to say thus much more than I could think needful to be said concerning any work of Dr Owen's; — needful in our day itself, a day wherein “pauci sacras Scripturas, plures nomina rerum, plurimi nomina magistrorum sequuntur;” — “few do cleave to the holy Scriptures; many do rest in scholastic, senseless sounds; and most men do hang their faith upon their rabbi's sleeves

    This only I add: — of the swarms every day rising, there are few books but do want their readers; yet, if I understand aright, there are not many readers but do want this book.

    In which censure I think I am no tyrant, which the philosopher names the worst of wild beasts; and I am sure I am no flatterer, which he calls, as justly, the worst of tame beasts, — Kai< tau~ta me .

    Let the simple souls (the “paucissimae lectionis mancipia”) who take the doctrine of distinct communion with the Divine Persons to be a newfangled one and uncouth, observe the words of the Reverend Mr Samuel Clarke (the annotator on the Bible), in his sermon on 1 John 1:7: “It is to be noted, that there is a distinct fellowship with each of the persons of the blessed Trinity.” Let them attend what is said by Mr. Lewis Stuckley, in his preface to Mr Polwheil's book of Quenching the Spirit: “It is a most glorious truth, though considered but by few, that believers have, or may have, distinct communion with the three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit.

    This is attested by the finger of God, and solemnly owned by the first and best age of Christianity.” To name no more, let them read heedfully but the second chapter of this treatise, and it is hoped that then they shall no longer “contra antidotum insanire,” — no longer rage against God's holy medicinal truth, as St Austin saith he did while he was a Manichee; testifying, in so many words, [that] his error was his very god.

    Reader, I am Thy servant in Christ Jesus, DANIEL BURGESS .

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