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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. 6.

    OF THE MORTIFICATION OF SIN IN BELIEVERS, ETC.

    PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR Preface Chapter 1. The foundation of the whole ensuing discourse laid in Romans 8:13 — The words of the apostle opened — The certain connection between true mortification and salvation — Mortification the work of believers — The Spirit the principal efficient cause of it — What meant by “the body” in the words of the apostle — What by “the deeds of the body” — Life, in what sense promised to this duty Chapter 2. The principal assertion concerning the necessity of mortification proposed to confirmation — Mortification the duty of the best believers, Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 9:27 — Indwelling sin always abides; no perfection in this life, Philippians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Peter 3:18; Galatians 5:17, etc. — The activity of abiding sin in believers, Romans 7:23; James 4:5; <581201>Hebrews 12:1 — Its fruitfulness and tendency — Every lust aims at the height in its kind — The Spirit and new nature given to contend against indwelling sin, Galatians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4,5; Romans 7:23 — The fearful issue of the neglect of mortification, Revelation 3:2; Hebrews 3:13 — The first general principle of the whole discourse hence confirmed — Want of this duty lamented Chapter 3. The second general principle of the means of mortification proposed to confirmation — The Spirit the only author of this work — Vanity of popish mortification discovered — Many means of it used by them not appointed of God — Those appointed by him abused — The mistakes of others in this business — The Spirit is promised believers for this work, Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 36:26 — All that we receive from Christ is by the Spirit — How the Spirit mortifies sin — Galatians 5:19-23 — The several ways of his operation to this end proposed — How his work and our duty Chapter 4. The last principle; of the usefulness of mortification — The vigor and comfort of our spiritual lives depend on our mortification — In what sense — Not absolutely and necessarily; Psalm 88, Heman’s condition — Not as on the next and immediate cause — As a means; by removing of the contrary — The desperate effects of any unmortified lust; it weakens the soul, Psalm 38:3,8, sundry ways, and darkens it — All graces improved by the mortification of sin — The best evidence of sincerity Chapter 5. The principal intendment of the whole discourse proposed — The first main case of conscience stated — What it is to mortify any sin, negatively considered — Not the utter destruction of it in this life — Not the dissimulation of it — Not the improvement of any natural principle — Not the diversion of it — Not an occasional conquest — Occasional conquests of sin, what and when; upon the eruption of sin; in time of danger or trouble Chapter 6. The mortification of sin in particular described — The several parts and degrees thereof — The habitual weakening of its root and principle — The power of lust to tempt — Differences of that power as to persons and times — Constant fighting against sin — The parts thereof considered — Success against it — The sum of this discourse considered Chapter 7. General rules, without which no lust will be mortified — No mortification unless a man be a believer — Dangers of attempting mortification of sin by unregenerate persons — The duty of unconverted persons as to this business of mortification considered — The vanity of the Papists’ attempts and rules for mortification thence discovered Chapter 8. The second general rule proposed — Without universal sincerity for the mortifying of every lust, no lust will be mortified — Partial mortification always from a corrupt principle — Perplexity of temptation from a lust oftentimes a chastening for other negligences Chapter 9. Particular directions in relation to the foregoing case proposed — FIRST, Consider the dangerous symptoms of any lust — 1. Inveterateness — 2. Peace obtained under it; the several ways whereby that is done — 3. Frequency of success in its seductions — 4. The soul’s fighting against it with arguments only taken from the event — 5. Its being attended with judiciary hardness — 6. Its withstanding particular dealings from God — The state of persons in whom these things are found Chapter 10. The SECOND particular direction: Get a clear sense of, — 1. The guilt of the sin perplexing — Considerations for help therein proposed — 2. The danger manifold — (1.) Hardening — (2.) Temporal correction — (3.) Loss of peace and strength — (4.) Eternal destruction — Rules for the management of this consideration — 3.

    The evil of it — (l.) In grieving the Spirit — (2.) Wounding the new creature — [(3.)

    Taking away a man’s usefulness.] Chapter 11. The THIRD direction proposed: Lord thy conscience with the guilt of the perplexing distemper — The ways and means whereby that may be done — The FOURTH direction: Vehement desire for deliverance — The FIFTH: Some distempers rooted deeply in men’s natural tempers — Considerations of such distempers; ways of dealing with them — The SIXTH direction: Occasions and advantages of sin to be prevented — The SEVENTH direction: The first actings of sin vigorously to be opposed Chapter 12. The EIGHTH direction: Thoughtfulness of the excellency of the majesty of God — Our unacquaintedness with him proposed and considered Chapter 13. The NINTH direction: When the heart is disquieted by sin, speak no peace to it until God speak it — Peace, without detestation of sin, unsound; so is peace measured out unto ourselves — How we may know when we measure our peace unto ourselves — Directions as to that inquiry — The vanity of speaking peace slightly; also of doing it on one singular account, not universally Chapter 14. The general use of the foregoing directions — The great direction for the accomplishment of the work aimed at: Act faith on Christ — The several ways whereby this may be done — Consideration of the fullness in Christ for relief proposed — Great expectations from Christ — Grounds of these expectations: his mercifulness, his faithfulness — Event of such expectations; on the part of Christ; on the part of believers — Faith peculiarly to be acted on the death of Christ, Romans 6:3-6 — The work of the Spirit in this whole business OF TEMPTATION: THE NATURE AND POWER OF IT, ETC, PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR To the Reader Chapter 1. The words of the text, that are the foundation of the ensuing discourse — The occasion of the words, with their dependence — The things specially aimed at in them — Things considerable in the words as to the general purpose in hand — Of the general nature of temptation, wherein it consists — The special nature of temptation — Temptation taken actively and passively — How God tempts any — His ends in so doing — The way whereby he doth it — Of temptation in its special nature: of the actions of it — The true nature of temptation stated Chapter 2. What it is to “enter into temptation” — Not barely being tempted — Not to be conquered by it — To fall into it — The force of that expression — Things required unto entering into temptation — Satan or lust more than ordinarily importunate — The soul’s entanglements — Seasons of such entanglements discovered — Of the “hour of temptation,” Revelation 3:10, what it is — How any temptation comes to its hour — How it may be known when it is so come — The means of prevention prescribed by our Savior — Of watching, and what is intended thereby — Of prayer Chapter 3. The doctrine — Grounds of it; our Savior’s direction in this case — His promise of preservation — Issues of men entering into temptation — 1. Of ungrounded professors — 2. Of the choicest saints, Adam, Abraham, David — Selfconsideration as to our own weakness — The power of a man’s heart to withstand temptation considered — The considerations that it useth for that purpose — The power of temptation; it darkens the mind — The several ways whereby it doth so — 1. By fixing the imaginations — 2. By entangling the affections — 3. Temptations give fuel to lust — The end of temptation considered, with the issue of former temptations — Some objections answered Chapter 4. Particular cases proposed to consideration — The first, its resolution in sundry particulars — Several discoveries of the state of a soul entering into temptation Chapter 5. The second case proposed, or inquiries resolved — What are the best directions to prevent entering into temptation? — Those directions laid down — The directions given by our Savior: “Watch and pray” — What is included therein — (1.) Sense of the danger of temptation — (2.) That it is not in our power to keep ourselves — (3.)

    Faith in promises of preservation — Of prayer in particular Chapter 6. Of watching that we enter not into temptation — The nature and efficacy of that duty — The first part of it, as to the special seasons of temptation — The first season, in unusual prosperity — The second, in a slumber of grace — Third, a season of great spiritual enjoyment — The fourth, a season of selfconfidence Chapter 7. Several acts of watchfulness against temptation proposed — Watch the heart — What it is to be watched in and about — Of the snares lying in men’s natural tempers — Of peculiar lusts — Of occasions suited to them — Watching to lay in prevision against temptation — Directions for watchfulness in the first approaches of temptation — Directions after entering into temptation Chapter 8. The last general direction, Revelation 3:10, Watch against temptation by constant “keeping the word of Christ’s patience “ — What that word is — How it is kept — How the keeping of it will keep us from the “hour of temptation.” Chapter 9. General exhortation to the duty prescribed THE NATURE, POWER, DECEIT, AND PREVALENCY OF THE REMAINDERS OF INDWELLING SIN IN BELIEVERS.

    PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR Preface Chapter Indwelling sin in believers treated of by the apostle, Romans 7:21 — The place explained.

    Chapter 2. Indwelling sin a law — In what sense it is so called — What kind of law it is — An inward effective principle called a law — The power of sin thence evinced Chapter 3. The seat or subject of the law of sin, the heart — What meant thereby — Properties of the heart as possessed by sin, unsearchable, deceitful — Whence that deceit ariseth — Improvement of these considerations Chapter 4. Indwelling sin enmity against God — Thence its power — Admits of no peace nor rest — Is against God himself — Acts itself in aversation from God, and propensity to evil — Is universal — To all of God — In all of the soul — Constant Chapter 5. Nature of sin farther discovered as it is enmity against God — Its aversation from all good opened — Means to prevent the effects of it prescribed Chapter 6. The work of this enmity against God by way of opposition — First, It lusteth — Wherein the lusting of sin consisteth — Its surprising of the soul — Readiness to close with temptations — Secondly, Its fighting and warring — 1. In rebellion against the law of grace — 2. In assaulting the soul.

    Chapter 7. The captivating power of indwelling sin, wherein it consisteth — The prevalency of sin, when from itself, when from temptation — The rage and madness that is in sin Chapter 8. Indwelling sin proved powerful from its deceit — Proved to be deceitful — The general nature of deceit — James 1:14, opened — How the mind is drawn off from its duty by the deceitfulness of sin — The principal duties of the mind in our obedience — The ways and means whereby it is turned from it Chapter 9. The deceit of sin, in drawing off the mind from a due attendance unto especial duties of obedience, instanced in meditation and prayer Chapter 10. The deceit of sin, in drawing off the mind from its attendance unto particular duties farther discovered — Several things required in the mind of believers with respect unto particular duties of obedience — The actings of sin, in a way of deceit, to divert the mind from them Chapter 11. The working of sin by deceit to entangle the affections — The ways whereby it is done — Means of their prevention Chapter 12. The conception of sin through its deceit — Wherein it consisteth — The consent of the will unto sin — The nature thereof — Ways and means whereby it is obtained — Other advantages made use of by the deceit of sin — Ignorance — Error Chapter 13. Several ways whereby the bringing forth of conceived sin is obstructed Chapter 14. The power of sin farther demonstrated by the effects it hath had in the lives of professors — First, in actual sins — Secondly, in habitual declensions Chapter 15. Decays in degrees of grace caused by indwelling sin — The ways of its prevalency to this purpose Chapter 16. The strength of indwelling sin manifested from its power and effects in persons unregenerate Chapter 17. The strength of sin evidenced from its resistance unto the power of the law.

    A PRACTICAL EXPOSITION UPON PSALM 130.

    PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR To the Reader.

    Psalm 130.

    Verses First And Second. The state and condition of the soul represented in the psalm — The two first verses opened — Gracious souls may be brought into depths on the account of sin — What those depths are — Whence it is that believers may be brought into depths on account of sin — Nature of the supplies of grace given in the covenant — How far they extend — Principles of the power of sin — What sins usually bring believers into spiritual distresses — Aggravations of these sin — The duty and actings of a believer under distresses from a sense of sin — His application unto God, to God alone — Earnestness and intension of mind therein Verse Third. The words of the verse explained, and their meaning opened — What first presents itself to a soul in distress on the account of sin — This opened in four propositions — Thoughts of God’s marking sin according to the tenor of the law full of dread and terror — The first particular actings of a soul towards a recovery out of the depths of sin — Sense of sin, wherein it consists, how it is wrought — Acknowledgment of sin; its nature and properties — Self-condemnation — Grounds of miscarriages when persons are convinced of sin and humbled — Resting in that state — Resting on it Verse Fourth. The words explained, and the design or scope of the psalmist in them discovered — Propositions or observations from the former exposition of the words — The first proposed to confirmation — No encouragement for any sinner to approach unto God without a discovery of forgiveness — Greatness and rareness of the discovery of forgiveness in God — Reasons of it — Testimonies of conscience and law against it, etc. — False presumptions of forgiveness discovered — Differences between them and faith evangelical — The true nature of gospel forgiveness — Its relation to the goodness, grace, and will of God; to the blood of Christ; to the promise of the gospel — The considerations of faith about it —Forgiveness discovered or revealed only to faith — Reasons thereof —Discovery of forgiveness in God a great supportment to sin — entangled souls — Particular assurance attainable —Evidences of forgiveness in God — No inbred notions of any free acts of God’s will — Forgiveness not revealed by the works of nature nor the law — Discovery of forgiveness in the first promise — The evidence of the truth that lies therein — And by the institution of sacrifices — Their use and end — Also by the prescription of repentance unto sinners — Farther evidences of forgiveness with God — Testimonies that God was well pleased with some that were sinners — The patience of God towards the world an evidence of forgiveness — Experience of the saints of God to the same purpose — Institution of religious worship an evidence of forgiveness — The giving and establishing of the new covenant another evidence of forgiveness with God — The oath of God engaged in the confirmation thereof — The name of God confirming the truth and reality of forgiveness with him — As also the same is done by the properties of his nature —Forgiveness manifested in the sending of the Son of God to die for sin — And from the obligation that is on us to forgive one another — Properties of forgiveness — The greatness and freedom of it — Evidences that most men do not believe forgiveness — Exhortation unto the belief of the forgiveness that is with God — Reasons for it, and the necessity of it — Rules to be observed by them who would come to stability in obedience Rule 1. — Christ the only infallible judge of our spiritual condition — How he judgeth by his word and Spirit Rule 2. — Self-condemnation and abhorrency for sin consistent with gospel justification and peace — The nature of gospel assurance — What is consistent with it — What are the effects of it Rule 3. — Continuance in waiting necessary unto peace and consolation Rule 4. — Remove the hinderances of believing by a searching out of sin — Rules and directions for that duty Rule 5. — Distinction between unbelief and jealousy Rule 6. — Distinction between faith and spiritual sense Rule 7. — Mix not foundation and building work together Rule 8. — Spend not time in heartless complaints Rule 9. — Take heed of undue expressions concerning God and his ways in distress Rule 10. — Duly improve the least appearances of God in a way of grace or pardon Rule 11. — [Consider where lies the hinderance to peace] Second general head of the application of the truth insisted on — Grounds of spiritual disquietments considered — The first, afflictions — Ways and means of the aggravation of afflictions — Rules about them — Objections against believing from things internal — The person knows not whether he be regenerate or no — State of regeneration asserted — Difference of saving and common grace — This difference discernible — Men may know themselves to be regenerate — The objection answered Rule 1.

    Rule Rule 3. Objections from the present state and condition of the soul — Weakness and imperfection of duty — Opposition from indwelling sin Verses Fifth And Sixth. [The words explained] God the proper object of the soul’s waiting in its distresses and depths — Considerations of God rendering our waiting on him reasonable and necessary — His glorious being — Influence of the promises into the soul’s waiting in time of trouble — The nature of them Verses Seventh And Eighth. [The words explained] [Doctrinal observations on them] OF THE

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