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The Works of John Owen, D.D, Vol. 3 (Classic Reprint)

The Works of John Owen, D.D, Vol. 3 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Works of John Owen, D.D, Vol. 3

AN account in general of the nature and design of the ensuing discourse, with the reasons why it is made public at this time, being given in the first chapter of the treatise itself, I shall not long detain the readers here at the entrance of it. But some few things it is necessary they should be acquainted withal, and that both as to the matter contained in it and as to the manner of its handling. The subject-matter Of the whole, as the title and almost every page of the book declare, is, the Holy Spirit of God and his operations. And two things there are which, either of them, are sufficient to render any subject either difficult on the one hand, or un pleasant ou the other, to be treated of in this way, both which we have herein to con?ict withal: for where the matter itself is abstruse and mysterious, the handling of it cannot be without its difficulties; and where it is fallen, by any means whatever, under public contempt and scorn, there is an abatement of satis faction in the consideration and defence of it. Now, all the concernments of the Holy Spirit are an eminent part of the mystery or deep things of God for as the knowledge of them doth wholly depend on and is regulated by divine reve lation, so are they in their own nature divine and heavenly, - distant and remote from all things that the heart of man, in the mere exercise of its own reason or understanding, can rise up unto. But yet, on the other hand, there is nothing in the world that is more generally despised as foolish and contemptible than the things that are spoken of and ascribed unto the Spirit of God. He needs no furtherance in the forfeiture of his reputation with many, as a person fanatical, estranged from the conduct of reason, and all generous principles of conversation, who dares avow an interest in His work, or take upon him the defence thereof. Wherefore, these things must be a little spoken unto, if only to manifest whence relief may be had against the discouragements wherewith they are attended.

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