Puritan Belief

The Puritans are the men of God who started in the 16th century building on the purity of the gospel message that Salvation is by Grace alone.

Prince Of Puritans - John Owen

"perhaps, the most profound divine who ever lived." Spurgeon on Owen

John Owens Youth
Undoubtedly a child prodigy, John was born to a Puritan pastor in 1616. At age 12 he was enrolled in Oxford and by the age of 16 he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts then his Master of Arts at age 19. During his youth he thought it wise to treat himself to only 4 hours sleep at night hoping that by his achievements he would impress his peers.

Conversion
Like many puritans like Spurgeon, Huntington and Whitefield although he was well grounded in the scripture from very early on he doubted his salvation and wanted the Lord to make it clear to him.

In deep search of salvation John Owen thought that he would hear a well known preacher by the name of Dr. Edmund Calumny but to Owens disappointment an unknown preacher filled in that day. His cousin with him wanted to leave but from exhaustion Owen decided to stay.

The text was Why are you so fearful, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 8:26 Through this mans preaching on such a simple verse John Owen was changed dramatically, born again in the fullness of the Spirit.

Family Life - Acquainted with Grief
John Owen Married Mary Rooke and together they had 11 children. The first 10 died in infancy 2 died from the plague of 1655, the 11th daughter survived but had an unhappy marriage and after returning home she died in early adulthood with tuberculosis. Later his wife died and Owen lived another 8 years on his own. None of these events are mentioned in his writings.

John Owens Political Life
Most people under Owens circumstances would kindly say due to personal problems I am unable to continue with my work commitments. Not for John Owen he was heavily involved in the politics of one of the most turbulent times in History. The day after the beheading of Charles I, Parliament asked Owen to preach, Owen was under high pressure to side with Parliament or the king. Instead he argued for religious freedom.

Oxford
John Owen was appointed dean of Christ Church, one of Oxfords most prestigious colleges. By appointing Godly men he rebuilt its infrastructure to teach the growing student body. Cromwell who led the puritan parliament often called on Owen for consultation on issues such as church and state.

Persecution
Cromwell died and after rapid decline the kings army Charles II conquered and he resumed the monarchy of his father. At this time it seemed like the labour for the new Puritan Parliament was all in vain. Soon after the puritans were hunted down and persecuted like John Bunyan.

John Owen and John Bunyan
After the persecution subsided John Owen and John Bunyan became friends and it was in fact John Owen who found a publisher for the first edition of Pilgrims Progress.

Final Years
At the age of 60 he was suffering from gout and stomach problems yet the vigor of his youth had not left him and in the year before his death he wrote Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ. Even as Owen lay dying his publishers were with him editing.

Last Letter
"I am going to Him whom my soul hath loved, or rather hath loved me with an everlasting love; which is the whole ground of all my consolation. .."

Further Reading
JohnOwen.org
Camp On This - John Owen on Spiritual Gifts - Also where I got the cool caricature
Reflections on the life and Thought of John Owen By John Piper

Add Your Comment(13)

Prince Of Puritans - John Owen
Posted by Correy Edmed Thursday, January 19, 2006

13 Comments:

Blogger Rand said...

LOL!

I love that picture of Owens with the "thumbs up!". He's like the 1600's version of Don Cherry (a beloved, and hated sports newscaster in Canada).

Later,

January 20, 2006 2:55 AM   Edit
Blogger Doug E. said...

Amazing,

I'm still trying to get through the "Death of Death."

Sometimes when I get a stomach ache I have to stop everything and turn on the T.V. Maybe next time I'll try to remember Owen.

God Bless,

Doug

January 20, 2006 6:09 AM   Edit
Blogger T.B. Vick said...

Doug,

The fact that you are even reading "The Death of Death" causes me to respect you all the more.

I have read that work several times and I find that it is as easy to read as it is to garggle peanut butter. That is one tough job!

January 20, 2006 8:33 AM   Edit
Blogger Carson Allen said...

Great Post Puritan

My roomie is Dan, you know the always reforming blog. He has the whole set of Owens works, all 16 volumes

January 20, 2006 12:30 PM   Edit
Blogger Carson Allen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 20, 2006 12:32 PM   Edit
Blogger Daniel said...

Was Owen the guy that said, "Kill sin or it will sin you"? It's a great quote, if so.

January 20, 2006 2:46 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Yes Daniel

Kill Sin or it will kill you

Very popular quote by the looks

January 20, 2006 2:58 PM   Edit
Blogger Rob Somers said...

Here is the relevant quote:

"So the apostle, Col. iii. 5, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth." Whom speaks he to? Such as were "risen with Christ," verse 1; such as were "dead" with him, verse 3; such as whose life Christ was, and who should "appear with him in glory," verse 4. Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. Your being dead with Christ virtually, your being quickened with him, will not excuse you from this work. " Owen, The Mortification of Sin in Believers pg 9, if you have his works. You can also find it online here:

http://www.reformed.org/books/owen/vol6/owen_v6_mort_c01.html

Now here is another good one:

"Sin doth not only still abide in us, but is still acting, still labouring to bring forth the deeds of the flesh. When sin lets us alone we may let sin alone; but as sin is never less quiet than when it seems to be most quiet, and its waters are for the most part deep when they are still, so ought our contrivances against it to be vigorous at all times and in all conditions, even where there is least suspicion. Sin doth not only abide in us, but "the law of the members is still rebelling against the law of the mind," Rom. vii. 23; and "the spirit that dwells in us lusteth to envy," James iv. 5. It is always in continual work; "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit," Gal. v. 17; lust is still tempting and conceiving sin, James i. 14; in every moral action it is always either inclining to evil, or hindering from that which is good, or disframing the spirit from communion with God. It inclines to evil. "The evil which I would not, that I do," saith the apostle, Rom. vii 19. Whence is that? Why, "Because in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing." And it hinders from good: "The good that I would do, that I do not," verse 19; -- "Upon the same account, either I do it not, or not as I should; all my holy things being defiled by this sin." "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would," Gal. v. 17. And it unframes our spirit, and thence is called "The sin that so easily besets us," Heb. xii. 1; on which account are those grievous complaints that the apostle makes of it, Rom. vii. So that sin is always acting, always conceiving, always seducing and tempting. Who can say that he had ever any thing to do with God or for God, that indwelling sin had not a hand in the corrupting of what he did? And this trade will it drive more or less all our days. If, then, sin will be always acting, if we be not always mortifying, we are lost creatures. He that stands still and suffers his enemies to double blows upon him without resistance, will undoubtedly be conquered in the issue. If sin be subtle, watchful, strong, and always at work in the business of killing our souls, and we be slothful, negligent, foolish, in proceeding to the ruin thereof, can we expect a comfortable event? There is not a day but sin foils or is foiled, prevails or is prevailed on; and it will be so whilst we live in this world." Owen, pg 11

January 20, 2006 9:24 PM   Edit
Blogger Kim from Hiraeth said...

Hi!

Found your blog via Godward Thoughts. Excellent stuff here!

I have read John Owen but I struggle. I find that sometimes I have to read him outloud to get through some of his writings and have been known to stop and outline some of his sentences in order to understand the thrust of what he is talking about, but it has always been worth the effort.

January 20, 2006 10:08 PM   Edit
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Inspiring article. The Puritans surely had a heart for the divine.

January 21, 2006 6:01 AM   Edit
Blogger Rob Somers said...

"John Owen and John Bunyan:
After the persecution subsided John Owen and John Bunyan became friends and it was in fact John Owen who found a publisher for the first edition of Pilgrims Progress."

One of my favourite stories about Owen and Bunyan is as follows:

"There was no sufferer in whose behalf Owen exerted his influence more earnestly than John Bunyan. It is well known that, as a preacher, Bunyan excited, wherever he went, an interest not surpassed even by the ministry of Baxter. When he preached in barns or on commons, he gathered eager thousands around him; and when he came to London, twelve hundred people would be found gathered together at seven on the dark morning of a winter working-day, to hear him expound the Word of God. Among these admiring multitudes Owen had often been discovered;-- the most learned of the Puritans hung for hours, that seemed like moments, upon the lips of this untutored genius. The king is reported to have asked Owen, on one occasion, how a learned man like him could go 'to hear a tinker prate;' to which the great theologian answered, 'May it please your majesty, could I possess the tinker's abilities for preaching, I would willingly relinquish all my learning.'"

January 21, 2006 1:19 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Wow that is such a great story Rob.

January 21, 2006 4:12 PM   Edit
Blogger Rob Somers said...

I should add that that story is found in Andrew Thomson's Life of Dr. Owen which is included with the first volume of Owen's works published by Banner of Truth. The quote I extracted can be found on page XCII.

January 21, 2006 9:51 PM   Edit

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