A needle touched by the loadstone

John Owen truly had a profuse pen, and was the most proficient, if not the greatest, Puritan writer and theologian. His meditative work on the glories of Christ is pastoral, encouraging, and soul-stirring. It is noteworthy that Owen thought it of such importance as to write on the glories of his Savior while nearing death, as this was his final work (it was at the press when he died). Here are some various encouraging passages from the first chapter of this excellent book.

“The hearts of believers are like the needle touched by the loadstone, which cannot rest until it comes to the point whereunto, by the secret virtue of it, it is directed. For being once touched by the love of Christ, receiving therein an impression of secret ineffable virtue, they will ever be in motion, and restless, until they come unto him, and behold his glory. That soul which can be satisfied without it – that cannot be eternally satisfied with it – is not partaker of the efficacy of his intercession… 

“One of the greatest privileges and advancements of believers, both in this world and unto eternity, consists in their beholding the glory of Christ… 

“No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter, who does not in some measure behold it by faith here in this world. Grace is a necessary preparation for glory, and faith for sight. Where the subject (the soul) is not previously seasoned with grace and faith, it is not capable of glory or vision.”

-John Owen in The Glory of Christ (1684)


2 thoughts on “A needle touched by the loadstone

  1. The first quote is one of the scarier quotes I have read. Owen certainly sets the bar extremely high, much higher than even the most strict or Pharisaical of us (I can go pretty high). Fortunately (delusionally?) for me, I'm not sure I agree with him. Unfortunately, that quote will haunt for a while.

  2. Brent, thankfully he actually qualifies those statements much later in the book, explaining that we only have the beginnings of obedience and understanding in this life. Once we have been brought to faith in Christ, we have the beginnings of seeing his glory, but Owen stresses that it is only via sanctifying grace in this life, until we are finally glorified.


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