Sunday, October 24, 2010

quote of the week, october 24-30, 2010

This gem from Puritan writer John Owen is perhaps especially relevant, given the present focus on the Epistle to Hebrews and, moreover, given Hebrews' Christological emphases:

Lovely in his person, - in the glorious all-sufficiency of his Deity, gracious purity and holiness of his humanity, authority and majesty, love and power.
Lovely in his birth and incarnation; when he was rich, for our sakes becoming poor...
Lovely in the course of his life, and the more than angelical holiness and obedience which, in the depth of poverty and persecution, he exercised therein; - doing good, receiving evil; blessing, and being cursed, reviled, reproached, all his days.
Lovely in his death; yea, therein most lovely to sinners; - never more glorious and desirable than when he came broken, dead, from the cross. Then had he carried all our sins into a land of forgetfulness; then had he made peace and reconciliation for us...
Lovely in his whole employment, in his great undertaking, - in his life, death, resurrection, ascension; being a mediator between God and us, to recover the glory of God's justice, and to save our souls, - to bring us to an enjoyment of God...
Lovely in the glory and majesty wherewith he is crowned. Now he is set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; where, though he be terrible to his enemies, yet he is full of mercy, love, and compassion, toward his beloved ones.
Lovely in all the tender care, power, and wisdom, which he exercises in protection, safe-guarding, and delivery of his church and people, in the midst of all the oppositions and persecutions whereunto they are exposed.
Lovely in all his ordinances, and the whole of that spiritually glorious worship which he has appointed to his people, whereby they draw nigh and have communion with him and his Father.
Lovely and glorious in the vengeance he taketh, and will finally execute, upon the stubborn enemies of himself and his people.
Lovely in the pardon he hath purchased and doth dispense, - in the reconciliation he hath established, - in the grace he communicates, - in the consolation he doth administer, - in the peace and joy he gives his saints, - in his assured preservation of them unto glory.
What shall I say? there is no end of his excellencies and desirableness; - "He is altogether lovely. This is our beloved, and this is our friend, O daughters of Jerusalem." (Owen 1966 [1657]:77-78; as quoted in Packer 2006:104-105)

Owen, J. (1966). Communion with God: The Works of John Owen, Vol. 2. Banner of Truth. (Original work published 1657)

Packer, J. I. (2006). A Puritan perspective: Trinitarian godliness according to John Owen. In T. George (Ed.), God the Holy Trinity: Reflections on Christian Faith and Practice. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 91-108.

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