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The Fruit Bearing Grace of God

God makes room, as it were, in his  vineyard for the budding, flourishing, and fruit-bearing of other plants which he hath planted - Great employments call for great exercise of graces. Even in employments in and about providential things, there is the exercise of spiritual grace;—as much faith and prayer, as much communion with God, walking before him, and wrestling with him, may be used in casting down of armies, as in setting up of churches. God exerciseth all the graces of his in the work he calleth them out unto. He principles them by faith and fellowship with himself for their employment; and therefore he gives each individual but his appointed season, that others, in whose hearts he hath lodged the same spirit wherewith they are endued, may come forth and show the fruits thereof.

~John Owen

from a sermon entitled The Labouring Saints Dismission To Rest; Volume 8, pages 354-5

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Finding Happiness In Our Possessions

So unspiritual are many men’s minds, and so unsavoury their judgments, that they reckon men’s happiness by their possessions, and suppose the catalogue of their titles to be a roll of their felicities, calling the proud happy, and advancing in our conceits “them that work wickedness,” Mal. 3:15; but God will one day come in with another reckoning, and make them know that all things without Christ are but as ciphers without a figure,—of no value.

~John Owen

from a sermon entitled A Vision of Unchangeable, Free Mercy ; Volume 8, page 38

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The Three “Wants” That Men Seek To Supply

All that men do in the world is but seeking to supply their wants;—either their

1) natural wants, that nature may be supplied; or their

2) sinful wants, that their lusts may be satisfied; or their

3) spiritual wants, that their souls may be saved.

For the two first, men without the gospel lay out all their strength; but of the last there is amongst them a deep silence. Now this is all one as for men to cry out that their finger bleeds, whilst a sword is run through their hearts, and they perceive it not;—to desire a wart to be cured, whilst they have a plague-sore upon them. And hence perhaps it is that they are said to go to hell “like sheep,” Ps. 49:14, —very quietly, without dread, as a bird hasting to the snare, and not knowing that it is for his life, Prov. 7:23,—and there lie down in utter disappointment and sorrow for evermore.

~John Owen

from a sermon entitled A Vision of Unchangeable, Free Mercy ; Volume 8, page 37-8

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Seven Things That Christ Is

1) He is the Way; men without him are Cains, wanderers, vagabonds:—

2) He is the Truth; men without him are liars, like the devil, who was so of old:—

3) He is the Life; without him men are dead, dead in trespasses and sins :—

4) He is the Light; without him men are in darkness, and go they know not whither:—

5) He is the Vine; those that are not grafted in him are withered branches, prepared for the fire:—

6) He is the Rock; men not built on him are carried away with a flood:—

7) He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the author and the ender, the founder and the finisher of our salvation.

~John Owen

P.S. He that hath not him, hath neither beginning of good, nor shall have end of misery.

from a sermon entitled A Vision of Unchangeable, Free Mercy ; Volume 8, page 36

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