Monday, June 22, 2009

John Owen on Stirring the Mind to Contemplate the Glory of Christ

In his treatise "Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ," John Owen offers six "directions" for stirring up the minds of believers to contemplate the glory of Christ (chapter 4):

  1. Let us get it fixed on our souls and minds, that this glory of Christ in the divine constitution of his person is the best, the most noble, useful, beneficial object that we can be conversant about in our thoughts, or cleave unto in our affections.
  2. Our second direction unto the same end is, that we diligently study the Scripture, and the revelations that are made of this glory of Christ therein.
  3. Another direction to this same end is, that having attained the light of the knowledge of the glory of Christ from the Scripture, or by the dispensation of the truth in the preaching of the gospel, we would esteem it our duty frequently to meditate thereon.
  4. Let your occasional thoughts of Christ be many, and multiplied every day.
  5. The next direction is, that all our thoughts concerning Christ should be accompanied with admiration, adoration, and thanksgiving.

There is a beautiful progression in these five directions. Owen begins by holding out the beauty of Christ as the highest end we could possibly pursue (1), and then directs us where to find that vision of Christ—the Scriptures (2). But he is not content to allow such a vision of Christ to remain in our times in the Word (whether through personal reading or hearing the Word preached and taught); he exhorts us to frequently reflect/meditate on the beauty of Christ that we have seen in the Word (3). Such meditation and reflection should not be limited to devoted time in the Word and prayer, but should spill over into our "occasional thoughts" throughout the day (4). He then concludes with the reminder that such reflections should not be merely an intellectual exercise, but should be joined with our affections (5).

6 comments:

DJP said...

Hey Matt.

I emailed you a week ago at harmonms@grace.edu. Is that still a good address?

Dan

Keith said...

Thanks for surfacing Owen's thoughts, hopefully for a new generation. This is great stuff.

Matt Harmon said...

Dan,

Yeah that is the correct address but I never got it. try again.

Matt

DJP said...

Thanks; re-sent.

DJP said...

I also replied to your email to me. If that doesn't get through... let me know, and I guess I'll try from an account other than Yahoo!

(Unless you find your school is filtering it out as spam, and/or are willing to email me a private address to try.)

DJP said...

I wrote you again, btw.

(c;