“Alas! We cannot here think of Christ, but we are quickly ashamed of, and troubled at, our own thoughts; so confused are they, so unsteady, so imperfect.
Commonly they issue in a groan or a sigh: Oh! when shall we come unto Him? When shall we be ever with Him? When shall we see Him as He is?
And if at any time He begins to give more than ordinary evidences and intimations of His glory and love unto our souls, we are not able to bear them, so as to give them any abiding residence in our minds.
But ordinarily this trouble and groaning is amongst our best attainments in this world,– a trouble which, I pray God, I may never be delivered from, until deliverance do come at once from this state of mortality; yea, the good Lord increase this trouble more and more in all that believe.
The heart of a believer affected with the glory of Christ, is like the needle touched with the loadstone.
It can no longer be quiet, no longer be satisfied in a distance from him. It is put into a continual motion towards him.
This motion, indeed, is weak and tremulous. Pantings, breathings, sighings, groanings in prayer, in meditations, in the secret recesses of our minds, are the life of it.
However, it is continually pressing towards Him. But it obtains not its point, it comes not to its centre and rest, in this world.
But now above, all things are clear and serene,– all plain and evident in our beholding the glory of Christ.
We shall be ever with Him, and see Him as He is. This is heaven, this is blessedness, this is eternal rest.
The person of Christ in all His glory shall be continually before us; and the eyes of our understandings shall be so gloriously illuminated, as that we shall be able steadily to behold and comprehend that glory.
But, alas! Here at present our minds recoil, our meditations fail, our hearts are overcome, our thoughts confused, and our eyes turn aside from the lustre of this glory.
Nor can we abide in the contemplation of it.
But there, an immediate, constant view of it, will bring in everlasting refreshment and joy unto our whole souls.”
–John Owen, “Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ,” The Works of John Owen, Volume 1: The Glory of Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1684/2000), 1: 385.