“For the fullness of our happiness, beyond which there is none else, is this: to enjoy God the Three in whose image we were made.”
–Augustine of Hippo, The Trinity, trans. Edmund Hill (Hyde Park, NY: New City, 1991), 1.3.18.
“Whensoever your conscience shall tell you, that you have broken any of the Ten Commandments, do not conceive that the Lord looks upon you as an angry Judge, armed with justice against you.
Much less do you fear that He will execute His justice upon you, according to the penalty of that covenant, in unjustifying of you, or depriving you of your heavenly inheritance, and giving you your portion in hell fire.
No, assure yourself that your God in Christ will never unson you, nor unspouse you: no, nor yet, as touching your justification and eternal salvation, will He love you ever a whit the less, though you commit ever so many or great sins.
For this is a certain truth, that as no good either in you, or done by you, did move Him to justify you, and give you eternal life, so no evil in you, or done by you, can move Him to take it away from you, being once given.
And therefore believe it whilst you live, that as the Lord first loved you freely, so will He hereafter ‘heal your backslidings, and still love you freely,’ (Hos. 14:4).
Yea, ‘He will love you unto the end,’ (John 13:1).”
–Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, as quoted in Thomas Boston, The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: An Explication of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism, ed. Samuel M‘Millan, vol. 7 (Aberdeen: George and Robert King, 1850), 7: 353–354.
“Every poor soul that comes by faith unto Christ, gives unto God all that glory which it is His design to manifest and be exalted in;– and what can we do more?
There is more glory given unto God by coming unto Christ in believing than in keeping the whole law; inasmuch as He hath more eminently manifested the holy properties of His nature in the way of salvation by Christ, than in giving of the law.”
–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: 424–425.
“Growth in grace, holiness, and obedience, is a growing like unto Christ; and nothing else is so.”
–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: 392.
“Our Lord Jesus Christ alone perfectly understood wherein the eternal blessedness of them that believe in Him doth consist.
And this is the sum of what He prays for with respect unto that end,– namely, that we may be where He is, to behold His glory. (John 17:24)
And is it not our duty to live in a continual desire of that which He prayed so earnestly that we might attain?”
–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: 388-389.
“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.
“Here our souls are burdened with innumerable infirmities, and our faith is clogged in its operations by ignorance and darkness.
This makes our best estate and highest attainments to be accompanied with groans for deliverance: “We which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body,” (Rom. 8:23).
Yea, whilst we are in this tabernacle, we groan earnestly, as being burdened, because we are not “absent from the body, and present with the Lord,” (2 Cor. 5:2, 4, 8).
The more we grow in faith and spiritual light, the more sensible are we of our present burdens, and the more vehemently do we groan for deliverance into the perfect liberty of the sons of God.
This is the posture of their minds who have received the first-fruits of the Spirit in the most eminent degree.
The nearer anyone is to heaven, the more earnestly he desires to be there, because Christ is there.”
–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: 384.