John Owen On Stimulating Contemplation of the Glory of Christ

In his book, Meditations on the Glory of Christ [1684] (Ross-Shire: Christian Focus, 2004 reprint), John Owen gives several helpful (and needed) directions to his readers on how to stimulate contemplation on the glory of Jesus Christ. I found them important for the strengthening of the saints in the fight of faith and the constant war they must wage against worldliness, that damning relationship that slowly lures us away from what the Scriptures tell us is truly good, righteous, and true. I commend his pastoral guidance to you here, briefly:

  1. Do Not Waste Your Thoughts: “Let us get it fixed on our souls and in our 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 to in our affections” (78).
  2. Study the Scripture: “To behold [the glory of Christ], is not a work of fancy or imagination; it is not conversing with an image framed by the art of men without, or that of our own fancy within, but of faith exercised on divine revelations. …And we are in the best frame of duty, when the principal motive in our minds to contend earnestly for retaining the possession of the Scripture against all that would deprive us of it, or discourage us from daily diligent search into it, is this, that they would take from us the only glass in which we may behold the glory of Christ” (81, 84; italics mine).
  3. Be Disciplined in Meditation: “It is to be feared that there are some who profess religion with an appearance of strictness, who never separate themselves from all other occasions, to meditate on Christ and his glory; and yet, with a strange inconsistency of apprehensions, they will profess that they desire nothing more than to behold his glory in heaven forever. …It is impossible that he who never meditates with delight on the glory of Christ here in this world, who labours not to behold it by faith as it is revealed in the Scripture, should ever have any real gracious desire to behold it in heaven. They may love and desire the fruition of their own imaginations; they cannot do so of the glory of Christ, of which they are ignorant, and with which they are unacquainted” (85).
  4. Take Every Opportunity to think of Christ: “Let your occasional thoughts of Christ be many, and multiplied every day. …And a great rebuke it ought to be to us, when Christ has at any time in a day been long out of our minds” (85, 88).
  5. Admire, Adore, and Give Thanks: “The design of this discourse [Rev 5:9-13] is no more, but that when by faith we have attained a view of the glory of Christ, in our contemplations on his person, we should not pass it over as a notion of truth which we assent to, namely, that he is thus glorious in himself, but endeavour to affect our hearts with it, as that in which our own principal interest lies; in which it will be effectual to the transformation of our souls into his image” (90).

2 Responses to “John Owen On Stimulating Contemplation of the Glory of Christ”

  1. Billy Marsh Says:

    This is good stuff. Owen is right to call us to be very intentional and deliberate concerning our Scripture meditation and personal thought life. These are things that we often do not hear stressed. Often, all that is recommended, myself included, is to persuade men just to read the Bible. Not that that this is not beneficial or relevant, but frequently, we neglect to encourage people to dig deep and pour over the Scriptures. This is where perhaps daily reading plans can hurt the Christian. He or she may have read the Bible once a year for a decade, but has not labored to look at the diamond from a different angle thereby seeing Christ shine forth in his fullness.

  2. varinder singh Says:

    we are doing work for the lord jesus christ. we are working in a team . our goll is unreached area so many people coms to christ and get beptism but we have problem of funds if you coprate us then we can do gredually.

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