Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, Luke 22:31
Temptation will darken the mind, so that a man will not be able to make a right judgment of things as he did before he entered into it. Temptation can darken the mind a sad entangling of the affections. When the affections are engaged, they have a strong influence in blinding the mind and darkening the understanding. Affections set at liberty by temptation will run on in madness. Previous thoughts of the hatred of sin, the terrors of the Lord, and a sense of the love and presence of Christ crucified, all depart and leave the heart a prey to its enemy. Temptation gives fuel to our lusts. It incites, provokes, and makes them turbulent beyond measure. Giving a lust or a corruption a suitable object, and advantage, or an occasion, heightens and exasperates it and for a season makes it wholly predominate. We see it in the fear of Peter, the pride of Hezekiah, the covetousness of Achan, the uncleanness of David, the worldliness of Demas, and the ambition of Diotrephes. Temptation will put spurs to the sides of lust, that it may rush forward like a horse into battle. A man does not know the pride, fury, madness of a corruption, until it meets with a suitable temptation. What now will poor soul do? His mind is darkened, his affections entangled, his lusts inflamed and provoked. Is this not serious? What is the outcome of such a condition? Satan’s purpose is the dishonor of God and the ruin of our souls. Have not your former temptations defiled your conscience, disquieted your peace, weakened your obedience, and clouded the face of God? Has not your soul been polluted, and grievously perplexed with it? Would you ever be willingly entangled again? If you are at liberty, take heed, and enter no more.
Lovers of theology, and particularly of the Puritans, will welcome this English translation of John Owen’s Latin writings. The major portion of this volume is a history of theology from Adam to Christ. Owen characterizes evangelical theology as a gift of the Holy Spirit generating faith in Christ, holiness through Christ, and worship of Christ.
Appendixed to this important work is Owen’s Defense of Scripture against Modern Fanaticism, which is a defense of the authority and proper interpretation of the Bible against the subjectivism of his day.
“Published in Latin in 1661 as a contribution to international Reformed scholarship, this treatise draws on a very wide range of learning. The final part, in particular, where Owen characterizes evangelical theology as a gift of the Holy Spirit generating faith in Christ, holiness through Christ, and worship of Christ, is pure gold. To have it now – at last! – in English is a great boon. Those with a taste for Owen, or for theology, or (best of all) for both, will read this Puritan proto-Biblical Theology with joy.”
– J.I. Packer