“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
Many have shot wide of the mark in seeking blessedness. It cannot be found in worldly things, but how ready is man to place happiness in them. The tree of blessedness does not grow in an earthly paradise. God cursed the ground for sin, yet many are digging for happiness there and seeking a blessing out of a curse. You may as well seek fire out of water. Earthly things are transitory and not adapted to the soul. ‘He who loves money will not be satisfied with money’ (Eccles. 5:10). Riches do not satisfy. They shine in the eye, but death shaves off their glitter. If a man were crowned with all the delights of the world, nay, if God should build him a house among the stars, the eye of his mind would be looking still higher. The thirsty soul is uquenchable until it bathes in the river of life. That which is unable to quiet the heart in the storm, is unable to give happiness. Goods cannot soothe a troubled heart or a wounded spirit. Can a wedge of gold satisfy an angry God? King Belshazzar was carousing, but when the fingers of a man’s hand appeared, his countenance changed, his wine grew sour, his feast was spoiled by the dish served up on the wall. The world can no more keep out trouble of spirit than a paper shield a bullet. Earthly things are like a castle of snow under the heat of the sun. Sole enjoyments of the world become a curse in the end. How many have pulled down their souls to build up an estate! A ship may be so laden with gold that it sinks. Judas sold his salvation for money, and the Pharisees bought their damnation with it. To place our happiness in externals is to seek the living among the dead. A treasured estate will not comfort and it will fall short of our expectation. Outward comforts cannot make you blessed. You might love rich, and die cursed.
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