February 11

 

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.   Matthew 6:6

 

God reveals himself most to his people when they have been in secret prayer.  O sweet meltings, the heavenly warmings, the blessed cheerings, and the choice communions with God, that Christians have found when they have been alone with God in a closet!  God loves to load the wings of private prayer with the sweetest and choicest blessings!  Ah!  How often has God kissed a poor Christian at the beginning of private prayer, and spoken peace to him in the midst of private prayer, and filled him with light and joy and assurance upon the close of private prayer!  Private prayer is a golden key to unlock the mysteries of God’s Word to us.  The knowledge of many choice and blessed truths are but the returns of private prayers.  God delights to make known his truth and faithfulness, his grace and goodness, his mercy and bounty, his beauty and glory to poor souls in their private prayers.  God crowns private prayer with a discovery of those blessed weighty truths to his servants that are a sealed book to others.  Private prayer crowns God with the honour and glory due his name, and the soul enjoys most communion with God in secret.  When a Christian is in a wilderness, which is a very solitary place, then God delights to speak friendly and comfortably to him.  A husband imparts his mind most freely and fully to his wife when they are alone, and Christ also to the believing soul.  O the secret embraces, visits, whispers, cheerings, and discoveries that God gives his people when alone!  Ambrose often said; ‘I am never less alone, than when I am alone; for then I can enjoy the presence of my God most freely, fully, and sweetly, without interruption.’  Christ loves to embrace us not so much in the open street, as in a closet.  Christ gives his richest gifts in secret when we are alone.

 

Biblical Theology

 

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

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