A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
by Steve West
Editor’s Note: Most of our readers will already be at least somewhat acquainted with John Owen (1616-1683), “the prince of Puritans,” but it is not likely that many have read him extensively. His works are not only voluminous – they are tightly packed and deeply considered. Owen is neither quick nor light reading!
Today we continue our year-long series of summaries of Owen’s famous works. We trust these will be of help in introducing and/or increasing your acquaintance with this giant Puritan theologian.
Summary, Part 3
Sermon XII: The Glory and Interest of Nations Professing the Gospel
[Isaiah 4:5 “Upon all the glory shall be a defence.”]
This verse is addressed to the small remnant that God delivers. Christ will be in their midst, and he is the foundation and fountain of these promises. He promises them beauty and glory, holiness and purity, and in this verse particularly, preservation and safety. The safety and preservation in view in this verse are both spiritual and temporal. This is made possible by the work of God; he is the one who produces it. God will make his people safe, but he does so by first making them holy. If they are not purified by Christ’s blood, they will not be kept safe; if they do not want to be holy, they will not be interested in the actual safety God offers them, because this is found in Christ.
The figure of the “glory” and “defence” refers to the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat, and the tabernacle and pillar of fire. The ark is often called the glory, and when it is captured the glory is said to depart from Israel. The word translated as “defense” often signifies a covering, as was the mercy seat. It was the glory that was in the cloud and the tabernacle. These things, of course, are typical of Christ. Everything in the law and old covenant forms pointed to him. In fulfillment, the glory of the people of God is Christ, as he is present with his people in grace. All of the glory of the people comes from the Lord. Many try to gain worldly glory for themselves by their own might and counsels, but God reduces them to folly. There is no lasting glory in power or riches, but only in Christ. Christ is present with his people in the gospel, and he is present with them by the Spirit. He delights in his people and his people find their joy in him. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
Buy the books
THE WORKS OF JOHN OWEN, VOLUME 8: SERMONS TO THE NATION