John Owen.

An exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews; with the preliminary exercitations (Volume 2) online

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bear it, [ver. 13.] that is, who will give out feafonablc
help i help in a time of need.

(4.) A time of fpiritual dcfcrUzn is fuch a feafon.
When God in any way withdraws himfelf from us, we
fhall ftand in need of fpecial affiftance : * Thou didft hide

* thy face,' faith David, * and I was troubled.' Trouble
. will cnfuc on God's hiding himfelf from us. But this is

the myllcry of his grace, that when he withdraws him-
felf from any foul, as to fcnfe and experience, whereby
it is troubled, he can fecrctly communicate fupporting

ilrcngth.

(5.) A time wherein 'WC nre called to tlic performance

of any great and f.gnal duty is fuch a feafon. So it was
with Abraham, when he was called firft to leave his
country, and afterwards to facrificc his fon. Such was

the



Ver. 14— 16- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 511

the call of Jofhua, to enter into Canaan, propofed to our
example. [Heb. xiii. 5.] and of the apollles to preach
the gofpel, when they were fent out as Iheep among
wolves. Something that is new, that we are yet un-
experienced in ; fomething that there is great oppofitiori
againft, or may coll us dear ; fomewhat that, as to the
ilate of the inward and outward man, we may feem to be
very unfit for ; fomewhat that the glory of God is in an
efpecial manner concerned in, we may be called to. And
there is nothing of this nature which doth not render the
time of it a feafon wherein we fland in need of fpecial aid
and alliftance.

(6.) Times of difficult changes introduce fuch a feafon.

* Changes and war,' faith Job, ' are againfl me,' [chap. x.
17.] There is in all changes a war againft us, wherein
we may be foiled, if we have not good affiftance. —
Freedom from changes is, in moft, the ground of carnal
fecurity, [Pfal. Iv. 19.] ' Becaufe ,they have no changes,

* therefore they fear not God.' Changes we are con-
tinually obnoxious to ; no man can enumerate the viciffi-
tudes of our courfe ; yet no one of them can we pafs
through, in a due manner, without fpecial renewed affif-
tances of grace.

(7.) The time of death is fuch a feafon. To let go
all hold of prefent things, and prefent hopes, — to give up
a departing foul, entering into — the invilible world — an
unchangeable eternity — the hands of a Sovereign Lord, — -
is what requires ftrength above our own for its right and
comfortable performance.

§ 24. Now it is eafy to apprehend how great an in-
fluence thefe things have on our whole courfe of walking
before God, and how much of our lives and ways is taken
up with them. Either affliftions, or perfecutions, or temp-
tations, or defedions from God, or fignal difficult duties,
or changes, are continually before us, and the laft of
them, Death, lies ftill at the door ; and there is none of
thefe but render their feafons * times of need.' It may
indeed then be faid, wherein doth the fpeciality of the

Vol. II, U u u grace



51* AN EXPOSITION OF THE Chap. I\%

grace and aid mentioned confift, feeing it is tliat which wc
ij/ways Hand in need of, and always receive ? I anfwer:
tliat not only all grace is fpecial in a icnfe, but becaufe it
is fuitcd to fpcc:cil occafions^ to be * fcafonable help' in a
lime ot need. And although we may ftand in need of it
always, yet wc do not fo always on the fume account,
which gives it its fpcciality. Sometimes one thing, fome-
times another, makes it neediul and fuitable. And God
is pkafcd fo to difpofe of tilings, that we fhall have occa-
sion at all times to make our applications to him for fpe-
cial alfiltance. If things were left to an ordinary courfe,
without fomcthing pccui'mr to excite and awaken us ; it is
inconceivable how formal and fecurc wc lliould quickly
grow. Wherefore we have (through divine wifdom)
jomething alzvays prelTing upon us, to make us intent,
earned, and vigilant in our addrcfTcs to him for help; and
the fupply obtained aflbrds new fpi ritual ftrength for all
duties.

§ 25. Tlie remaining obfervations are:

1. That there is with God in Clnift, God on his
throne of grace, a fpring of fuitable and feafonable help
for all times and occafions of difficulty. He is the ' God

* of all grace,' and a fountain of living waters is with
him, for the refrefhment of every weary and thirty foul.

2. AH help, fuccour, or Ipiritual alliflance in our
flraits and difficulties, proceed from mere mercy and
grace, or the goodnefs, kindnefs, and benignity of God in
Chrift. * That we may receive mercy and obtain grace

* to help.' Our help is from grace and mercy, and thence
it muft be, or we muft be for ever helplefs.

3. Whcnwc have through Chiift obtained mercy and
grace for our perfons^ we need not fear but that we fhall
have fuitable and feafonable help for our duties. If wc
■find mercy and obtain grace, we fhall have * help.'

4. The way to obtain help from God is by a due ap-
plicatio!\ of our fouls for it to the throne of grace.

5. Great difcouragcmcnts are ufed to interpofc againfl
our faith, when we would make* our application for re-
lief. It is included in the exhortation * to come with

♦ boldncfs,'



Ver. 14— i6v epistle to THE HEBREWS. 485

* boldnefs/ that we caft ofF and conquer all dlfcourage-
ments.

6. Faith's confideration of the interpofition of Chrlfl
in our behalf, as our High Prieft, is the only way to
remove difcouragements, and to give us boldnefs in
our accefs to God. Let us come therefore w^ith ' bold-

* nefs ;' that is, on the account of the care, love, and
faithfulnefs of Chriil as our High Prieft. And we may
add,

7. That in all our approaches to God, we are to
Confider him as on a throne. Though it be a throne
of grace, yet it is flill a throne ; the coniideration of
which fliould influence our minds with reverence and
gcdly fear.



END OF VOL. ir.





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Online LibraryJohn OwenAn exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews; with the preliminary exercitations (Volume 2) → online text (page 46 of 46)