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The following treatise may be regarded as a series of Discourses on John xvii. 24. The subject is the Glory of Christ, as the representative of God to the church, — in the mystery of his Person, — in his office as Mediator, — in his exaltation on high, — in his relation to the church during every age of its history, — and in the final consummation of his work, when all things are to be gathered into a blessed unity, as the result of his mediation. The treatise is concluded by a statement of the difference between our views of the Glory of Christ as beheld by faith in this world, and as it shall be beheld by sight in heaven.
It is not professedly a sequel to the work of the author on the Person of Christ; though, from some expressions in the Preface to these Meditations, they may be regarded in this light. Several of them are evidently an expansion of certain thoughts and views, of which the germ will be found in the preceding work. The two works are, indeed, so closely connected, that they have been often published together. It has been thought proper, therefore, to adhere to this arrangement in the present republication of Dr Owen’s Works.
There are some facts which impart peculiar interest to these Meditations. They were drawn up, according to the author’s own statement, “for the exercise of his own mind,” in the first instance; and illustrate, accordingly, the scope and tenor of his Christian experience. They form, moreover, his dying testimony to the truth, — and to the truth, with peculiar emphasis, as it “is in Jesus;” for they are the substance of the last instructions which he delivered to his flock; and they constitute the last work which he prepared for the press. It is instructive to peruse the solemn musings of his soul when “weakness, weariness, and the near approaches of death,” were calling him away from his earthly labours; and to mark how intently his thoughts were fixed on the glory of the Saviour, whom he was soon to behold “face to face.” On the day of his death, Mr Payne, who had the charge of the original publication of this treatise, on bidding Dr Owen farewell, said to him, “Doctor, I have just been putting your book on the Glory of Christ to the press.” “I am glad,” was Owen’s reply, “to hear that that performance is put to the press; but, O brother Payne, the long looked-for day is come at last, in which I shall see that glory in another manner than I have ever done yet, or was capable of doing in this world.”
Mr Hervey thus expresses his admiration of this work: “To see the Glory of Christ is the grand blessing which our Lord solicits and demands for his disciples in his last solemn intercession, John xvii. 24. Should the reader desire assistance in this important work, I would refer him to a little treatise of Dr Owen’s, entitled ‘Meditations on the Glory of Christ;’ it is little in size, — not so in value. Were I to speak of it in the classical style, I should call it aureus, gemmeus, mellitus. But I would rather say, it is richly replenished with that unction from the Holy One which tends to enlighten the eyes and cheer the heart; which sweetens the enjoyments of life, softens the hours of death, and prepares for the fruitions of eternity.” — Theron and Aspasiovol. iii. p. 75.
The treatise was published in 1684. It was reprinted in 1696, with the addition of two chapters which were found among the papers of Owen, and in his own handwriting, though too late for insertion in the first edition of the work. — Ed.
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