“To read Owen is to mine spiritual gold. Unfortunately, as in mining, reading Owen ishard work. Now, Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor have made Owen’s work accessible tomodern readers while still retaining his unique writing style.”JERRYBRIDGES, Navigators Community Ministries Group“With brilliant editorial efforts and insightful introductions by Kapic and Taylor, JohnOwen’s magnificent treatises on sin and sanctification have been made available for anew generation.”DAVIDS.DOCKERY, President, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee“Sin is tenacious, but by God’s grace we can hate it and hunt it. John Owen provides themaster guide for the sin-hunter. Kapic and Taylor bring together three of Owen’s classics,clarifying them in simple ways—but all the substance, the careful, hounding argumentsare still there.”MARKDEVER, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.“John Owen is a spiritual surgeon with the rare skill to cut away the cancer of sin andbring gospel healing to the sinner’s soul. Apart from the Bible, I have found his writingsto be the best books ever written to help me stop sinning the same old sins.”PHILIPGRAHAMRYKEN, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia“No writer has taught me more about the dynamics of the heart and the deceitfulness ofsin than John Owen. Read this book carefully; it will help you understand your heart andexperience God’s grace.”C.J.MAHANEY, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Gaithersburg, MarylandKELLYM.KAPIC is associate professor of biblical and theological studies at CovenantT h r e eC l a s s i cW o r k sb yJ o h nO w e n“John Owen understood how the gospel makes us well. Three cheers for Kapic andTaylor for introducing a new generation to Owen’s peerless works.”SINCLAIRB.FERGUSON, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C.Overcoming S I N &T E M P TAT I O N“The editors of this volume have worked hard to make Owen’s unrivalled insight into theChristian’s inner war with sin accessible to all, and the result is truly a godsend.”J.I.PACKER, Professor of Theology, Regent Collegee d i t e db yK e l l yM .K a p i ca n dJ u s t i nT a y l o rOvercoming S I N &T E M P TAT I O NCollege in Georgia. He has a forthcoming book entitled Communion with God. Kapic and his wifehave two children.JUSTINTAYLOR is ESV Bible project manager at Crossway. He has previously edited andcontributed to several books, including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming theCenter. Taylor and his wife have two children. Taylor runs the website a p i c&Ta y l o rT h r e eC l a s s i cW o r k sb yCLASSICS / CHRISTIAN LIVINGJ O H NO W E NF o r e w o r db yJ o h nP i p e rU.S. 19.99

“The greatest Christian writers are those who most powerfully project to spiritual readers the knowledge of God, of ourselves, and of the grace of our LordJesus Christ. Among these are Augustine, Calvin, Edwards, and the PuritanJohn Owen, who ought to be better known than he is. The editors of this volume have worked hard to make Owen’s unrivalled insight into the Christian’sinner war with sin accessible to all, and the result is truly a godsend. Filledwith classic devotional theology which, like Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress,needs to be read again and again to be properly grasped, we have in the threetreatises presented here a companion for life.”—J. I. PACKER, Professor of Theology, Regent College“John Owen’s three treatises on sin, mortification, and temptation are a priceless treasure. To read them is to mine pure spiritual gold. Unfortunately, asin mining, reading Owen is hard work. Now, through skillful editing, KellyKapic and Justin Taylor have made Owen’s work accessible to modern readers while still retaining his unique writing style. Anyone concerned about personal holiness will profit from reading this new edition of a classic work.”—JERRY BRIDGES, Navigators Community Ministries Group“Sin is tenacious, but by God’s grace we can hate it and hunt it. John Owenprovides the master guide for the sin-hunter. Kapic and Taylor bring togetherthree of Owen’s classics, clarifying them in simple ways—but all the substance, the careful, hounding arguments are still there to train our spiritualsight and love our souls.”—MARK DEVER, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church,Washington, D.C.“With a volume of Owen in your hands you may wonder why you havewasted so much time reading lesser things. True, as Dr. John (“Rabbi”)Duncan once said, if you are going to read this you will need to ‘prepare yourself for the knife.’ But that knife is the scalpel of one of the finest spiritual surgeons in the history of the church. Owen understood as few have how thegospel makes us well. Three cheers for everything Kapic and Taylor are doingto introduce a new generation of Christians to Owen’s peerless works.”—SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON, Senior Minister,First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C.

“For over three hundred years the doctrinal and devotional works of JohnOwen have been a classic resource for the church. Though unusually insightful, Owen may be too challenging for many to read with benefit. Now, withbrilliant editorial efforts and insightful introductions by Kelly Kapic andJustin Taylor, Owen’s magnificent treatises on sin and sanctification have beenmade available for a new generation. I am confident that this welcomed volume will provide guidance and enablement for believers in need of God’sgrace and blessing. The editors are to be congratulated for their fine work!”—DAVID S. DOCKERY, President, Union University,Jackson, Tenn.“John Owen is a spiritual surgeon with the rare skill to cut away the cancerof sin and bring gospel healing to the sinner’s soul. Apart from the Bible, Ihave found his writings on sin and temptation to be the best books ever written for helping me to stop sinning the same old sins. Now Owen’s profoundthinking on spiritual change in the Christian life is available in a user-friendlyformat that will help a new generation gain gospel victory over the power ofremaining sin.”—PHILIP GRAHAM RYKEN, Senior Minister,Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia“No writer has taught me more about the dynamics of the heart and thedeceitfulness of sin than John Owen. Reading his writing has been lifechanging, although at times his seventeenth-century style can be a challengeto modern ears. How grateful I am that Kapic and Taylor have investedtheir time and considerable skills to bring Owen’s profound and practicalteaching to a modern audience. Read this book carefully; it will help youunderstand your heart and experience God’s grace.”—C. J. MAHANEY, Sovereign Grace Ministries,Gaithersburg, Md.


Overcoming Sin and TemptationCopyright 2006 by Kelly M. Kapic and Justin TaylorPublished by Crossway Booksa publishing ministry of Good News Publishers1300 Crescent StreetWheaton, Illinois 60187All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher,except as provided by USA copyright law.This volume includes edited versions of three works by John Owen (1616–1683),which are in the public domain: Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers (1656);Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It (1658); and The Nature, Power,Deceit, and Prevalency of Indwelling Sin (1667).Illustration on page 39 The British Library. All rights reserved (Wing[2nd ed.] / O785 ; Madan, III, 2308. / ; Thomason / E.1704[1]; illustration onpage 143 The British Library. All rights reserved (Wing [2nd ed.] / O782 ;Thomason / E.2112[1]; Madan, III, 2404. / ); illustration on page 227 Edinburgh University New College Special Collections. All rights reserved(Wing / O775).Cover design: Josh DennisCover photo: Bridgeman Art GalleryFirst printing 2006Printed in the United States of AmericaScripture quotations marked ESV are from The Holy Bible, English StandardVersion , copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of GoodNews Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataOwen, John, 1616–1683Overcoming sin and temptation : three classic works by John Owen /edited by Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor ; foreword by John Piper.p. cm.Includes texts of Of the Mortification of sin in believers, Of temptation,and Indwelling sin.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 13: 978-1-58134-649-7 (tpb)ISBN 10: 1-58134-649-2 (tpb)1. Sin—Christianity. 2. Temptation. 3. Christian life—Puritan authors.I. Kapic, Kelly M., 1972–. II. Taylor, Justin, 1976–. III. 413141213111210119810709650840730621

This volume is dedicated to our childrenJONATHAN TAYLOR KAPIC and MARGOT MONROE KAPICandCLAIRA LUCILE TAYLOR and MALACHI XAVIER TAYLORIncredible gifts from God

Contents11ForewordJohn PiperPreface: Reading John Owen: Why a New Edition?15Justin TaylorAcknowledgments21Introduction: Life in the Midst of Battle: John Owen’sApproach to Sin, Temptation, and the Christian Life23Kelly M. KapicOverview of John Owen’s Of the Mortification of Sinin Believers37Justin TaylorOf the Mortification of Sinin BelieversPreface41Part 1: The Necessity of MortificationChapter 145Chapter 249Chapter 357Chapter 463Part 2: The Nature of MortificationChapter 569Chapter 673Chapter 778Chapter 886Chapter 989Chapter 1097

Chapter 11103Chapter 12110Chapter 13118Part 3: The Means of MortificationChapter 14131Overview of John Owen’s Of Temptation: The Nature andPower of It141Justin TaylorOf Temptation:The Nature and Power of It145PrefacePart 1: The Nature of TemptationChapter 1151Part 2: The Danger of Entering TemptationChapter 2159Part 3: The Great Duty of All BelieversChapter 3167Part 4: Particular Cases and General DirectionsChapter 4187Chapter 5192Chapter 6197Chapter 7201Chapter 8208Chapter 9220Overview of John Owen’s Indwelling Sin225Justin TaylorIndwelling SinPreface229Part 1: The Nature of Indwelling SinChapter 1233

Part 2: The Power and Efficacy of Indwelling SinChapter 2243Chapter 3249Chapter 4257Chapter 5262Chapter 6270Chapter 7284Chapter 8293Chapter 9306Chapter 10315Chapter 11326Chapter 12333Chapter 13342Part 3: The Effect and Strength of Indwelling SinChapter 14363Chapter 15374Chapter 16388Chapter 17398OutlinesOf the Mortification of Sin in Believers411Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It417The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency ofIndwelling Sin425Glossary435General Index443Scripture Index451

ForewordI rejoice at this publication of John Owen’s works on the nature of ourbattle with sin. It is the kind of thinking we need. Therefore, I thank God forKelly Kapic and Justin Taylor. They have done a good service for the church.I hope teachers and pastors will help their people benefit from this book.As I look across the Christian landscape, I think it is fair to say concerning sin, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly” (Jer. 6:14;8:11, ESV). I take this to refer to leaders who should be helping the churchknow and feel the seriousness of indwelling sin (Rom. 7:20), and how tofight it and kill it (Rom. 8:13). Instead the depth and complexity and ugliness and danger of sin in professing Christians is either minimized—since weare already justified—or psychologized as a symptom of woundedness ratherthan corruption.This is a tragically light healing. I call it a tragedy because by making lifeeasier for ourselves in minimizing the nature and seriousness of our sin, webecome greater victims of it. We are in fact not healing ourselves. Those whosay that they already feel bad enough without being told about the corruptions of indwelling sin misread the path to peace. When our people have notbeen taught well about the real nature of sin and how it works and how toput it to death, most of the miseries people report are not owing to the disease but its symptoms. They feel a general malaise and don’t know why, theirmarriages are at the breaking point, they feel weak in their spiritual witnessand devotion, their workplace is embattled, their church is tense with unrest,their fuse is short with the children, etc. They report these miseries as if theywere the disease. And they want the symptoms removed.We proceed to heal the wound of the people lightly. We look first andmainly for circumstantial causes for the misery—present or past. If we’regood at it, we can find partial causes and give some relief. But the healing islight. We have not done the kind of soul surgery that is possible only whenthe soul doctor knows the kind of things Owen talks about in these books,and when the patient is willing to let the doctor’s scalpel go deep.What Owen offers is not quick relief, but long-term, deep growth in gracethat can make strong, healthy trees where there was once a fragile sapling. I

12FOREWORDpray that thousands—especially teachers and pastors and other leaders—willchoose the harder, long-term path of growth, not the easier, short-term pathof circumstantial relief.The two dead pastor-theologians of the English-speaking world whohave nourished and taught me most are Jonathan Edwards and John Owen.Some will say Edwards is unsurpassed. Some say Owen was the greater. Wedon’t need to decide. We have the privilege of knowing them both as ourfriends and teachers. What an amazing gift of God’s providence that thesebrothers were raised up and that hundreds of years after they have died wemay sit at their feet. We cannot properly estimate the blessing of soaking ourminds in the Bible-saturated thinking of the likes of John Owen. What he wasable to see in the Bible and preserve for us in writing is simply magnificent.It is so sad—a travesty, I want to say—how many Christian leaders of ourday do not strive to penetrate the wisdom of John Owen, but instead readbooks and magazines that are superficial in their grasp of the Bible.We act as though there was nothing extraordinary about John Owen’svision of biblical truth—that he was not a rare gift to the church. But he wasrare. There are very few people like this whom God raises up in the historyof the church. Why does God do this? Why does he give an Owen or anEdwards to the church and then ordain that what they saw of God should bepreserved in books? Is it not because he loves us? Is it not because he wouldshare Owen’s vision with his church? Great trees that are covered with therichest life-giving fruit are not for museums. God preserves them and theirfruit for the health of his church.I know that all Christians cannot read all such giants. Even one mountain is too high to climb for most of us. But we can pick one or two, and thenask God to teach us what he taught them. The really great writers are notvaluable for their cleverness but for their straightforward and astonishinginsight into what the Bible really says about great realities. This is what weneed.The Bible is God’s word. Therefore, it is profound. How could it not be?God inspired it. He understands himself and the human heart infinitely. Heis not playing games with us. He really means to communicate the profoundest things about sin and hell and heaven and Christ and faith and salvation and holiness and death. Paul does not sing out in vain, “Oh, the depthof the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are hisjudgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33, ESV). No. He summons us to stop settling for pop culture and to learn what the Bible really hasto say about the imponderable depths of sin and grace.

FOREWORD13Owen is especially worthy of our attention because he is shocking in hisinsights. That is my impression again and again. He shocks me out of my platitudinous ways of thinking about God and man. Here are a few random recollections from what you are (I hope) about to read. You will find others onyour own.“There is no death of sin without the death of Christ” (Of theMortification of Sin in Believers, chapter 7). Owen loves the cross and knowswhat happened there better than anyone I have read. The battle with sin thatyou are about to read about is no superficial technique of behavior modification. It is a profound dealing with what was accomplished on the cross inrelation to the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit through the deep andwonderful mysteries of faith.“To kill sin is the work of living men; where men are dead (as all unbelievers, the best of them, are dead), sin is alive, and will live” (chapter 7). Oh,the pastoral insights that emerge from Owen! As here: If you are fighting sin,you are alive. Take heart. But if sin holds sway unopposed, you are dead nomatter how lively this sin makes you feel. Take heart, embattled saint!“God says, ‘Here is one, if he could be rid of this lust I should never hearof him more; let him wrestle with this, or he is lost’” (chapter 8). Astonishing!God ordains to leave a lust with me till I become the sort of warrior who willstill seek his aid when this victory is won. God knows when we can bear thetriumphs of his grace.“Is there the guilt of any great sin lying upon you unrepented of? A newsin may be permitted, as well as a new affliction sent, to bring an old sin toremembrance” (chapter 9). What? God ordains that we be tested by anothersin so that an old one might be better known and fought? Sin is one of God’sweapons against sin?“The difference between believers and unbelievers as to knowledge is notso much in the matter of their knowledge as in the manner of knowing.Unbelievers, some of them, may know more and be able to say more of God,his perfections, and his will, than many believers; but they know nothing asthey ought, nothing in a right manner, nothing spiritually and savingly, nothing with a holy, heavenly light. The excellency of a believer is, not that he hasa large apprehension of things, but that what he does apprehend, which perhaps may be very little, he sees it in the light of the Spirit of God, in a saving,soul-transforming light; and this is that which gives us communion with God,and not prying thoughts or curious-raised notions” (chapter 12). How thenwill we labor to help people know much and know it “in a right manner”?What is that?

14FOREWORD“[Christ] is the head from whence the new man must have influences oflife and strength, or it will decay every day” (chapter 14). Oh, that our people would feel the urgency of daily supplies of grace because “grace decays.”Do they know this? Is it a category in their mind—that grace decays? Howmany try to live their lives on automatic pilot with no sense of urgency thatmeans of grace are given so that the riches of Christ may daily be obtainedwith fresh supplies of grace.The list could go on and on. For me, to read Owen is to wake up to waysof seeing that are so clearly biblical that I wonder how I could have been soblind. May that be your joyful experience as well.—John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and VisionBethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis

P r e fac eReading John Owen:Why a New Edition?J u s t i n Tay l o rR EADING O WEN I S W ORTHTHEE FFORTOne of our goals in publishing this volume is to reintroduce John Owen tothe church today. And one of the hindrances in the way of his reception is hisreputation for being hard to read. There is no glossing over the fact thatstudying Owen’s writings requires hard work. But we would also insist—alongside many of the great saints in the history of the church—that the effortrequired to read Owen is richly repaid. We agree with the judgment of J. I.Packer regarding Owen’s works: “I did not say that it was easy to readthem!—that would not be true; yet I do venture to say that the labourinvolved in plodding through these ill-arranged and tediously-written treatises will find them abundantly worthwhile.”1 Our goal has been to producea faithful and accurate edition of Owen’s writings on sin and temptation thatbegins to overcome some of these barriers to understanding his profound andpractical insights and instruction.O WEN ’ S W RITING S T YLEIn order to understand Owen’s literary style, it is worth quoting Packer atlength:There is no denying that Owen is heavy and hard to read. This is not somuch due to obscure arrangement as to two other factors. The first is hislumbering literary gait. ‘Owen travels through it [his subject] with the elephant’s grace and solid step, if sometimes also with his ungainly motion,’1J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1990), 84.

16PREFACEsays [Andrew] Thomson. That puts it kindly. Much of Owen’s prose readslike a roughly-dashed-off translation of a piece of thinking done inCiceronian Latin. It has, no doubt, a certain clumsy dignity; so hasStonehenge; but it is trying to the reader to have to go over sentences twoor three times to see their meaning, and this necessity makes it much harderto follow an argument. The present writer, however, has found that thehard places in Owen usually come out as soon as one reads them aloud.The second obscuring factor is Owen’s austerity as an expositor. He has alordly disdain for broad introductions which ease the mind gently into asubject, and for comprehensive summaries which gather up scatteredpoints into a small space. He obviously carries the whole of his design inhis head, and expects his readers to do the same. Nor are his chapter divisions reliable pointers to the discourse, for though a change of subject isusually marked by a chapter division, Owen often starts a new chapterwhere there is no break in the thought at all. Nor is he concerned about literary proportions; the space given to a topic is determined by its intrinsiccomplexity rather than its relative importance, and the reader is left towork out what is basic and what is secondary by noting how things linktogether.2At the same time, we shouldn’t exaggerate the difficulties of Owen’s prosewhen set before a certain sort of reader:His studied unconcern about style in presenting his views, a conscientiousprotest against the self-conscious literary posturing of the age, concealstheir uncommon clarity and straightforwardness from superficial readers;but then, Owen did not write for superficial readers. He wrote, rather, forthose who, once they take up a subject, cannot rest till they see to the bottom of it, and who find exhaustiveness not exhausting, but satisfying andrefreshing. . . .Owen’s style is often stigmatized as cumbersome and tortuous.Actually it is Latinised spoken style, fluent but stately and expansive, in theelaborate Ciceronian style. When Owen’s prose is read aloud, as didacticrhetoric (which is, after all, what it is), the verbal inversions, displacements,archaisms and new coinages that bother modern readers cease to obscureand offend. Those who think as they read find Owen’s expansiveness suggestive and his fulsomeness fertilising.323Ibid., 147.Ibid., 193, 194.

PREFACE17R EADING O WEN : A N EW O PTIONUp until now, there have been two main options for those who want to readOwen’s writings on sin and temptation. One could work through volume6 of The Works of John Owen as edited by William Goold in the 1850s,4or one could use a contemporary abridgement or paraphrase.5 In this volume we are seeking to present something new: an unabridged but updatededition of Owen’s three classic works that preserves all of Owen’s originalcontent but seeks to make it a bit more accessible. In so doing, we hope toplay a small part in reintroducing Owen to both the church and theacademy.6F EATURESOFT HIS N EW E DITIONWhat changes have we made to the original edition of Owen’s works? Wehave: provided overviews of the thesis and arguments for all threebooks footnoted difficult vocabulary words or phrases (at their first occurrence in each book) and collected them into a glossary Americanized the British spelling (e.g., behaviour to behavior) updated archaic pronouns (e.g., thou to you) updated other archaic spellings (e.g., hath to have; requireth torequires) updated some archaic word forms (e.g., concernments to concerns,surprisals to surprises) corrected the text in places where the nineteenth-century editionincorrectly deviated from the original modernized some of the punctuationThere are two main collections of Owen’s works: a 21-volume set edited by Thomas Russell (1826), anda 24-volume set edited by William Goold (1850–1853). The former is long out of print; the latter, save forone volume, has been reprinted in facsimile by the Banner of Truth Trust in Edinburgh (1965–1968) andhas remained in print for the last 40 years. The Works of John Owen, with some slight updates, have alsobeen included on a CD-Rom published by Ages Software of Rio, Wisconsin.5 For an edited abridgement, see John Owen, Triumph Over Temptation: Pursuing a Life of Purity, VictorClassics, ed. James M. Houston (Colorado Springs: Victor, 2004). (This volume was formerly titled Sinand Temptation: The Challenge of Personal Godliness, originally published by Multnomah in 1983, followed by Bethany in 1996.) The principle was “to seek the kernel and remove the husk,” which involvedcutting about half of the original work and extensive rewriting. See also Kris Lundgaard’s popular work,The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin (Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian &Reformed, 1998), which is not an edition of Owen’s writings per se, but rather an effort by Lundgaard torestate and recast Owen’s arguments for today. In addition, the Banner of Truth Trust and Christian FocusPublications in the UK have each produced small paperback editions of The Mortification of Sin, with onlyslight modifications contained therein.6 We are also editing a new edition of Owen’s Communion with God (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, forthcoming).4

18PREFACE placed Owen’s Scripture references in parentheses7 added our own Scripture references in brackets when Owen quotesor alludes to a passage but does not provide a reference transliterated all Hebrew and Greek words, and provided a translation if Owen didn’t provide one translated all Latin phrases that Owen leaves untranslated provided sources for quotations and allusions where possible removed Owen’s intricate numbering system, which functioned asan extensive outline added headings and italics throughout this volume, and extensiveoutlines of our own at the end, to aid the reader in following the flowof Owen’s thoughtAs an example of the sort of limited modernizing that we have done tothe text, the following is a reproduction of an original paragraph fromOwen’s The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency of Indwelling Sin (fromhis exposition of Revelation 2) . . .The fame might alfo be fhewed concerning the reft of thofe Churches, onlyone or two of them excepted. Five of them are charged with decays anddeclensions. Hence there is mention in the Scripture of the Kindnefs ofYouth, öf the Love of Efpoufals, with great commendation, Jer. 2. 2, 3. ofour firft Faith, I Tim. 5. 12. of the beginning of our confidence, Heb. 3.14. . . and this is our edited version as it appears in this volume:The same also might be showed concerning the rest of those churches, onlyone or two of them excepted. Five of them are charged with decays anddeclensions. Hence there is mention in the Scripture of the “kindness ofyouth,” of the “love of espousals,” with great commendation (Jer. 2:2-3);of our “first faith” (1 Tim. 5:12); of “the beginning of our confidence”(Heb. 3:14).A W ORD A BOUTTHES TRUCTUREReaders will note that, unlike in modern books, there are no chapter titles—Owen didn’t assign any. Furthermore, the location of the chapter breaks canReaders will note that the Scripture references in this volume do not correspond precisely to any particular translation. The reason for this is twofold: (1) Owen did not rely upon one translation. His use ofScripture often involves his own combination of translation and paraphrase. (2) While some of the Scripturepassages are similar to the Geneva Bible or to the King James Bible (published just five years before Owen’sbirth), they do not match precisely due to our updating of archaic components in those translations.7

PREFACE19come across as arbitrary. As Packer said, Owen “obviously carries the wholeof his design in his head, and expects his readers to do the same. Nor are hischapter divisions reliable pointers to the discourse, for though a change ofsubject is usually marked by a chapter division, Owen often starts a newchapter where there is no break in the thought at all.” In fact, we believe thatmaking the chapter breaks prominent can actually add to the confusion inreading Owen’s work. (For example, in the outline for Of the Mortificationof Sin in Believers, you’ll note that chapter 3 begins with Roman numeral II.)One option would have been to dispense with the chapter numbers altogether.We decided to retain the chapter numbers, but to make them less prominentby placing them in brackets and not always at the beginning of a new page.This allows Owen’s own outline to receive greater emphasis, and we believeit will aid the reader in following Owen’s thought.As noted above, we have also taken Owen’s original intricate numberingsystem and used it to create our own outlines in the back of the book. Weencourage readers to use these outlines, paginated for easy reference, whereone can see his main points and the flow of his argument.O UR P RAYERAlthough we desire to see an increased understanding of and appreciation forOwen’s works in our day, our greater desire is to see fellow believers returnto the biblical means of sanctification in their battle to overcome sin andtemptation. All of us find within ourselves a law to the effect that, when wewant to do right, we discover evil within ourselves (Rom. 7:21). Our prayeris th

PHILIPGRAHAMRYKEN, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia “No writer has taught me more about the dynamics of the heart and the deceitfulness of sin than John Owen. Read this book carefully; it will help you understand your heart and experience God’s grace.” C.J.MAHANEY, Sovereign