« PreviousContinue »
A FULL AND INTERESTING LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, A COPIOUS
BY EDWARD WILLIAMS.
Search the Scriptures........Joan v, 39.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
The many encomiums that have been passed upon Dr. Owen's theological works, by the best judges in the last and present century; and the high esteem in which they are held by orthodox, judicious, and truly spiritual Christians in the present day, are an incontestable proof of their intrinsic value. He often discovers, beyond dispute, great acuteness of thought, profound sentiments, and especially a solid judgment, in reference to the unadulterated Gospel; and, in the more practical and experimental parts of his writings, an uncommon degree of devotion, an alarming or melting animation, and spiritual fervor; qualities in an author, it must be owned, equally rare and invaluable!
We find, however, that frequently these excellent materials, (the substance and spirit of his writings,) are negligently dressed; or, at least, when art is employed, it is employed according to the fashion of the times in which he lived; the effect of which may be justly termed "cumbrous drapery,” when compared with the "simplex munditiis,” the neatness and taste in style and composition, on which modern authors pique themselves: owing to this revolution in the mode of dressing thought, the innumerable scholastic divisions, the long sentences, and involved parentheses, the numerous quotations of Latin and Greek in the body of a work, often cause a modern eye to turn away in disgust, and to neglect a precious pearl that is lodged in so unfashionable a cabinet; while, perhaps, the same eye is charmed with another prettier casket, which contains only gewgaws and trifles.
Impartiality must also confess, that Dr. Owen was what we may call a voluminous writer; and in the present day, the very idea of an expository work, consisting of four volumes folio, on a single epistle, is enough to frighten the fashionable class of readers, who are