The Mortification of Sin has become one of my favorite works. It has greatly encouraged me in my fight against sin and has continually pointed me to our great Triune God. The primary thesis of the book is that it is the Christian’s daily responsibility to put off the works of the flesh and put on the works of the spirit by the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit. Owen gives many warnings to Christians if they neglect this work. The following quote drove me to my knees and I begged for mercy. I hope that you find it frightening and edifying.
If ever then, thou hast enjoyed peace with God; if ever his terrors have made thee afraid; if ever thou hast had strength to walk with him, or ever hast mourned in thy prayer, and been troubled because of thy weakness; think of this danger that hangs over thy head.
It is perhaps but a little while, and thou shalt see the face of God in peace no more: perhaps by tomorrow thou shalt not be able to pray, read, hear or perform any duties with the least cheerfulness, life or vigour: and possibly thou mayest never see a quiet hour whilst thou livest; thou mayest carry about thee broken bones full of pain and terror all the days of thy life. Yea, perhaps God will shoot his arrows at thee, and fill thee with anguish and disquietness, with fears and perplexities; make thee a terror and an astonishment to thyself and others; show thee hell and wrath every moment; frighten and scare thee with sad apprehensions of his hatred; so that thy sore shall run in the night season, and thy soul shall refuse comfort; so that thou shalt wish death rather than life, yea, thy soul may choose strangling. Consider this a little, that though God should not utterly destroy thee, yet he might cast thee into this condition, wherein thou shalt have quick and living apprehensions of thy destruction. Accustom thy heart to thoughts hereof; let it be known what it is like to be the issue of its state; leave not this consideration until thou hast made thy soul to tremble within thee.