, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the digression, Owen simply turns to the beauty and wonder of Christ. I must admit this is a matter I too little do. There is a thinking about a thing: coming to a painting and speaking of the culture and the brush strokes. Wordsworth captures some of this in his line

                  We murder to dissect[1]

 Wordsworth wrote of reading of creation rather than gazing upon creation. I would take his principle but raise it higher: Rather than bare reading of the Creator, let us gaze upon the Creator. When looking into the Scripture it is easy to categorize and discuss without ever finding the author. It is like reading a love letter and dissecting the grammar but never receiving the love.

 Thus, Owen takes out the time to praise Jesus, by contemplation of his beauty. Owen thus turns to grace bestowed in Christ:


The endless, bottomless, boundless grace and compassion that is in him who is thus our husband, as he is the God of Zion.


The grace of anything created would be far too small for the depths of need we bring, “


If it could be conceived as separated from the Deity, surely so many thirsty, guilty souls, as every day drink deep and large draughts of grace and mercy from him, would (if I may so speak) sink him to the very bottom; nay, it could afford no supply at all, but only in a moral way.

 Thus, the grace which Christ conveys must be a grace greater than could be supplied by Christ as man alone:


But when the conduit of his humanity is inseparably united to the infinite, inexhaustible fountain of the Deity, who can look into the depths thereof? If, now, there be grace enough for sinners in an all-sufficient God, it is in Christ; and, indeed, in any other there cannot be enough.

 This is the endless supply of grace from which Christ invites us to drink:


13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13–14 (ESV)

 Look how the story proceeds, what does she leave behind and what does she do?


25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” 27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him. John 4:25–30 (ESV)

There was enough living water for all.  What of the offer in Isaiah:


1 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. Isaiah 55:1–5 (ESV)


Now take these two passages together and consider Jesus in John 7:


37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37–39 (ESV)

 This offer lies at the very depth and height of our hope:


5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment” Revelation 21:5–6 (ESV) .



16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22:16–17 (ESV)

 Such offers upon offers demonstrate the unending well of grace which flows in Christ.


Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;

                Our meddling intellect

                Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:–

                We murder to dissect.

“The Tables Turned”