John Owen - Of Temptation
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John Owen - Of Temptation


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JOHN OWEN 
OF TEMPTATION: 
1658 
THE NATURE AND POWER OF IT; THE DANGER 
OF ENTERING INTO IT; AND THE MEANS OF 
PREVENTING THAT DANGER: 
WITH 
A RESOLUTION OF VARIOUS CASES 
BELONGING TO IT. 
\u201cBecause you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep 
you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the 
world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.\u201d - Rev 3:10 
from 
THE WORKS OF JOHN OWEN 
EDITED BY 
WILLIAM H. GOOLD 
VOLUME 6 
This Edition of 
THE WORKS OF JOHN OWEN 
first published by Johnstone & Hunter, 1850-53 
Alt. Source: https://archive.org/details/ontemptationmort00owenuoft 
(Wm. Goold edition of 1850-53, sep. pub. c. 1890) 
Modernized, formatted, and annotated (in blue) by 
William H. Gross www.onthewing.org © March 2015 
Scripture quotations taken from the NKJV 
© Thomas Nelson Pub., 1982 
Last updated: 4/3/2015 
 
Contents	
Editor\u2019s Note .............................................................................................. iv 
PREFATORY NOTE. .................................................................................... v 
TO THE READER. ..................................................................................... vii 
CHAPTER 1 ................................................................................................. 1 
The words of the text that are the foundation of the ensuing discourse \u2014 The occasion of the 
words, with their dependence \u2014 The things specially aimed at in them \u2014 Things that are 
considerable in the words as to the general purpose in hand \u2014 What the general nature of 
temptation consists in \u2014 The special nature of temptation \u2014 Temptation taken actively and 
passively \u2014 How God tempts anyone \u2014 His ends in doing so \u2014 The way by which he does it \u2014 
Of temptation in the special nature of its actions \u2014 The true nature of temptation stated ........ 1 
CHAPTER 2 ................................................................................................. 6 
What it is to \u201center into temptation\u201d \u2014 Not barely being tempted \u2014 Not to be conquered by it 
\u2014 To fall into it \u2014 The force of that expression \u2014 Things required for entering into temptation 
\u2014 Satan or lust that is more than ordinarily importunate \u2014 The soul\u2019s entanglement \u2014 
Seasons of such entanglements revealed \u2014 The \u201chour of temptation,\u201d in Rev 3:10, what it is \u2014 
How any temptation comes to its hour \u2014 How it may be known when its hour has come \u2014 The 
means of prevention prescribed by our Savior \u2014 Of watching, and what is intended by it \u2014 Of 
prayer. ............................................................................................................................................. 6 
CHAPTER 3 ............................................................................................... 10 
The doctrine \u2014 The grounds of it; our Savior\u2019s direction in this case \u2014 His promise of 
preservation \u2014 Issues of men entering into temptation \u2014 1. Of ungrounded professors \u2014 2. 
Of the choicest saints, Adam, Abraham, David \u2014 Self-consideration as to our own weakness \u2014 
The power of a man\u2019s heart to withstand temptation \u2014 The considerations it uses for that 
purpose \u2014 The power of temptation; the several ways by which it darkens the mind \u2014 1. By 
fixing the imaginations \u2014 2. By entangling the affections \u2014 3. Temptations give fuel to lust \u2014 
The end of temptation; the consequences of former temptations \u2014 Objections answered ...... 10 
CHAPTER 4 ............................................................................................... 23 
Particular cases proposed for consideration \u2014 The first, its resolution in various particulars \u2014 
Several discoveries of the state of a soul entering into temptation ............................................ 23 
CHAPTER 5 ............................................................................................... 27 
The second case proposed, or inquiries resolved \u2014 What are the best directions to prevent 
entering into temptation? \u2014 Those directions laid down \u2014 The directions given by our Savior: 
\u201cWatch and pray\u201d \u2014 What is included in it \u2014 (1.) A sense of the danger of temptation \u2014 (2.) 
It is not in our power to keep ourselves \u2014 (3.) Faith in the promises of preservation \u2014 Of 
prayer in particular ...................................................................................................................... 27 
CHAPTER 6 ............................................................................................... 31 
Watching so that we do not enter into temptation \u2014 The nature and efficacy of that duty \u2014 
The first part of it, as to the special seasons of temptation \u2014 The first season, in unusual 
prosperity \u2014 The second, a season of slumber of grace \u2014 Third, a season of great spiritual 
enjoyment \u2014 The fourth, a season of self-confidence ................................................................ 31 
CHAPTER 7 ............................................................................................... 35 
Several acts of watchfulness against temptation are proposed \u2014 Watch the heart \u2014 What it 
means to be watched in and about \u2014The snares lying in men\u2019s natural tempers \u2014 About 
particular lusts \u2014 The occasions suited to them \u2014 Watching to lay in provision against 
temptation \u2014 Directions for watchfulness in the first approaches of temptation \u2014 Directions 
after entering into temptation ..................................................................................................... 35 
CHAPTER 8 .............................................................................................. 41 
The last general direction is Rev 3:10, Watch against temptation by constantly \u201ckeeping the 
word of Christ\u2019s patience\u201d \u2014 What that word is \u2014 How it is kept \u2014 How keeping it will keep us 
from the \u201chour of temptation.\u201d .................................................................................................... 41 
CHAPTER 9 ............................................................................................... 51 
General exhortation to the duty prescribed ................................................................................ 51 
 
Editor\u2019s Note 
Why another digital edition of this book? First of all, this includes corrections to the widely used 
digitized version done by Ages Software.1 Second, while this is a restatement and simplification 
of Owen\u2019s original work; it is not a paraphrase or condensed version. The old English wording 
has been updated, so that \u201cthee\u201d and \u201cthou\u201d are now \u201cyou\u201d and \u201cyours.\u201d The difficult structure 
and syntax have been simplified. Obscure passages have been reworded as necessary to clarify 
his ideas \u2013 which other modernizations may have left unattended. Little-used words have been 
replaced with simpler ones as well. Sentences have been shortened, and in many cases split into 
several sentences for clarity. Parallelism has been employed to maintain rhythm and clarity. 
Unreferenced pronouns have been made explicit, as have \u201cunderstood\u201d words. The passive voice 
has been changed to active in most places. Again, this is not a synopsis, but the entire treatise 
presented in the original work. As a result, the expository style remains. 
The old King James passages of Scripture have often been employed and modernized. This was 
to ensure that Owen\u2019s rendering of the biblical text would be largely maintained, as well as the 
textual basis for his statements. Where Owen cites the original Greek, it has been footnoted and 
Anglicized, with bracketed Strong\u2019s numbers [NT:xxxx]. Referenced but unquoted scriptures are 
often quoted in footnotes for your convenience; and many unreferenced verses have been 
referenced in superscripts. 
My purpose is to preserve Owen\u2019s original text as much as possible, but more importantly, to 
make his teaching and wisdom more accessible