I have no doubt Owen was a great theologian and that what he had to say is worthy of contemplating but I found it extremely hard to follow his tendency to be anything but succinct in his writing. He's a product of his 18th century culture that evidently was enamored with using every word available to convey a particular opinion, no matter how long the sentence would end up being. I wish I was smart enough to savvy that literary style but I'm not. Thus I recommend this lengthy tome for only those who find his long-winded technique intriguing.
"The death and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ hath wrought, and doth effectually procure, for all those that are concerned in it, eternal redemption, consisting in grace here and glory hereafter."
"The end which God effected by the death of Christ was the satisfaction of his justice: the end for whose sake he did it was either supreme, or his own glory; or subordinate, ours with him."
"The main foundation of all the confidence and assurance whereof in this life we may be made partakers (which amounts to 'joy unspeakable, and full of glory') ariseth from this strict connection of the oblation and intercession of Jesus Christ; -- that by the one he hath procured all good things for us, and by the other he will procure them to be actually bestowed, whereby he doth never leave our sins, but follows them into every court, until they be fully pardoned and clearly expiated, Heb. ix. 26. He will never leave us until he hath saved to the uttermost them that come unto God by him."
"In respect of us, the end of the oblation and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ was, not that God might if he would, but that he should, by virtue of that compact and covenant which was the foundation of the merit of Christ, bestow upon us all the good things which Christ aimed at and intended to purchase and procure by his offering of himself for us unto God...."
"...this is the sum:--'Jesus Christ, according to the counsel and will of his Father, did offer himself upon the cross, to the procurement of those things before recounted; and maketh continual intercession with this intent and purpose, that all the good things so procured by his death might be actually and infallibly bestowed on and applied to all and every one for whom he died, according to the will and counsel of God.'"
"The purpose of God in making his Son to be sin is, that those for whom he was made sin might become righteousness; that was the end of God's sending Christ to be so, and Christ's willingness to become so."
"Christ did not die for any upon condition, if they do believe; but he died for all God's elect, that they should believe, and believing have eternal life. Faith itself is among the principal effects and fruits of the death of Christ; as shall be declared. It is nowhere said in Scripture, nor can it reasonably be affirmed, that if we believe, Christ died for us, as though our believing should make that to be which otherwise was not, -- the act create the object; but Christ died for us that we might believe. Salvation, indeed, is bestowed conditionally; but faith, which is the condition, is absolutely procured."
"Only, for a close, I desire the reader to peruse that one place, Rom. viii. 32-34; and I make no doubt but that he will, if not infected with the leaven of the error opposed, conclude with me, that if there be any comfort, any consolation, any assurance, any rest, any peace, any joy, any refreshment, any exultation of spirit, to be obtained here below, it is all to be had in the blood of Jesus long since shed, and his intercession still continued; as both are united and appropriated to the elect of God, by the precious effects and fruits of them both drawn to believe and preserved in believing, to the obtaining of an immortal crown of glory, that shall not fade away."
In a time where much theology is fueled more by the political whim of the moment, it is refreshing and edifying to reach back into history and read some of the old Puritans. In particular, John Owen's "Death of Death ..." serves up a repast of solid spiritual nourishment in unfolding some of the depth of what God actually accomplished in the death of Christ. If you are into the theological fancy of the moment, you may want to go elsewhere; if you want to sound the deep waters of Scripture, Owen is a good pilot.
I hate to give this review one star. Truly, it is not for the contents of this book. Owen winsomely argues agains universal atonement, resulting in a doctrine well established by arguments from scripture. For that, I would give ten stars.
The one star is for the publisher. The cover looks great, but there is no title or author on the spine, which is particularly annoying for anyone planning on sliding this volume into a library. Second, the pages have unnecessarily tiny font with wide expanses of white on all sides. To make things worse, the text isn't even centered in the page. Adding terrible printing to a difficult text results in an overall undesirable product.
I bought this because it was affordable, but it wasn't so inexpensive as to warrant this terrible of a volume. "First rate publishers"? I think not.