November 5, 2006

John Howe (1630–1705) on the Design of Christ's Death

The enmity to him, which he so much resents, is not your designing any hurt or prejudice to him; but the contrariety of your temper to his kind and merciful designs towards you. Therefore they that mind earthly things, that is, that savour them most, (as the word signifies) and it must be understood as excluding the savour of better things, that is, who only savour them, and taste no pleasure or delight in spiritual or heavenly things; such are said to be enemies to the cross of Christ, i.e. to the design of his dying upon the cross, which was to procure for his redeemed a blessed state in heaven, and to bring them thither, not to plant and settle them here on earth. They are enemies, therefore, because his design and theirs lie contrary, and oppose one another. He is all for having them to heaven, and was so intent upon that design as not to shun dying upon a cross to effect it; they are all for an earthly felicity, and for a continual abode on earth to enjoy it. This is an opposition full of spite and enmity, to oppose him in a design of love, and upon which his heart was set with so much earnestness!
John Howe, "Of Reconciliation Between God and Man," in The Works of John Howe (Ligonier, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 1:432.


One website says that Howe "was as illustrious in his day as John Owen..." Too bad that so few "Calvinists" today are acquainted with his writings.

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