John Owen on the cost of being a Christian

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
An Instruction in, and consent unto the Doctrine of Self-denial and bearing of the Cross, in a particular manner: For this is made indispensably necessary by our Saviour himself, unto all that will be his Disciples. And it hath been a great disadvantage unto the Glory of Christian Religion, that Men have not been more and better instructed therein.

It is commonly thought, that who ever will, may be a Christian at an easy rate, it will cost him nothing. But the Gospel gives us another account of these things. For it not only warns us, that Reproaches, Hatred, Sufferings of all sorts, oft-times to Death it self, are the common lot of all its Professors, who will live Godly in Christ Jesus; but also requires, that at our initiation into the Profession of it, we consider aright the dread of them all, and engage cheerfully to undergo them.

Hence, in the Primitive Times, whilst all sorts of miseries were continually presented unto them who Embraced the Christian Religion, their willing engagement to undergo them, who were Converted, was a firm Evidence of the sincerity of their Faith, as it ought to be unto us also in times of Difficulty and Persecution. Some may suppose that the Faith and Confession of this Doctrine of Self-denial and readiness for the Cross, is of use only in time of Persecution, and so doth not belong unto them who have continually the countenance and favour of public Authority. ...

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