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Life of Dr Owen
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To Charles Fleetwood, Esq.

Dear Sir, — The bearer has stayed long enough with us to save you the trouble of reading an account of me in my own scribbling: a longer stay I could not prevail with him for, though his company was a great refreshment to me. Both you and your whole family, in all their occasions and circumstances, are daily in my thoughts; and when I am enabled to pray, I make mention of you all without ceasing. I find you and I are much in complaining. For my part I must say, And is there not a cause? So much deadness, so much unspirituality, so much weakness in faith, coldness in love, instability in holy meditations, as I find in myself, is cause sufficient of complaints. But is there not cause also of thanksgiving and joy in the Lord? Are there not reasons for them? When I begin to think of them, I am overwhelmed; they are great, they are glorious, they are inexpressible. Shall I now invite you to this great duty of rejoicing more in the Lord? Pray for me, that I may do so; for the near approach of my dissolution calls for it earnestly. My heart has done with this world, even in the best and most desirable of its refreshments. If the joy of the Lord be not now strength unto it, it will fail. But I must have done. Unless God be pleased to affect some person or persons with a deep sense of our declining condition, of the temptations and dangers of the day, filling them with compassion for the souls of men, making them fervent in spirit in their work, it will go but ill with us. It may be these thoughts spring from causeless fears, it may be none amongst us has an evil, a barren heart but myself: but bear with me in this my folly; I cannot lay down these thoughts until I die; nor do I mention them at present as though I should not esteem it a great mercy to have so able a supply as Mr C., but I am groaning after deliverance; and being near the centre, do hope I feel the drawing of the love of Christ with more earnestness than formerly: but my naughty heart is backward in these compliances. My affectionate service to Sir John Hartopp, and his lady, and to the rest of your family, when God shall return them unto you. — I am, dear sir, yours most affectionately in everlasting bonds,

J. Owen.

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