歐文在風暴中站立得穩的秘訣

按我們主張的真理與神密切交通,是歐文在所有這些教義風暴之中還能站立得穩的秘訣,當這些風暴來臨時,除了深深紮根在土裡的以外,一切都會被吹倒。他的下一部作品就闡明了這一秘訣,不再涉足爭議,轉而展示福音作為一種生命的力量的實踐表現。

這部作品名為《治死信徒身上的罪》(On the Mortification of Sin in Believers),包含他基於羅馬書八13的證道的一些實質內容。他說,出版這本書的首要動機是希望逃離公共爭論的領域,寫出更有普遍用處的文章,是“出於意願,而非必要”的產物,也是因為“看到一些人所犯的危險錯誤,近來,他們承擔引導別人治死罪的責任,然而,他們不明白福音的奧秘,不明白基督之死的功效,重新將一個軛放在他們的門徒的脖子上,就是通過自我努力來治死罪,這個軛是他們自己、甚至是他們的前輩都無法承擔的”。筆者無法知曉歐文在這裡指的是什麼文章,但眾所周知,巴克斯特早年的思想因這類文章而偏向有害的律法主義。甚至傑裡米·泰勒的《聖潔生活》也未能免俗,錯誤地給出了外在的規制和“益處還少的身體操練”作為具體對策,而非讓人立即轉向那些所到之處啟發、改變一切的偉大真理。在教會的任何時代,都不乏這類教師:

剝去、遮掩患處,
如果爛得深,就挖去裡面的全部潰爛,
這樣就看不到感染了。

歐文的作品出色地闡明了成聖的福音方法,筆者相信這是他自己經歷的鮮活反映。在論戰作品中,他就像藥劑師講論藥材,而在這本書中,他就像醫術精湛的大夫,用那些藥材來治癒靈魂的疾病。這部作品中有充足的證據表明,身處神學爭議的旋渦,參與高層紛繁複雜的公共事務,背負大學棘手的重擔,但歐文還是過著與神親近的生活,就像雅各在曠野的石頭上一樣,保持著與那看不見的永恆之神之間的隱秘相交。

——摘錄自安德烈˙湯姆森著,維真譯,《約翰˙歐文傳》
(甘肅人民美術出版社,2015),81-82頁,譯文僅些微修改

This secret communion with God in the doctrines contended for was the true key to Owen’s own steadfastness amid all those winds of doctrine which unsettled every thing but what was rooted in the soil. We have an illustration of this in the next treatise, which he soon after gave to the world, and in which he passes from the lists of controversy to the practical exhibition of the Gospel as a life-power. It was entitled, “On the mortification of Sin in Believers;" and contains the substance of some sermons which he had preached on Rom.8:13. He informs us that his chief motives for this publication were, a wish to escape from the region of public debate, and to produce something of more general use, that right seem a fruit “of choice, not of necessity;" and also, “to provide an antidote for the dangerous mistakes of some that of late years had taken upon them to give directions for the mortification of sin, who, being unacquainted with the mystery of the gospel and the efficacy of the death of Christ, have anew imposed the yoke of a self-wrought-out mortification on the necks of their disciples, which neither they nor their forefathers were ever able to bear." We have no means of knowing what were the treatises to which Owen here refers; but it is well known that Baxter mind at an early period received an injurious legal bias from a work of this kind; nor is even Jeremy Taylor’s “Holy Living" free from the fault of minute prescription of external rules and “bodily exercise, which profiteth little," instead of bringing the mind into immediate contact with those great truths which inspire and transform whatever they touch. Nor have there been wanting teachers, in any age of the church, who

“– do but skin and film the ulcerous place,
While rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen."

Owen’s work is a noble illustration of the Gospel method of sanctification, as we believe it to be a living reflection of his own experience. In his polemical works he was like the lecturer on the materia medica; but here he is the skilful physician, applying the medicine to the cure of soul-sickness. And it is interesting to find the ample evidence which this work affords, that, amid the din of theological controversy, the engrossing and perplexing activities of a high public station, and the chilling damps of a university, he was yet living near God, and, like Jacob amid the stones of the wilderness, maintaining secret intercourse with the eternal and invisible.

THE LIFE OF DR. OWEN  by Rev. Andrew Thomson,
in The Works of John Owen  vol. 1

 

治死信徒身上的罪

作者:約翰˙歐文(John Owen)
譯者:唐玲莉
出版者:美國麥種傳道會
出版日期:2019年九月
頁數:208

治死罪封面-繁正ok

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