John Owen’s Final Words
I am going to him whom my soul hath loved, or rather hath love me with an everlasting love; which is the whole ground of all my consolation.
The passage is very irksome and wearisome through strong pain of various sorts which are all issued in an intermitting fever.
All things were provided to carry me to London today attending to the advice of my physician, but we were all disappointed by my utter disability to understand the journey.
I am leaving the ship of the church in a storm, but while the great Pilot is in it the loss of a poore under-rower will be inconsiderable.
Live and pray and hope and waite patiently and doe not despair; the promise stands invincible that he will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
Two days later William Payne, a friend who was overseeing the printing of his latest book, The Glory of Christ, paid him a visit. Payne assured Owen that plans were proceeding well for the publication.
I am glad to hear it; but O brother Payne! The long wished-for day is come at last, in which I shall see the glory in another manner than I have ever done, or was capable of doing in the world.
These were Owen’s last recorded words. He died that day, August 24, 1683—St. Bartholomew’s Day—exactly twenty years after the Great Ejection of the Puritans. He was 67 years old.