John Owen (1616-1683) pastor, theologian and political leader wrote 338 years ago concerning “National Sins and National Judgments:”
“But it will have no success without these three things:
1. That there be a visible reformation, I will not say a conversion, but a visible reformation, vigorously attempted in and upon the body of the people.
2. Unless those who truly fear the Lord do mourn over the sins of the people continually. And,
3. Unless they are fervent in their prayers for their deliverance.
It doth not stand with the honor of God, the glory of his righteousness, holiness, word, and truth, to save this nation without these things; without an attempt at visible reformation of the body of the people; without his own people mourn over the sins of the nation, and abide in fervent prayer for that end. Without these, as Jeremiah the prophet told the Jews, “Though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.” (Jeremiah 37:10) So I say of our Chaldeans at this day: If half of them were executed, and the other half wounded, they should rise up and smite this city, unless we turn thus unto God.
We are called to consider the sins of the nation, and to deplore its state and condition upon the account of those sins. That is our present work; and these plain things God hath directed me unto from the reading of these words.”
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”