From the Preface: The desperate issues and products of men's temptations are seen daily in partial and total apostasy, in the decay of love, the overthrow of faith, our days being filled with fearful examples of backsliding, such as former ages never knew; whilst there is a visible declension from reformation seizing upon the professing party of these nations, both as to personal holiness and zeal for the interest of Christ... For those who have in general a sense of these things, -- who also, in some measure are able to consider that the plague is begun, that they may be farther awakened to look about them, lest the infection have approached nearer to them, by some secret and imperceptible ways, than they did apprehend; or lest they should be surprised at unawares hereafter by any of those temptations that in these days either waste at noon or else walk in darkness, -- is the ensuing warning intended.
A Solemn Warning to Watch and Pray Biography of John Owen - the author of this book...
(9th Edition of The Encyclopaedia Britannica -- 1885)
OWEN, John (1616-1683), theologian, was born of Puritan parents at Stadham in Oxfordshire in 1616. At twelve years of age he was admitted at Queen's College, Oxford, where he took his B.A. degree in 1632 and M.A. in 1635. During these years he worked with such diligence that he allowed himself but four hours sleep a night, and damaged his health by this excessive labour.