I think the verses that follow Owen's quote (vs. 38-42) add important meaning:
- "Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity
and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often
and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again. How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert! They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel".
We will never successfully mortify any sin in our lives unless we have a good sense of the holiness of God against which to contrast our sinful nature. Without that we done as Owen's sinner;
- "...to his former iniquity he has added cursed hypocrisy, and is now on a safer path to hell than he was before. He has got another heart than he had, that is more cunning; not a new heart, that is more holy".