Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched? Proverbs 6:28
If you see many lying sick, weak, and wounded in a hospital with many diseases, and if you should inquire how they fell into this condition, and they all tell you that such and such a thing was the occasion of their trouble, would it not make you careful what you had to do with that thing? Surely it would. If you go to a dungeon, and see many miserable creatures bounds in chains for an approaching day of execution, and inquire how they were brought into that condition, and they all fixed on the same thing, would you not care to avoid it? So is the case with entering into temptation. Ah! How many poor, miserable souls, spiritually wounded by one sin or another, have we everywhere. Ask them how they came into such a condition – ‘Alas! We entered into temptation and fell into cursed snares, and it has brought us into the sad condition.’ Aye, if a man could look into the dungeons of hell, and see the poor damned souls that lie bound in chains of darkness, and hear their cries, what would he hear? Are they not cursing their tempters and temptations? Shall we be negligent in this? If you knew all who have fallen by entering into temptation, you would be more watchful and careful. Men will not come out of their temptation without wounds and scars. We should watch the first rising of sin and all the ways in which Satan has made his approach to us, even if it seems ever so harmless. Have we not our own experience of weakness, folly, and the invincible power of temptation? If you neglect a careful watch, you will certainly enter into temptation, and just as certainly fall into sin. Do not flatter yourselves: ‘Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.’ Past grace received will not preserve you from evil; you must stand upon your watch.
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.