For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4
One of the prime acts of faith is to cast your soul on God as all-sufficient to make you completely happy. Faith is content for its honour to come from God. When a temptation comes saying; ‘Soul, you my raise yourself in the world to this place of honour if you will compromise your profession or allow yourself just this one sin’, your faith chokes the arrow. Faith remembers to whom it belongs. God is your supreme Lord. Faith realizes that the honour and applause you get by sin places you under Satan’s dominion, and that all of the world’s pomp cannot satisfy. The world will beget a thousand cares and fears, but cannot quiet any of them. Faith renounces the world’s honour rather than defile its conscience. So, the great host of witnesses stand as trophies of faith (Heb. 11). O might their nobility steal into our hearts! What courage does it put into the soldier to see someone before him run upon the face of death! Faith turns the exploits of former saints into prayer: ‘Where is the Lord God of Abraham, Moses, and those other worthies, who by faith trampled the world’s pomp and glory, subdued temptations, stopped the mouths of lion-like lusts? Is not God also willing to give us the victory? Does not the same blood and spirit run in the veins of all believers? Will they be victorious but I only a slave to corruption? Help me Lord that I also might conquer.’ Faith pleads: ‘O my soul, prove yourself like these holy men by your victory over the world.’ Is your faith a temptation quenching faith? Is it able to defend you in the day of battle, and cover your soul in safety when Satan’s darts fly about you? Go and touch Christ by faith that virtue may flow from him to your soul and quench the fiery darts of temptation.
Dr. Ryken’s presentation of the Puritan view and style of life is perceptive and accurate. He allows the Puritans to speak for themselves on topics ranging from “Church and Worship” to “Money” and “Marriage and Sex.” Worldly Saints offers a fine introduction to seventeenth-century Puritanism in its English and American contexts. The work is rich in quotations from Puritan worthies and is ideally suited to general readers who have not delved widely into Puritan literature.
“Ryken’s Worldly Saints offers a fine introduction to seventeenth-century Puritanism in its English and American contexts. The work is rich in quotations from Puritan worthies and is ideally suited to general readers who have not delved widely into Puritan literature. It will also be a source of information and inspiration to those who seek a clearer understanding of the Puritan roots of American Christianity.” —Harry Stout (Yale University)
“…the typical Puritans were not wild men, fierce and freaky, religious fanatics and social extremists, but sober, conscientious, and cultured citizens, persons of principle, determined and disciplined, excelling in the domestic virtues, and with no obvious shortcomings save a tendency to run to words when saying anything important, whether to God or to man. At last the record has been put straight.” —J.I. Packer (Regent College)
“Worldly Saints provides a revealing treasury of primary and secondary evidence for understanding the Puritans, who they are, what they believed, and how they acted. This is a book of value and interest for scholars and students, clergy and laity alike.” —Roland Mushat Frye (University of Pennsylvania)