But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Faith realizes that our current state is not the result of the axe of judgment, but the pruning knife of affliction. It is not a cup to poison but to heal, no matter how bitter the taste. You are kept by his power an the evil one cannot touch you. You are in a safe harbor under the rock of Christ. You will never be confounded. If there is sickness or poverty, it is in your Father’s own hand. If a rod comes from a malicious enemy’s hand, your Father stands by, looks on, and will moderate the number of stripes. The devils could not go one inch beyond the herd of swine. God knows your strength and will not permit them to lay on you more than you are able to bear. His wisdom and grace shall be sufficient for you. Faith further assures you that God not only restrains your crosses, he has determined that they bring the greatest benefit possible to you. Being administered by a Father who knows your frame, it will work for your very best. When you feel your heart sinking for the present, remember you will be better many days after. Faith reminds us that Christ is our partner in affliction. He upholds the greatest part of our burden. Jesus on the way to glory suffered the crown of thorns, the spittings, the buffetings, the mockings and reproaches of vile sinners, and showed himself to be the Son f God, not by coming down from the cross, but by enduring it. If you wish to be his disciple, the first lesson in his school is the cross. Deny yourself, take it up and follow him. Glory with the martyrs, and our Master. Faith sets before it the infinite payment of reward and eternal weight of glory. Paul in light of this, counted his afflictions light and momentary in comparison. This made him sing in the dungeon. ‘Many are the troubles of the righteous, but by faith we stand, by faith we fight, by faith we overcome.’
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)