He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3
Christ’s love made him willing to suffer for us. He suffered all the misery that our sin deserved. He who caused the vast fabric of heaven and earth to start out of nothing, King of kings and Lord of lords, was content to take upon him the form of a servant. He was willing to be accounted as ‘a worm, and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised of the people’ (Psa. 22:6-7). He who was the object of eternal praises was, out of love for us, reviled and slandered as a drunkard, a glutton, a blasphemer, a mad-man, and possessed with the devil. He in whose presence was fullness of joy, was for the love of us, willing to become ‘a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief’. This love made God willing to be made a curse, to be sold as a slave, and the Lord of life to die a base, accursed, and cruel death. There was no sorrow like your sorrow, no love like your love. Was it not enough, dearest Saviour, that you were willing to pray, and sigh, and weep for us perishing wretches? Will you also bleed and die for us? Was it not enough that you were hated, slandered, blasphemed, buffeted, but you were also scourged, nailed, wounded, and crucified? Was it not enough to feel the cruelty of man? Would you also undergo the wrath of God? Was it not enough to die once, but to also taste the second death and suffer the pins of death in body and soul? O the transcendent love of Christ! Heaven and earth are astonished t it. What tongue can express it? What heart can conceive it? The tongues, the thoughts of men and angels are far below it. O the height and depth and breadth and length of the love of Christ! Our thoughts are swallowed up in this depth, and there we must be content till glory shall enable us to have no other employment but to praise, admire, and adore this love of Christ.
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)