then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 2 Peter 2:9
To enter into temptation there must be two things: First, by some special advantage or occasion, Satan attacks us with greater force than his ordinary solicitations. He takes advantage of a lust or corruption with much greater turbulence than usual. Secondly, our heart must be entangled enough in the temptation that we are not wholly able to eject or cast out the poison that has been injected. The soul is surprised how hard the entanglement is to resist. The soul may cry and pray, and the entanglement continues. Entering into temptation occurs in one of two seasons: (1.) When God allows Satan, for ends best known to himself, to gain a peculiar advantage against the soul; as in the case of Peter, he sought to sift him like wheat, and prevailed. (2.) When a man’s lusts and corruptions meet a particular provoking object or opportunity along life’s way, as it was with King David. When one enters into one of these seasons, he has entered into temptation. The hour of temptation is the hour that a temptation has arrived at its zenith, a season in which it grows to its greatest force, when it is most vigorous, active, and prevalent. It may take a while to get to this point, but given the right circumstances, temptation arrives at this very dangerous hour. When man has entered into it, it carries him quite away before it. At other times it has little power over a man; he can despise it, and easily resist it. Temptation at times is supported by other circumstances and occurrences that give it new strength and effectiveness. The man is weakened, the hour has come, he has entered into it, and it prevails. Blessed is he who is prepared for such a season. There is no escape without this preparation. If we maintain our preparation, we are safe.
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)