January 3

 

 We are more than conquerors through him.  Romans 8:37

 

The believer is to persevere in his Christian course to the end of his life.  We have known many who have gone into the field, and liked the work of a soldier for a battle or two, but soon have had enough, and come running home.  There are so many professors and so few Christians indeed; so many that run and so few obtain; many go into the field against Satan, and so few come out conquerors. Few have the courage and resolution to grapple with the difficulties that meet them in the way.  Israel came joyfully out of Egypt, but when their bellies were a little pinched with hunger, they were ready to fly from their colours, and make a dishonourable retreat into Egypt. Many who profess the gospel fail to endure when trouble comes, and alas! Their hearts fail them.  O how many depart from Christ at this crossroads!  Do not say you have royal blood running in your veins, and you are born of God, except you can prove your pedigree by this heroic spirit; to dare to be holy in spite of men and devils.  How uncomely a sight it is to see a bold sinner and a fearful saint; one resolved to be wicked, and a Christian wavering in his holy course; to see hell keep the field while the saints hide their colours for shame.  Take heart, O ye saints, and be strong; your cause is good.  God himself adopts your quarrel.  He shall lead you on with courage, and bring you off with honour.  He lived and died for you.  For mercy and tenderness to his soldiers, there is none like him.  Christ poured out his blood as balm to heal your wounds.  He never turned his head from danger: no, not even when hell’s malice and heaven’s justice appeared in the field against him.  A few days’ conflict will be crowned with heaven’s glory.  In a word, Christians, every exploit faith causes a shout in heaven while you slip out of your enemies’ hands.

 

Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were

 

 

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.

 

Endorsements:

 

“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)

 

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