We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5
Among the faculties of the soul, much of our unnecessary trouble arises from the imagination. Its perception is a shallow understanding of good or bad taken from the senses. The delights of sense highly influence the imagination. Thus, if the very best things are accompanied by inconveniences, the imagination might misjudge them as bad. Likewise, if the very worst things bring respect and contentment in the world, they are imagined to be good. The imagination can see greater happiness in outward good things and a greater misery in outward difficulties than there really is. Many lives are almost nothing but imagination. Their tie is taken up with pleasuring their own imagination and despising that which is truly excellent. From this springs ambition and the desire to be great in the world. It leads to an immeasurable desire of abounding in the things the world highly values. What is worse, this corrupt desire of being great creeps into the church. Men will sacrifice their very lives for vainglory. When a man grieves more over his loss of reputation than his is behavior towards God, it is evidence that he lives more for reputation than for conscience. It mars our profession to go about heavenly things with earthly affections, and to seek Christ not in Christ, but in the world. The ungoverned imagination is a wild and raging thing. It is necessary that God by his Word and Spirit should erect a government in our hearts to captivate and direct this licentious faculty. To cure this malady, we must labour to bring our soul into obedience to God’s truth and Spirit. When the law of God by the Spirit is so written in our hearts, his law and our hearts become agreeable to one other, and the soul is inclined and made pliable for every good thought.
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.