Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:33
God has engaged himself, having chosen a people for himself, and secured them from all that any can do against them. Election is as eternal as God is, without variableness or shadow of change, and thus is called ‘an eternal purpose’, and it must stand (Eph. 3:11; Rom. 9:11). It is absolute and unconditional. No works were foreseen in us that were the cause of God’s choosing us; and no sin in us shall frustrate or make election void. By the act of election, we are wrapped and covered in Christ; he has chosen us in him; not in ourselves, not in our virtues, no, not for or because of anything but his own will (Eph. 1:4-11). Election is the permanent resolution of God to glorify his mercy on the vessels of mercy he foreordained unto glory (Rom. 9:15, 18, 23). By the act of electing love, it is concluded that all things whatsoever shall work together for good to those called according to the eternal purpose of God (Rom. 8:28-30). The eternal inheritance is by a covenant of free and unchangeable grace signed over to those who are chosen. It secures them from the danger of sin, and from the malice of Satan. The covenant is sealed by the blood of our advocate the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the mediator of this covenant and the guarantee for us in the great day of judgment. We are safe and sound before the Father’s face (Rom. 9:23; Heb. 7:22; 9:15; 7-24; 13:20; John 10:28-29). By God’s choice, purpose, and decree, the elect have been allotted in Christ a sufficiency of grace to bring the through all difficulties to glory. Every one of them, after the first act of faith – which also they shall certainly attain – shall receive the earnest and firstfruits of the Spirit into their souls which is part of the promise.
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)