The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Posts Tagged ‘Puritans

Precious Puritans

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In recent days a slur’s been cast on certain giants of the past,
Who did – so goes the painful claim, despite their other rightful fame
As men of penetrating sight who sought to know and do what’s right –
See nothing wrong with stealing men, but added their robust “Amen!”
To ownership of humankind, and seemed to be entirely blind
To all the horrors of the trade of God-made men by men unmade,
And treated more like wretched beast, as lower than the very least.
And these men, we are quickly told, in skilful form and language bold,
Were just the men whom we esteem, we preachers of more pallid sheen,
Our precious Puritans.

And so it goes.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 20 November 2012 at 11:23

Posted in While wandering . . .

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Digital Puritans

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Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 24 January 2012 at 11:15

Posted in Book notices

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Review: “Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings”

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Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings

Ed. Richard Rushing

Banner of Truth, 2009, 428pp., cloth, £16.50

ISBN 9781848710481

There is a great deal of editorial skill and sensitivity in this volume. The compiler has not just selected apposite passages, but has sometimes condensed them or otherwise reworked them in order to give the essence of several pages. Unlike some other such works, the source of the material is given on each page, so particularly fruity portions may be traced to their root. Here you will find uniformly profitable substance in all the freshness and variety that different authors brought to their work. Well-known men jostle among lesser lights to provide the reader with a daily morsel of good things, stretching the soul in various directions over the course of time. If you seek something to spice up your morning or evening devotional material, then you would be well served by this excellent volume.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 5 March 2011 at 08:55

Posted in Reviews

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Reading glasses

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Ryan McGraw gives us some stimulating thoughts on our reading of history, after himself reading The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism. His key contention is that we are better equipped to understand and appreciate the Puritans when we have a full-orbed view of them, not merely a narrow and sometimes overly-biased or myopic one. He concludes:

For my part, while I seek to benefit and to learn from history, I find that I am better equipped to do this in proportion to my knowledge of what actually happened, rather than viewing events entirely through idealized devotional literature. I do not mean to disparage such literature, but rather to supplement it with a more robust and full view of history.

The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism is a useful place to begin in order to better understand the origins, culture, development, and scope of Puritanism. The better you understand the Puritans and the national and international factors that made them who they were, the more your souls will profit from reading them.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 26 October 2010 at 08:48

Puritan preaching

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Joseph Steels asks and seeks to answer these questions:

But what exactly is Puritan preaching? How may it be properly distinguished from other forms of preaching? Why has its influence been so palatably [sic] felt by succeeding generations?

It is an interesting and carefully-researched answer, and worth chewing over. Perhaps that is why he uses the word palatably rather than palpably?

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 28 August 2010 at 10:00

A week of prayer

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This week the church here has been having a week of prayer, seeking the blessing of God in the coming year.  Our rough outline of concern was the glory of God in all things, the health of the church, and the spread of the gospel.  Unfortunately, the weather has been a touch awkward, and so many people were unable to attempt the journey to the church building yesterday that we had to cancel the prayer meeting.  Instead, I culled three offerings from from The Valley of Vision (Banner of Truth) and circulated them to the church here.

While my Old World Dissenting sensitivities rub up a little at the prospect of written prayers, these are not intended for rote repetition.  Puritan authors often wrote prayers into their books and published sermons, expressing reactions to truth and desires for God.  I chose three that I hoped would, in the absence of our corporate meeting, prime the pump for individual and family prayer.  They give us an insight into the hearts of godly men and women profoundly conscious both of their need of grace and of the fullness of grace held out by God in Christ.  I thought such excellent examples of close dealing with God might be more widely helpful, so I will post them over the next few days, beginning below.

My God,

I feel it is heaven to please thee,
and to be what thou wouldst have me be.
O that I were holy as thou art holy,
pure as Christ is pure,
perfect as thy Spirit is perfect!

These, I feel, are the best commands in thy Book,
and shall I break them? must I break them?
am I under such a necessity as long as I live here?

Woe, woe is me that I am a sinner,
that I grieve this blessed God,
who is infinite in goodness and grace!
O, if he would punish me for my sins,
it would not would my heart so deep to offend him;
But though I sin continually,
he continually repeats his kindness to me.

At times I feel I could bear any suffering,
but how can I dishonour this glorious God?
What shall I do to glorify and worship
this best of beings?
O that I could consecrate my soul and body
to his service,
without restraint, for ever!
O that I could give myself up to him,
so as never more to attempt to be my own!
or have any will or affections
that are not perfectly conformed to his will
and his love!

But, alas, I cannot live and not sin.

O may angels glorify him incessantly,
and, if possible, prostrate themselves lower
before the blessed King of heaven!
I long to bear a part with them in ceaseless praise;
but when I have done all I can to eternity
I shall not be able to offer more than
a small fraction of the homage
that the glorious God deserves.

Give me a heart full of divine, heavenly love.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 7 January 2010 at 12:13

Posted in prayer

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Banner gets Challiesd

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I am not sure ‘Challiesd’ was a word before a few moments ago.  That is neither here nor there.

Banner of Truth do a sponsored post (with a great offer of a free book for those who have never read the Puritans).  As you would expect, it is a puff piece, but at least it has to do with books that are generally worthy of being pushed and should not need to be puffed.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 13 October 2009 at 13:50

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