Category Archives: Puritans

The John Owen Collection

9781781919064

John Owen is amongst the best known of the Puritans (1616-1683). He was a profound and thought provoking pastor-theologian. Death of Death in the Death of Christ is the latest in the John Owen Collection from our Christian Heritage Imprint and has a number of features to assist the reader in getting to grips with John Owen’s writings:

  • The text has been divided into chapters.
  • Subheadings inserted. The contents pages include primary and secondary subheadings to aid navigation.
  • The style and placement of biblical references has been made consistent with modern practice.

Description:

Death of Death in the Death of Christ was John Owen’s first masterpiece. Written from seven years of studying and reflection by one of the greatest minds in theological history, its exploration into the Scriptural perspective on the doctrine of universal redemption is yet to be answered or paralleled.

From the foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson:

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ ranks among the best known, and indeed may actually be the best known, of the dozens of books that flowed from the pen of John Owen during his four decade long career as an author. Whenever there is a renewed interest in what lies at the heart of the gospel, these pages have a tendency to be rediscovered and re-read. It seems that each generation needs to discover them anew. Weigh carefully what you read; compare it with Scripture. Allow Owen to challenge your thinking. For this is a book to make you think.

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Other titles in the John Owen Collection:

full size image The Person of Christ: Declaring a Glorious Mystery—God and Man by John Owen9781845502096 9781857924749 9781857924756 9781845505998 9781845509743

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Monday Meditations: Without Money – Samuel Rutherford

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1

Notions of justification without faith (as with the Antinomians) cast loose the covenant, “I will be your God.” But here there is a condition—God is not bound and we free; therefore, this is the other part, “and ye shall be my people.” Now, it is taught by libertines, that there can be no closing with Christ, in a promise that has a qualification or condition expressed; and that conditional promises are legal. It is true, if the word “condition” be taken in a wrong sense, the promises are not conditional. For, Arminians take a condition for a free act, which we absolutely may perform or not perform by free will, not acted by the pre-determinating grace of Christ; so jurists take the word: but this makes men lords of heaven and hell, and puts the keys of life and death over to absolute contingency. Conditions have a Popish sense, for doing that which, by some merit, moves God to give to men wages for work, and so, promises are not conditional: but libertines deny all conditions. But taking condition, for any qualification wrought in us by the power of the saving grace of God; Christ promises soul-ease, but upon a condition, which His grace works, that the soul be sin-sick for Christ; and He offers “wine and milk” (Isa. 55:1); “And the water of life freely,” (Rev. 22:17) upon condition that you buy without money: no purse is Christ’s grace-market, no hire and sense of wretchedness is a hire for Christ.

Samuel Rutherford

Samuel Rutherford

About Samuel Rutherford:
Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) was a Church of Scotland minister, theologian, controversialist, devotional writer, and political theorist. He was one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly, and was a prominent defender of mainstream orthodoxy. He was active in the Presbyterian and Covenanter cause. Rutherford’s posthumous reputation rests chiefly on his Letters, which were first published in Holland in 1664, and quickly became a classic of evangelical Protestant piety. Both Richard Baxter and Charles Spurgeon praised the Letters, and they were republished no fewer than eighty times in English. This month’s readings are from Rutherford’s Trial and Triumph of Faith (1645), a collection of sermons on the healing of the Canaan woman’s daughter (Matt. 15:21-28).

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

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Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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Monday Meditations: Serve God with Holiness – Thomas Manton

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

“If, then, I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear?” Malachi 1:6

We are to pray with a childlike reverence and affection in prayer. If we expect the supplies of children, we must perform the duties of children. God will be owned as a father not with a fellow-like familiarity, but with humility and with an awe of His majesty. We must also pray with love to God. Now, our love to God is mainly seen by our subjection and obedience to His laws. Thus Christ would have us take up God in prayer under such a relation, that we might mind our duty to Him: “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Pet. 1:17). We never pray aright but when we pray resolving to cast off all sin. How can we call God Father, whom we care not to please day-by-day? So the Lord treats His people: “Thou hast said, Thou art my father. Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest” (Jer. 3:5, 6). God takes it to be a contumely and reproach to Himself when we do evil, yet come and call Him Father. He takes it ill that men should come and flatter Him with lying lips, and do not walk as children in holy obedience. Therefore, it is an engagement to serve God with holiness.

Thomas Manton

Thomas Manton

About Thomas Manton:
Thomas Manton (1620-1677) was a nonconformist minister who was educated at Oxford. He was ordained by Bishop Joseph Hall and later joined the Presbyterian cause. He was a proponent of a rigorous evangelical Calvinism and was renowned for preaching long expository sermons on both James and Jude. More than once he preached before the House of Commons during the English Civil War. He preached the funeral sermon of Christopher Love, who was executed for treason in the summer of 1651, and was involved throughout the rest of his career reconciling the Presbyterians with the Congregationalists. His most famous posts were as a lecturer at Westminster Abbey and later as rector of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden. His published works were well regarded by his contemporaries, and Archbishop James Ussher described him as a “voluminous preacher.” His Complete Works were collected and published in twenty-two volumes in the nineteenth century. The selection above is taken from his A Practical Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer (1684).

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

Where to Buy:
Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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Monday Meditations: Christian’s Warfare – William Gurnall

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10

The Christian is to proclaim and prosecute an irreconcilable war against his bosom sins; those sins which have lain nearest his heart, must now be trampled under his feet. So David, “I have kept myself from my iniquity” (Ps. 18:23). Now what courage and resolution does this require? You think Abraham was tried to purpose, when called to take his “son, his son Isaac, his only son whom he loved” (Gen 22:2), and offer him up with his own hands, and no other; yet what was that to this? Soul, take your lust, your only lust, which is the child of your dearest love, your Isaac, the sin which has caused the most joy and laughter, from which you have promised yourself the greatest return of pleasure or profit; as ever you look to see my face with comfort, lay hands on it and offer it up: pour out the blood of it before me; run the sacrificing knife of mortification into the very heart of it; and this freely, joyfully, for it is no pleasing sacrifice that is offered with a countenance cast down—and all this now, before you have one embrace more from it. Truly this is a hard chapter, flesh and blood cannot bear this saying; our lust will not lie so patiently on the altar, as Isaac, or as a “Lamb that is brought to the slaughter which was dumb,” but will roar and shriek; yea, even shake and rend the heart with its hideous outcries. Who is able to express the conflicts, the wrestlings, and the convulsions of spirit the Christian feels, before he can bring his heart to this work? Or who can fully set forth the art, the rhetorical insinuations, with which such a lust will plead for itself?

William GurnallAbout William Gurnall:
William Gurnall (1616-1679), a Church of England minister, was born in St. Margaret’s parish, King’s Lynn, Nor- folk. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in March 1632, and soon after earned both a B.A. and an M.A. He was made rector of Lavenham in Suffolk in 1644, but seems to have been curate before at Sudbury. At the Restoration he signed the declaration required by the Act of Uniformity (1662) and was ordained by Edward Reynolds, Bishop of Norwich. He was criticized for conforming in a 1665 tract, Covenant-Renouncers, Desperate Apostates. Gurnall’s chief work, which had a significant impact both in his lifetime and long afterwards is his The Christian in Compleat Armour (1655-1662). This massive work, originally published in three parts, was famous as a work of spiritual consolation and exhortation. Though its overarching theme was that of spiritual warfare, The Christian in Compleat Armor is a cornucopia of Christian divinity.

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

Where to Buy:
Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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Monday Meditations: God’s Wisdom – Thomas Watson

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans
“Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?” -Job 38:36

Meditate on the wisdom of God. He is called “the only wise God” (1 Tim. 1:17). His wisdom shines forth in the works of providence; He sits at the helm guiding all things regularly and harmoniously; He brings light out of darkness; He can strike a straight stroke by a crooked stick; He can make use of the injustice of men to do that which is just; He is infinitely wise, He breaks us by afflictions, and upon these broken pieces of the ship, brings us safely to shore; meditate on the wisdom of God. Meditation on God’s wisdom will sweetly calm our hearts when we see things go badly in the public. The all-wise God holds the reins of government in His hand; and whoever the earthly ruler—God over-rules; He knows how to turn all to good; His work will be beautiful in its season. When things go badly with us in particular, the meditation on God’s wisdom will rock our hearts quiet. The wise God has set me in this condition, and whether health or sickness, His wisdom will order it for the best. God will make a golden cordial from poison, all things shall be beneficial and medicinal to me; either the Lord will expel some sin, or exercise some grace. Meditation on this will silence murmuring.

Thomas WatsonAbout Thomas Watson:
Thomas Watson (d. 1686) is one of the most prolific and most beloved Puritans. Little is known about his early life other than that he entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1635, a prominent Puritan institution at the time. He graduated B.A. (1639) and M.A. (1642), and served as chap- lain to the Puritan Lady Vere. In 1646 he was at the City church of St. Stephen Walbrook. He was implicated in the plot to restore Charles II (Love’s Plot) and was thus impris- oned. Later he returned to St. Stephen’s in 1652. He likely became rector of St. Stephen’s in 1655 or 1656, succeeding the famed Puritan Ralph Robinson, and was ejected from the parish in 1662. He preached in various places until his death in 1686. Watson’s books went into many editions in his own century and were popular well into the nineteenth; his magnum opus was his mammoth A Body of Practical Di- vinity, published posthumously in 1692, which consisted of sermons on the shorter catechism of the Westminster Assem- bly. The selections for this month are taken from Watson’s A Christian on the Mount (1657).

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

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Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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Monday Meditations: A Bent of Affection

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

A Bent of Affection
“Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.” -Psalm 107:19

The poor woman prayed with good will, with a bent of affection. Why is crying used in praying? Had it not been more modesty to speak to this soul-redeeming Savior, who hears sometimes before we pray, than to cry out and shout? for the disciples do after complain, that “she crieth so after them.” Was Christ so difficult to be entreated? The reasons of crying are: want cannot blush. The pinching necessity of the saints is not tied to the law of mod- esty. Hunger cannot be ashamed. “I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise” (Ps. 55:2); and Hezekiah, “Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove” (Isa. 38:14). “I went mourning without the sun; I stood up, and I cried in the congregation” (Job 30:28). Second, though God hear prayer, only as prayer offered in Christ, not, because very fervent; yet fervor is a heavenly ingredient in prayer. An arrow drawn with full strength has a speedier issue; therefore, the prayers of the saints are expressed by crying in Scripture. “O my God, I cry by day, and thou hearest not.” (Ps. 22:2); “At noon will I pray, and cry aloud” (Ps. 55:17); “In my distress I cried to the Lord” (Ps. 18:6); “Unto thee have I cried, O Lord” (Ps. 88:13); “Out of the depths have I cried” (Ps. 130:1)…There is violence offered to God in fervent prayer. Moses is answered, when he is wres- tling with God by prayer for the people, “Now, therefore, let me alone, that my anger may wax hot against them” (Exod. 32:10). “Let me alone,” is a word of putting violent hands on any.

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

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Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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Monday Meditations: To Raise our Faith and Hope

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

To Raise our Faith and Hope
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” -2 Chronicles 16:9

He is such a Father as is not ignorant of our wants. The care of His providence is over all the creatures He has made. God has an inspection over them, to provide necessaries for them; much more over His people. His eyes run to and fro, to find them out in all the places of their dispersion; and He does exercise His power for their relief. Now this thought should be rooted in our hearts when we come to pray to God: I go to a Father, which hath found me out in the throng of His creatures, and knows what is good for me. This is a great ground why we should not use an abundance of words, because God knows what my needs are. Words are not required for God’s sake, but for ours; not to inform God, but that we may perform our duty the better. So far as they are useful, so they should be used to warm our affections and to strengthen our faith. Words at first are vent to affection, but afterwards they continue to increase the affection; as a hearth is first warmed by the fire, and then it serves to keep in the fire. And they conduce to strengthen our faith while we plead promises in God’s hearing. We wrestle with God that we may catch a heat ourselves. And therefore words should be only used as they conduce to the strengthening our faith, or continuing our affection to God; longer than they serve that end in prayer, they are babbling and vain repetitions, and much speaking, which Christ forbids. There is not a change in God, but a change in us, wrought by prayer. It is neither to give information to God, that He may know our meaning, nor to move Him and persuade Him to be willing by our much speaking, but only to raise up our own faith and hope towards God.

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

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Monday Meditations: Delight in God’s Commands

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

Delight in God’s Commands

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
Psalm 86:11

There flows from this godly fear a great delight in the holy com- mands of God; that is, a delight to be conformable unto them. “Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments” (Ps. 112:1). This confirms that which was said before, namely, that this fear provokes to a holy and reverent use of the means; for that cannot be, when there is not a holy, yea, a great delight in the commandments. Wherefore this fear makes the sinner to abhor that which is sin, because that is contrary to the object of his delight. A man cannot delight himself at the same time in things directly opposite one to another, as sin and the holy commandments are; therefore Christ says of the servant, he “cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24); if he cleaves to the one, he must hate and despise the other: there cannot, at the same time, be service to both, because that they are at enmity one with the other: so are sin and the commandments; therefore, if a man delights him- self in the commandments, he hates that which is opposite, which is sin; how much more when he greatly delights in the command- ments! Now, this holy fear of God takes the heart and affections from sin, and sets them upon the holy commandments; therefore such a man is rightly esteemed blessed. For no profession makes a man blessed, but that which is accompanied with an alienation of the heart from sin; nor does any thing do that when this holy fear is wanting. It is from this fear, then, that love to and delight in the holy commandments flow; and so by that the sinner is kept from those falls and dangers of miscarrying that other professors are so subject to: he greatly delights in the commandments.

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

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Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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Monday Meditations: The Son’s Works

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

The Son’s Works

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
Psalm 85:10

The works of the Son for us were these; to ransom and redeem us by His sufferings and righteousness, to give out the promise or law of grace, and rule and judge the world as their Redeemer, on terms of grace, and to make intercession for us, that the benefit of His death may be communicated; and to send the Holy Ghost, which the Father also doth by the Son. The works of the Holy Ghost for us are these; to indite the holy Scriptures, by inspiring and guiding the prophets and apostles, and sealing the Word by His miraculous gifts and works; and the illuminating and exciting the ordinary ministers of the gospel, and so enabling them and helping them to publish that Word; and, by the same Word, illuminating and converting the souls of men. So that, as you could not have been reasonable creatures if the Father had not created you; nor have had any access to God if the Son had not redeemed you; so neither can you have a part in Christ, or be saved, except the Holy Ghost do sanctify you. So that by this time you may see the several causes of this work: The Father sends His Son: the Son redeems us, and makes the promise of grace; the Holy Ghost indites and seals this gospel; the apostles are the secretaries of the Spirit to write it; the preachers of the gospel to proclaim it, and persuade men to obey it; and the Holy Ghost makes their preaching effectual, by opening the hearts of men to entertain it; and all this to repair the image of God upon the soul, and to set the heart upon God again.

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

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Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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Monday Meditations: The Wing of the Soul

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

The Wing of the Soul

I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Psalm 77:12

Meditation is the soul’s retiring of itself. A Christian, when he goes to meditate, must lock up himself from the world. The world spoils meditation; Christ went by Himself into the mountainside to pray (Matt. 14:23), so, go into a solitary place when you are to meditate. “Isaac went out to meditate in the field” (Gen. 24:63); he sequestered and retired himself that he might take a walk with God by meditation. Zacchaeus had a mind to see Christ, and he got out of the crowd, “He ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him” (Luke 19:3, 4). So, when we would see God, we must get out of the crowd of worldly business; we must climb up into the tree by retiredness of meditation, and there we shall have the best prospect of heaven. The world’s music will either play us asleep, or distract us in our meditations. When a mote has gotten into the eye—it hinders the sight. Just so, when worldly thoughts, as motes, are gotten into the mind, which is the eye of the soul—it cannot look up so steadfastly to heaven by contemplation. Therefore, as when Abraham went to sacrifice, “he left his servant and the donkey at the bottom of the hill” (Gen. 22:5) so, when a Christian is going up the hill of meditation, he should leave all secular cares at the bottom of the hill, that he may be alone, and take a turn in heaven. If the wings of the bird are full of slime, she cannot fly. Meditation is the wing of the soul; when a Christian is beslimed with earth, he cannot fly to God upon this wing.

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

Where to Buy:
Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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