Read "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis
The Puritan's Index
The Puritans and Revival Christianity
Innumerable writers have attempted to explain the phenomena by political and social considerations. They have supposed that the success which the historical Reformers and Puritans achieved occurred through a curious combination of historical circumstances which cannot be expected to happen again. To the Christians of that era, however, the explanation was entirely different.
A Prayer From The Book That Started Puritanism
Dr. John Gerstner said it was the devotional book that started the Puritan movement (besides the Bible). Here's a prayer from one of the most popular devotional manuals written by the puritans of the 17th century.
The Puritan Fire
The real beginnings of Puritanism are seen in London, when, as the fruit of the sacrificial labors of Tyndale and his brethren, the Book of God was at last given to the people in their own tongue. The first six Bibles were set up in the nave of St. Paul's, and day after day crowds flocked to the edifice to drink from the living stream.
Great Puritan Messages
Sermon messages from some of the great Puritan preachers, such as Thomas Watson, John Bunyan, Richard Baxter, Thomas Brooks, Matthew Henry, Thomas Manton, John Owen and many more. Inspiring, convicting!
The Puritan Prayers
Twenty-three heart rending Puritan prayers from the book, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions.
The Puritan's Convictions
Puritanism generally extended the thought of the English Reformation, with distinctive emphases on four convictions: (1) that personal salvation was entirely from God, (2) that the Bible provided the indispensable guide to life, (3) that the church should reflect the express teaching of Scripture, and (4) that society was one unified whole.
The Puritans enjoyed a great number of forceful preachers and teachers. The learned Dr. William Ames explained "the doctrine of living of God" in The Marrow of Theology, a book used as a text during the first fifty years of Harvard College. The sermons and tracts of William Perkins outlined with sympathy the steps that a repentant sinner should take to find God.
The Major English Puritans
A larger more indepth look at the major English Puritans, also includes a list of some of the lesser known Puritans who also had an effect upon the puritan era.
Messages by the Puritans
Read powerful gospel messages written by some of the most beloved Puritans like John Owen, Christopher Love, Samuel Chadwick, Richard Baxter and John Bunyan just to name a few.
A Puritan Compass That Leads To Doctrinal Truth
Sometimes it's just easy to loose sight of the forest through the trees, and so it is with the teachings of the bible as well. From the quill of the 17th century Puritan John Flavel, comes this excellent one-paragraph summary of the bible. It's "old truth" that we can use as a compass, in evaluating modern methods and movements:
"Whatever religion or doctrine condones or makes allowances for sin is not of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ everywhere teaches self-denial and mortification of worldliness and sin. The whole stream of the gospel runs against those things. Scripture emphasizes the 'holy' and the 'heavenly' (not the sinful and the worldly). The true gospel has not even the slightest tendency to extol corrupt nature, or feed its pride by magnifying its freedom and power. And it rejects everything that undermines or obscures the merit of Christ, or tries to give any credit to man, in any way. And it certainly never makes the death of Christ a cloak to cover sin, but rather it always speaks of it as an instrument that destroys it!"
Overlay John Flavel's template on any of the fads and debates that are so prevalent in the modern church, and you'll have a clearer understanding of which side is true and which side is an impostor.
Great Puritan Messages
The Hallway to the Saints' Rest by Richard Baxter
The hallway to heaven is not barricaded anymore. The flaming sword no longer bars the passage to Paradise, for Christ has provided the way in. The porch of this temple is magnificent, and the gate of it is called "Beautiful." Here are the four corners of this porch of Paradise.
A Reproof to Such as are Only Pretenders to Godliness by Thomas Watson
Here is a sharp rebuke to such as are 'glittering dross' Christians, who only make a show of godliness, like Michal, who put 'an image in the bed', and so deceived Saul's messengers (I Sam. 19:16). These our Saviour calls 'whited sepulchres (Matt 23:27) - their beauty is all paint!
The Practice of Piety
A Puritan devotional manual, directing a Christian how to live, that he may please God
by Lewis Bayly (1611)
Consolations against impatience in sickness
If in your sickness by extremity of pain you be driven to impatience, meditate
1. That your sins have deserved the pains of hell; therefore you may with greater patience endure these fatherly corrections.
2. That these are the scourges of your heavenly Father, and the rod is in his hand. If you did suffer with reverence, being a child, the corrections of your earthly parents, how much rather should you now subject yourself, being the child of God, to the chastisement of your heavenly Father, seeing it is for your eternal good?
3. That Christ suffered in his soul and body far more grievous pains for you, therefore you must more willingly suffer his blessed pleasure for your own good (Isa 53:3.) Therefore, says Peter, "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps" (1 Pet 2:21.) And "Let us," says Paul, "run with joy the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross," etc. (Heb 12:1-2.)
4. That these afflictions which now you suffer are none other but such as "are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world," as witnesses Peter (1 Pet 5:9;) yes, Job's afflictions were far more grievous. There is not one of the saints which now are at rest in heavenly joys, but endured as much as you do before they went there; yes, many of them willingly suffered all the torments that tyrants could inflict upon them, that they might come unto those heavenly joys to which you are now called. And you have a promise, that "the God of all grace, after you have suffered a while, will make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (1 Pet 5:10.)
5. That God has determined the time when your affliction shall end, as well as the time when it began. Thirty-eight years were appointed the sick man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:5.) Twelve years to the woman who was suffering from bleeding (Matt 9:20.) Three months to Moses (Exod 2:2.) Ten days' tribulation to the angel of the Church at Smyrna (Rev 2:10.) Three days plague to David (2 Sam 24:13.) Yes, the number of the godly man's tears are registered in God's book, and the quantity kept in his bottle (Psalm 56:8.)
The time of our trouble, says Christ, is but a little while (John 16:16.) God's anger lasts but a moment, says David (Psalm 30.) A little season, says the Lord (Rev 6:11;) and therefore calls all the time of our pain but the hour of sorrow (John 16:21.) David, for the swiftness of it, compares our present trouble to a brook (Psalm 110:7), and Athanasius to a shower. Compare the longest misery that man endures in this life, to the eternity of heavenly joys; and they will appear to be nothing! "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18) And as the sight of a son safely born, makes the mother forget all her former deadly pain (John 16:21), so the sight of Christ in heaven, who was born for you, will make all these pangs of death to be quite forgotten, as if they had never been. Like Stephen, who, as soon as he saw Christ, forgot his own wounds, with the horror of the grave, and terror of the stones, and sweetly yielded his soul into the hands of his Savior (Acts 7.) Forget your own pain, think of Christ's wounds. Be faithful unto the death, and he will give you the crown of eternal life (Rev 2:10.)
6. That you are now called to repetitions in Christ's school of affliction, to see how much faith, patience, and godliness, you have learned all this while; and whether you can, like Job, receive at the hand of God some evil, as well as you have hitherto received a great deal of good (Job 2:10.) As therefore you have always prayed, "Your will be done," so be not now offended at this which is done by his holy will.
7. That "all things shall work together for the best, to those who love God;" insomuch that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, etc., shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:28,38-39.) Assure yourself that every pang is a prevention of the pains of hell, every respite a pledge of heaven's rest; and how many stripes do you esteem heaven worth? As your life has been a comfort to others, so give your friends a Christian example to die. Death is but the cross of Christ sent before to crucify the love of the world in you, that you may go eternally to live with Christ who was crucified for you. As you are therefore a true Christian, take up, like Simeon of Cyrene, with both your arms, his holy cross, carry it after him unto him. Your pains will shortly pass, your joys shall never pass away.
Peace and Stupidity
by John Owen
Many love to walk in a very careless, unwise profession. So long as they can hold out in the performance of outward duties, they are very regardless of the greatest evangelical privileges,-of those things which are the marrow of divine promises,-all real endeavours of a vital communion with Christ.
Such are spiritual peace, refreshing consolations, ineffable joys, and the blessed composure of assurance. Without some taste and experience of these things, profession is heartless, lifeless, useless; and religion itself a dead carcass without an animating soul. The peace which some enjoy is a mere stupidity.
They judge not these things to be real which are the substance of Christ's present reward; and a renunciation whereof would deprive the church of its principal supportments and encouragements in all its sufferings. It is a great evidence of the power of unbelief, when we can satisfy ourselves without an experience in our own hearts of the great things, in this kind of joy, peace, consolation, assurance, that are promised in the Gospel.
For how can it be supposed that we do indeed believe the promises of things future,-namely, of heaven, immortality, and glory, the faith whereof is the foundation of all religion,-when we do not believe the promises of the present reward in these spiritual privileges? And how shall we be thought to believe them, when we do not endeavour after an experience of the things themselves in our own souls, but are even contented without them? But herein men deceive themselves.
They would very desirously have evangelical joy, peace, and assurance, to countenance them in their evil frames and careless walking And some have attempted to reconcile these things, unto the ruin of their souls. But it will not be. Without the diligent exercise of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the grace of consolation.