Meet the Puritans

Meet the Puritans

Samuel Sewall lived with his family in Puritan America between 1652 and 1730, and he suffered in ways unimaginable to us today. Over a period of 24 years, he and his wife Hannah had 14 children: his first son John died aged 17 months; his third son Hull died aged 23 months; his fourth son Henry...
This is the second post in a series related to my new book on the theology of William Strong (ca. 1611–1654). In the first post we asked "What is a covenant of works?" Now we'll look at whether God made such a covenant with Adam in the Garden. Consider two points drawn from Strong’s treatment of...
Dear Timothy, The Puritans were able to weather trials and rebuke pride because of their profound reliance upon the Holy Spirit. They keenly felt their inability to bring anyone to Christ as well as the magnitude of conversion. “God never laid it upon thee to convert those he sends thee to. No; to...
This is the first post in a series related to my new book on the theology of William Strong (ca. 1611–1654), an influential leader at the Westminster Assembly. Each post will focus on a particular question: 1. What is a covenant of works? 2. Did God make a covenant of works with Adam in the Garden...
"With troubled heart and trembling hand I write. The heavens have changed to sorrow my delight. How oft with disappointment have I met When I on fading things my hopes have set." [1] Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672) wrote the above in memory of her granddaughter and namesake, who died in June of 1669 at...
Satan tempts us to compare ourselves to men whom we think are worse than we are. "You do so much better than Brother Ralph," Satan says: "Compare yourself to Ralph. You know more theology than he does. You serve God more zealously than he does. You are a lit­tle sloppy with your holiness sometimes...
Dear Timothy, The Puritans show us how to handle trials in a Christian manner . Consider the Scottish brothers, Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine. In addition to the religious controversies that dampened their joy in ministry for twenty-five years, they endured much domestic grief. Ebenezer Erskine buried...
Dear Timothy, Perhaps nowhere are the Puritans so helpful as in offering guidelines for the process of spiritual, biblical meditation. Here's an outline of their method. First, ask the Holy Spirit for assistance. Pray for the power to harness your mind and to focus the eyes of faith on this task...
Almost any article today could have the word “Coronavirus” in the title. This small organism has changed most of our lives and continues to affect us in many ways. While some of our questions simply require a lot of wisdom, our most fundamental perplexities still find their answers in Scriptures,...
Late in 1664 it was apparent the bubonic plague was making one of its unwelcome visitations of Europe by registering in London for an extended stay checking out early in 1666. It varied in the number of victims from month to month, but it survived through all four seasons. Over 80,000 people died...