How Bad Were the Puritans?

thumbnail-mayflowerDr. Joel R. Beeke

First, early Pilgrim and Puritan colonists in Massachusetts often had good relationships with native tribes such as the Wampanoag. The two groups traded with each other, and these Native Americans taught the colonists many skills. However, cultural differences, the increasing acquisition of land for the growing number of colonists, and rivalry among the native tribes brought inevitable conflict.

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By | November 22nd, 2016|Herald, Puritans|

A Godly Man is a Lover of the Word

03162015-HOGThomas Manton

Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a garden set with ornaments and flowers. A godly man delights to walk in this garden to sweetly solace himself. He loves every branch and part of the Word.

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By | July 10th, 2015|Christian Life, Herald, Puritans|

When God Withholds Babies

060920151354Thomas Jacomb

For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. —Philippians 4:11

What daily anxieties of spirit are there in some because of the lack of children! They have many other comforts, but the not having of this embitters all.

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By | June 9th, 2015|Family, Herald, Puritans|

The Puritans on the Help of the Holy Spirit in Prayer (2)

Man PrayingJohnny C. Serafini

The Spirit’s Help in the Matter or Content of Our Prayers

“We know not what we should pray for” (Rom. 8:26). This ignorance extends to the words we should use, the petitions we should present, the petitions we should refrain from presenting—indeed, the thoughts we should think. Thus we need help, and divine help at that. The traditions of men and the wisdom of this world will never inform us sufficiently. We need the Spirit to give us the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:14 –16). Traill wrote, “The voice of the Spirit is the best thing in our prayer; it is that God hears and regards.”13

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By | May 18th, 2015|Herald, Prayer, Puritans|

The Puritans on the Help of the Holy Spirit in Prayer (1)

Johnny C. Serafini

“Prayer, in the whole compass and extent of it, as comprising meditation, supplication, praise, and thanksgiving, is one of the most signal duties of religion.... It is not only an important duty in religion, but...without it there neither is nor can be the exercise of any religion in the world.”1 So wrote John Owen (1616 –1683), who, like his Puritan brethren, saw that prayer is essential to the Christian life. Prayer must also be true, that is, acceptable to God and according to His will; for this, the believer needs the help of the Spirit. The Puritans were keen on showing that Spirit-less prayer is as good as “a little cold prattle and spiritless talk,” as Thomas Manton (1620 –1677) wrote.2

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By | May 18th, 2015|Herald, Prayer, Puritans|

The Puritans on Human Impediments in Coming to Christ (2)

drjoelrbeeke031652015Dr. Joel R. Beeke

[The last article] considered the Puritans' responses to four human impediments in coming to Christ: neglecting Christ, false conversion, despair due to great sins, and spiritual complacency. This concluding article expounds their responses to an additional four human impediments in coming to Christ.

Impediment #5: Despair Due to Backsliding

Some people refuse to come to Christ because they believe their backsliding has disqualified them from doing so. They believe they have committed the unforgivable sin. They think they may have been saved at one time, but now all hope is lost because they have committed a terrible transgression. They have sinned against the Holy Spirit, and thus they are cast off forever.

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By | March 25th, 2015|Herald, Puritans|

The Puritans on Human Impediments in Coming to Christ (1)

drjoelrbeeke031652015Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Despite the freeness and graciousness of the gospel offer, and Christ’s willingness and ability to save sinners, many people do not come to Him. Some hold back, lingering in doubt, while others flatly refuse to come. Why do people hesitate or vacillate about whether to come? Why would people refuse the only remedy for their fatal sickness? What impediments are present? What stands in the way of their coming to Christ?

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By | March 16th, 2015|Herald, Puritans|

The Puritans on Coming to Christ

Dr-Joel-BeekeDr. Joel R. Beeke

Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, the great question has been: “How can sinful man be brought back to God?” In Genesis 3, God sent Adam and Eve away. Genesis 3:24 says, “So he drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” But Scripture makes it clear that there is a remedy. In Revelation 22, the New Jerusalem descends from heaven. In it we discover again the tree of life planted by a refreshing river flowing from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1–2). John therefore testifies, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (v. 17). Man was sent away from God, but now he is brought to God. Man was barred from the Tree of Life, but now a way to God has been opened through Christ (cf. Rev. 2:7). The question that remains is: How do you and I come to Christ?

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By | March 11th, 2015|Herald, Puritans|

The Life of William Perkins

william-perkinsDr. Joel R. Beeke

William Perkins was born in 1558 to Thomas and Hannah Perkins in the village of Marston Jabbett, in Bulkington parish, Warwickshire. As a youth, he indulged in recklessness, profanity, and drunkenness. In 1577, he entered Christ’s College in Cambridge as a pensioner, suggesting that socially he nearly qualified as gentry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1581 and a master’s degree in 1584.

While a student, Perkins experienced a powerful conversion that probably began when he overheard a woman in the street chide her naughty child by alluding to “drunken Perkins.” That incident so humiliated Perkins that he gave up his wicked ways and fled to Christ for salvation.

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By | March 10th, 2015|Biography, Herald, Puritans|

Interview on A Puritan Theology

a-puritan-theologyIn A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Joel Beeke and Mark Jones offer a substantial gift to the church. An “overview of Puritan thought concerning Scripture’s major doctrines, historically and systematically considered,” this groundbreaking volume covers fifty areas of doctrine, highlights the work of numerous theologians, and concludes with eight chapters exploring Puritan “theology in practice.” After all, the authors write, the “distinctive character of Puritanism was its quest for a life reformed by the Word of God.” Given that no previous work has ever woven the threads of Puritan teaching into a unified tapestry of systematic theology, A Puritan Theology is a remarkable achievement.

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By | March 9th, 2015|Book Reviews, Herald, Puritans|