October 2, 2019 - Seven Lessons from the Puritans

October 2, 2019

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
October 02, 2019

Seven Lessons from the Puritans (from Puritan Theology by Mark Jones and Joel Beeke) 
  1. Focus on Christ: that’s the way you should think of them-Christ was their greatest treasure. If you read some of the Puritans you can see that’s the case.John Owen has a whole volume on Christ as well as Samuel Rutherford.They could never stop talking about Christ. “More love to thee, more love to thee.”
  2. Maintained a Biblical Balance: That’s one of the things we struggle with.All of us are imbalanced in some way, but the Puritans avoided extremes (intellectualism, legalism, emotionalism, antinomianism).They were able to focus on the intellect without negating the emotion.They were able to maintain a healthy balance.They were even able to stay on that narrow train track when it came to human responsibility and divine sovereignty.
  3. Committed to teaching and catechizing especially their own children: that’s where the catechisms came from. The wanted to see a future generation of faithful men and women.
  4. Handling Trials: they were able to write about trials because the endured through many trials, especially domestic. Ebenezer Erskine lost 6 out of 15 children and then lost his wife.John Owen, who had 11 children…ten of them died! His wife died 8 years before he did.They understood the value of the shadow of death. If you read some of the paperbacks (Thomas Watson, John Trapp, Robert Leighton) they constantly addressed responding to trials.
  5. Handling Pride: The Puritans dealt with personal pride. Jonathan Edwards wrote about the bottomless depths of his own sin.Richard Baxter was concerned that personal pride would impact the pulpit.
  6. The Puritans relied on the Holy Spirit: “Ministers cannot get the door of men’s hearts, but the Spirit comes and must use the key to open the heart” -Thomas Watson. Remember what we said about John Owen: “A man may easier see without eyes, speak without a tongue, than truly mortify one sin without the Spirit.” So they saw how dependent they really were on the Spirit.
  7. The Puritans were men of prayer: That would explain their preaching- they were great petitioners.