Which puritan to begin with?

Discussion in 'Puritan Literature' started by Christoffer, Oct 14, 2009.

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  1. Christoffer

    Christoffer Puritan Board Sophomore

    I am thinking about starting to read some of the puritans. I was looking for some advice on which of them to begin with.

    Dense, complicated english is quite exhausting for me to read, so I wonder if there are any puritans that could be considered more of an "easy" read that could be recommended? If there aren't any, which do you consider the easiest?

    I am looking for anything that deals with the joys and trials of the christian life.
     
  2. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    Pilgrims progress is considered a puritan work no? :p

    I have found Owen's Mortification of Sin to be useful.
     
  3. Irish Presbyterian

    Irish Presbyterian Puritan Board Freshman

    If you're starting into reading the Puritans then the best place to start is Banner of Truth's 'Puritan Paperbacks' series. Its the most accessible way of getting a hold of these wonderful writers.

    Don't start with John Owen, unless you get the updated version of 'Communion with God' that is edited by Justin Taylor and Kelly M. Kapic. Owen is certainly 'the Prince of the Puritans' but his language is dense and not often easy reading.

    Author to start with would be John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progess [as above], Holy War and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners). Also Samuel Rutherford has a wonder turn of phrase and his 'Letters' are a good starting place. Thomas Watson, Richard Sibbes and Thomas Boston are also manageable.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. TaylorOtwell

    TaylorOtwell Puritan Board Junior

    Thomas Watson. Very readable and very challenging. I started with "The Godly Mans Picture"...
     
  5. christiana

    christiana Puritan Board Senior

  6. BuddyOfDavidClarkson

    BuddyOfDavidClarkson Puritan Board Freshman

    By all means, start with the 3-volume set of The Works of David Clarkson. There is no easier way (OR MORE PRACTICAL!) way of easing into Puritan Literature than David Clarkson. After all, I am the BuddyOfDavidClarkson. :)

     
  7. carlgobelman

    carlgobelman Puritan Board Freshman

    :popcorn:
     
  8. nicnap

    nicnap Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Jeremiah Burroughs...outstandingly devotional, in all his works.
     
  9. tlharvey7

    tlharvey7 Puritan Board Freshman

    thomas watson
     
  10. JOwen

    JOwen Puritan Board Junior

    Could not agree more. Watson's GMP hands down.:up:
     
  11. apaleífo̱

    apaleífo̱ Puritan Board Freshman

  12. Bern

    Bern Puritan Board Freshman

    Modernised /abridged versions of the puritan writers' works are available. I would second "the mortification of sin" by Owen. Once you get into the flow of reading them, its not as complicated as it first seems.

    I also thought Richard Sibbes' "The Bruised Reed" was a good starting point.

    "The Christian in comlete armour" by Gurnall is a great read, but not for your first books... its pretty heavy going.
     
  13. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    I would then follow that with his 3-volume set, Body of Divinity, The Ten Commandments and The Lord's Prayer - it's a wonderful exposition of the Shorter Catechism, and was one of my first and most influential Puritan reads.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  14. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    Actually I might first (after GMP which is as has already been said outstandingly worthwhile) go to "Heaven Taken by Storm", and then follow with the 3 volumes of exposition of the WSC. After having read these you will have a VERY sound introduction to Puritan thought and devotional exposition.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  15. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    I have a book called The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard published by P&R Publishing in 1998 [comment on the front by J I Packer: "This book will surely be a milestone for many"!]

    It claims to be a sort of re-working of two books by John Owen, Indwelling Sin and The Mortification of Sin, sticking close to his thought but "unshelled" and "updated" (I'm quoting from some of the book's own introductory material) for those that find Owen's own English too hard going.

    I picked it up somewhere and I haven't yet read it, so I have no idea if it does what the label says! If it does, it might be of use?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  16. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    I'd add yet another vote for Thomas Watson. His volume, A Body of Divinity on the Shorter Catechism, is outstanding.
     
  17. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    That book is excellent - (get it here) I wouldn't call it a "reworking" but a study based on those two treatises by Owen. Fantastic for a small study group who are willing to be open (to a sensible degree of course) about struggles with temptation and sin.
     
  18. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    Don't overlook Christopher Love. His works are every bit as readable and doctrinally sound as those of Thomas Watson and Jeremiah Burroughs. His work "Grace" is as fine a Puritan book as any of the 300+ I've edited.
     
  19. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    No question about this, Dr. K. If only we could find more of Love in print again (hint, hint!) ;)
     
  20. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    Thank you very much, Todd.
    It shoots straight to the top of the "to read" list!
     
  21. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    For works by Christopher Love, are any of these currently or recently in print?

    Christians Directory. London: Printed by T.R. & E.M. for John Rothwell ..., 1654.
    [8], 291, [5], [4], 142, [4] p.; 19 cm.

    The Combate Between The Flesh And Spirit : As Also The Wofull With-Drawing Of The Spirit Of God, With The Causes Thereof, And Walking In, And After The Spirit, Together With The Blessednesse Thereof, Being The Summe And Substance Of XXVII. London: Printed by T.R. & E.M. for John Rothwell ..., 1654. [8], 291, [5], [4], 142, [4] p.; 19 cm.

    The Zealous Christian Taking Heaven By Holy Violence : In Severall Sermons Tending To Direct Men How To Hear With Zeal, To Pray With Importunity. London: Printed by R. and W. Leybourn for John Rothwell ..., 1653. [10], 67, [1], 110, [2], 64 p.; 18 cm.

    [I have access to them in the CTS library--hint, hint]
     
  22. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I was introduced to the Puritan's many many years ago. I unfortunately had never read Jeremiah Burroughs. I have had his writings on my bookshelf for a long time. This past year I picked up Gospel Worship. To me it is one of the most finest places to start a Christian's walk.
     
  23. Megan Mozart

    Megan Mozart Puritan Board Junior

    Spurgeon is considered the last Puritan at least by some, or so I've heard. All of Grace is very good. It's basically just about the gospel, but it really warms your heart.

    Uhhhhhh but Jonathan Edwards is my man!!! Yeah I know he is usually pretty dense, but get a book of sermons like Charity and Its Fruits and it's not as bad as The Freedom of the Will and all those others.
     
  24. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    I vote John Flavel

    John Flavel on The Mystery of Providence. Of all the puritans I have read he sticks with me. His exposition really made me sit up and pay attention. Some time later we had a fireworks party (mostly friends from church) I took the opportunity to reflect on the providence that preserved the country from roman catholicism. Opinion was divided - some thought I was serious others that I was joking - I wasn't.

    He was easy to read and understand - not always the case wth puritans!
     
  25. Megan Mozart

    Megan Mozart Puritan Board Junior

    Oh yeah, by dense I obviously don't mean stupid... I think I would get laughed off the PB. :lol: I mean his writing is dense.
     
  26. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    If you can get your hands on Christopher Love's letters from his wife, in A Spectacle Unto God, do read it.

    Be prepared to weep though!

    Though your wife will be a widow and your children orphans, but who is the husband to the widow and the father to the orphans if it not be the Lord our God?

    And when you dress on the morning of your execution, remember you are dressing for your wedding day!
     
  27. VilnaGaon

    VilnaGaon Puritan Board Sophomore

    John Bunyan''s ---- The fear of God. or any of the dozens of short practical books he wrote, which are collected in the 3 vol collected works published by Banner of Truth.
     
  28. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    Todd, I no longer have the rights to all the books by Christopher Love I edited. So I can't reprint them. But if you can find them, by all means get them!
     
  29. beej6

    beej6 Puritan Board Sophomore

    There are so many to recommend - the Puritan Paperbacks series is a good place to start. Bridge's _A Lifting Up for the Downcast_, Brooks' _Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices_.

    We're studying some of these as part of our annual Reformation series. The classes and slides are available online, click on our church's link below.
     
  30. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    an even later Puritan: Martyn Lloyd Jones! and like Spurgeon he has the advantage of being a very straightforward read, which is what you were looking for.
    Off the top of my head I'm not sure which one to recommend for a start, but I'm inclined to say, any!
     
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