Must have it!

Discussion in 'Puritan Literature' started by ~~Susita~~, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    Would y'all be so kind as to give suggestions as to which Puritan writings you believe are a "must-have"? I just got a bigger book case and I'm trying to fill it up with some awesome reading material. :D
  2. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Puritan Classics

    Economy of the Covenants Between God & Man: Comprehending a Complete Body of Divinity by Herman Witsius

    Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud & Hebraica, 4 Volumes
    by John Lightfoot

    John Cotton on Psalmody and the Sabbath by John Cotton

    Gospel Incense: Practical Treatise on Prayer by Thomas Cobbet

    Gospel Worship By Jeremiah Burroughs

    Gospel Fear by Jeremiah Burroughs

    Aaron's Rod Blossoming by George Gillespie

    Writings and Disputations of Thomas Cranmer Relative to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper by ArchBishop Thomas Cranmer

    The Mystical Presence by John Nevin

    Instrumental Music In The Public Worship Of The Church by John Girardeau

    Newer 21 Century Puritan Books

    Worship in the Presence of God by Lachman

    The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology And Worship by Robert Letham

    Given For You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord Supper By Keith Mathison

    Songs of Zion by Michael Bushell

    New Light on Old Worship by John Price

  3. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'd recommend "Altogether Lovely" by Jonathan Edwards, "The True Christian's Love to the Unseen Christ" by Thomas Vincent, and "Grace" by Christopher Love.
  4. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    Start with the books in the Puritan challenge for 2008.

    January- Sibbes, Bruised Reed
    February- Flavel, Mystery of Providence
    March -Watson, Godly Man's Picture
    April -Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
    May -Bunyan, Come and Welcome
    June -Owen, Mortification of Sin
    July -Bridge, Lifting Up
    August -Burroughs, Rare Jewel
    September- Bolton, True Bounds
    October -Guthrie, Christian's Great Interest
    November -Baxter, Reformed Pastor
    December -Alleine, Sure Guide
  5. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor


  6. TaylorOtwell

    TaylorOtwell Puritan Board Junior

    I'm not sure what you have, but I would highly recommend The Godly Man's Picture by Thomas Watson. It is not nearly as gender specific as it sounds, and could be a valuable reference for cultivating godliness for your entire life.
  7. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior

    The Works of John Owen and John Flavel. These are absolute must haves for anybody wanting to take the Puritans seriously.
  8. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    :amen: These are two that I have greatly profited from.

    And though I haven't finished these two (both about half way through), I'd also recommend: James Durham on Isaiah 53 (big and intimidating, but very understandable and helpful) & Willem Teellinck's The Path of True Godliness (English translation of a classic Dutch work, easy to read and insightful).
  9. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    1stly, It is encouraging to see a young lady desiring to read the Puritans :up:

    2ndly, I would suggest you have a gander around here and see what takes your fancy.

    3rdly, Any of these.

    4thly, Though he was not a Puritan, I would suggest John Gill's An Exposition of the Book of Solomon's Song.
  10. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    I admit that is a good one I did not think of... But I diagree with you about Gill not being a Puritan.... I consider him a Puritan or aleast a later period Puritan...

  11. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with the plug for Witsius, and I think a'Brakel needs to be on every Christian's reading list, as it was in Holland when it was written. English Puritans, I would say Owen, Caryl on Job (which is a commentary on the whole Bible plus a full systematic theology), Thomas Brooks, who has a beautiful writing style, John Flavel, Thomas Boston, Richard Sibbes, John Bunyan, Thomas Manton, and Jonathan Edwards. There's a lifetime's worth of reading!
  12. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor

    A very special piece for Susita!

    Directions How to Conduct Yourself in Your Christian Course

    (A letter by Jonathan Edwards, addressed to a young lady in the year 1741)

    My dear young friend,

    As you desired me to send you, in writing, some directions how to conduct yourself in your Christian course, I would now answer your request. The sweet remembrance of the great things I have lately seen at your church, inclines me to do anything in my power, to contribute to the spiritual joy and prosperity of God's people there.

    1. I would advise you to keep up as great an effort and earnestness in religion, as if you knew yourself to be in a state of nature, and were seeking conversion. We advise people under conviction, to be earnest and violent for the kingdom of heaven; but when they have attained to conversion, they ought not to be the less watchful, laborious, and earnest, in the whole work of religion, but the more so; for they are under infinitely greater obligations. For lack of this, many people, in a few months after their conversion, have begun to lose their sweet and lively sense of spiritual things, and to grow cold and dark, and have 'pierced themselves through with many sorrows;' whereas, if they had done as the apostle did, (Philippians 3:12-14) their path would have been 'as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day.'

    2. Do not leave off seeking, striving, and praying for the very same things that we exhort unconverted persons to strive for, and a degree of which you have had already in conversion. Pray that your eyes may be opened, that you may receive sight, that you may know yourself, and be brought to God's footstool; and that you may see the glory of God and Christ, and have the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart. Those who have most of these things, have need still to pray for them; for there is so much blindness and hardness, pride and corruption remaining, that they still need to have that work of God wrought upon them, further to enlighten and enliven them, that shall be bringing them more and more out of darkness into God's marvelous light, and be a kind of new conversion and resurrection from the dead. There are very few requests that are proper for an impenitent man, that are not also, in some sense, proper for the godly.

    3. When you hear a sermon, hear for yourself. Though what is spoken may be more especially directed to the unconverted, or to those who, in other respect, are in different circumstances from yourself; yet, let the chief intent of your mind be to consider, 'In what respect is this applicable to me? and what improvement ought I to make of this, for my own soul's good?'

    4. Though God has forgiven and forgotten your past sins, yet do not forget them yourself: often remember, what a wretched slave you were in the land of Egypt. Often bring to mind your particular acts of sin before conversion; as the blessed apostle Paul is often mentioning his old blaspheming, persecuting spirit, and his injuriousness to the godly; humbling his heart, and acknowledging that he was 'the least of the apostles,' and not worthy 'to be called an apostle,' and the 'least of all saints,' and the 'chief of sinners.' And be often confessing your old sins to God, and let that text be often in your mind, (Ezekiel 16:63.) 'that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more, because of your shame, when I am pacified toward you for all that you have done, says the Lord God.'

    5. Remember, that you have more cause, on some accounts, a thousand times, to lamest and humble yourself for sins that have been committed since conversion, than before; because of the infinitely greater obligations that are upon you to live to God, and to look upon the faithfulness of Christ, in unchangeably continuing his loving-kindness, notwithstanding all your great unworthiness since your conversion.

    6. Be always greatly abased for your remaining sin, and never think that you lie low enough for it; but yet be not discouraged or disheartened by it; for, though we are exceeding sinful, yet we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; the preciousness of whose blood, the merit of whose righteousness, and the greatness of whose love and faithfulness, infinitely overtop the highest mountains of our sins!

    7. When you engage in the duty of prayer, or come to the Lord's supper, or attend any other duty of divine worship—come to Christ as Mary Magdalene did! Come, and cast yourself at His feet, and kiss them, and pour forth upon Him the sweet perfumed ointment of divine love, out of a pure and broken heart, as she poured the precious perfume out of her pure broken alabaster jar! "There was a woman who was a notorious sinner in that city. When she learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's home, she took an alabaster jar of perfume and knelt at His feet behind Him. She was crying and began to wash His feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. Then she kissed His feet over and over again, anointing them constantly with the perfume." (Luke 7:37-38)

    8. Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the souls peace, and of sweet communion with Christ: it was the first sin committed, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan's whole building, and is with the greatest difficulty rooted out, and is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion, even, sometimes, under the disguise of humility itself. "To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech." (Proverbs 8:13)

    9. That you may pass a correct judgment concerning yourself, always look upon those as the best discoveries, and the best comforts, that have most of these two effects: those that make you least and lowest, and most like a child; and those that most engage and fix your heart, in a full and firm disposition to deny yourself for God, and to spend and be spent for him.

    10. If at any time you fall into doubts about the state of your soul, in dark and dull frames of mind—it is proper to review your past experience; but do not consume too much time and strength in this way. Rather apply yourself, with all your might, to an earnest pursuit after renewed experience, new light, and new lively acts of faith and love. One new discovery of the glory of Christ's face will do more toward scattering clouds of darkness in one minute, than examining old experience, by the best marks that can be given, through a whole year.

    11. When the exercise of grace is low, and corruption prevails, and by that means fear prevails; do not desire to have fear cast out any other way, than by the reviving and prevailing of love to God in the heart. By this, fear will be effectually expelled, as darkness in a room vanishes away, when the pleasant beams of the sun are let into it.

    12. When you counsel and warn others do it earnestly, and affectionately, and thoroughly. Remember that you are speaking to your equals—let your warnings be intermixed with expressions of your sense of your own unworthiness, and of the sovereign grace that makes you differ.

    13. If you would set up pious meetings of young women by yourselves, to be attended once in a while, besides the other meetings that you attend, I would think it would be very proper and profitable.

    14. Under special difficulties, or when in great need of, or great longings after, any particular mercy, for yourself or others—set apart a day for secret prayer and fasting by yourself alone; and let the day be spent, not only in petitions for the mercies you desire, but in searching your heart, and in looking over your past life, and confessing your sins before God—not as it accustomed to be done in public prayer, but by a very particular rehearsal before God of the sins of your past life, from your childhood hitherto, before and after conversion, with the circumstances and aggravations attending them, and spreading all the abominations of your heart very particularly, and fully as possible, before him.

    15. Do not let the adversaries of the cross have occasion to reproach true religion on your account. How holy should the children of God, the redeemed and the beloved of the Son of God, behave themselves! Therefore, 'walk as children of the light, and of the day,' and 'adorn the doctrine of God your Savior.' And especially, abound in what are called the Christian virtues—which make you like the Lamb of God. Be meek and humble of heart, and full of pure, heavenly, and humble love to all. Abound in deeds of love to others, and self-denial for others. Let there be in you a disposition to account others better than yourself.

    16. In all your daily living, walk with God, and follow Christ, as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ's hand, keeping your eye on the marks of the wounds in his hands and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin, and hiding your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robes of his righteousness.

    17. Pray much for the ministers and the church of God; especially, that he would carry on his glorious work which he has now begun, until the world shall be full of his glory.
  13. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner


    I think that you have won the hearts of the PB. All the old guys want to adopt you and all of the young ones . . . well . . . ah . . . my . . . hmm . . . well most of them are already married.

    Your interest in the puritans is amazing for one so young. May the Lord use it greatly and bless those around you as more and more you take on the aroma of heaven through the ministrations of Godly puritans.
  14. ServantofGod

    ServantofGod Puritan Board Junior

    Prayer- John Bunyan(I'm reading this one; it's a must!)
    The Mystery of Providence- John Flavel
  15. christiana

    christiana Puritan Board Senior

    Suggested Reading

    a very good Initial and Advanced Reading List.

    Also I wouldnt be without The Sovereignty of God by AW Pink

    Holiness by JC Ryle

    The Christian in Complete Armor, by William Gurnall

    So many soul renewing books, too little time!!
  16. ADKing

    ADKing Puritan Board Junior

    Now if you just get all these suggestions your empty shelf problem will be gone :)

    Richard: Thanks for the link to "The Puritan Library". Though it has undoubtedly been cited here on the PB before I have never seen it myself. Looks great!
  17. SolaGratia

    SolaGratia Puritan Board Junior

    Susan and all,

    Here is a most precious mine of Puritan works, that is, if you want to save space in your bookshelf, but fill your heart with Gods gracious reveal truths.

    Grace Books

    Homepage:Grace Gems!
  18. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Who wants to save room.... I want to fill and keep filling... At this point I am since my birthday is the end of the month and I have already received book money and will get more and receive books I already need a new shelf... But the more the merrier....

    Besides, as much as I am a techie at heart I get too many neck cramps trying to read books online by the screen and my pda screen is too small to enjoy a good book.. So I am happier with hardbound books..... :smug:

    Alot of people collect junk that takes up way to much room... I collect theological books for consumption... A far better use for empty space.... :cool:

  19. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    Wow, so many replies!! I'm thrilled!! I believe our edification should be a top priority and since these men had so many great things to say, this would be a great place to start.

    Now for a challenge to all of you: Due to being a poor and starving college student (ha), would y'all be so kind as to narrow it down to around a dozen books? Let the debates begin :D

    Aww shoot! I wish I could be adopted by y'all too. :) My dad hasn't lead family worship in years and I miss it tremendously. I'd be thrilled beyond words if he'd at least sit down for 20 minutes once a week to read these great words to his family. Also, if any of you fellas have any words of advice as to how I can explain to him (GENTLY) that it is his calling as a father to lead his family in worship... And any other advice.

    Thank you much, Blueridge Reformer! I'd love to make that a poster and put it on my closet door. :D

    I really like the Puritan challenge for 2008, that one probably has my top vote thus far. But I'll let all y'all narrow it all down amongst yourselves.

    Thank you all so much again!
  20. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    We definitely have this one in our library. That book is only like half an inch thick but it's dynamite, I tell ya! :D

    And look at how much room I have, folks! (Some of those other things on the shelf will get moved. And yes, Mr. Johnson; that's the bow you sent me :D)
  21. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Okay, here's my list of twelve essential books: Gurnall's Christian in Complete Armor, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Boston's Human Nature in its Fourfold State, a'Brakel's Christian's Reasonable Service (4 volumes of pure gold), Calvin's Institutes (2 volumes), Witsius's Economy of the Covenants (2 volumes), and volume 5 of John Owen's works (on justification).
  22. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    Starting with John Owen, the following works stood out:

    Biblical Theology
    Display of Arminianism (1642)
    Doctrine of Justification by Faith (1677)
    Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance Explained and Confirmed (1654)
    Evidences of the Faith of God’s Elect (1695)
    Indwelling Sin in Believers (1667)
    Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity (1669)
    How We May Bring Our Hearts to Bear Reproofs (1676)

    Edit: I got the list from this site:
    John Owen » Works
  23. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor

    Do the Puritan challange. twelve good books for $65 is hard to beat.
  24. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    K I added all those except "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices" by Brooks b/c is out of it. Grand total is $73.48. *gulp* Gonna wait a bit and see what the folks say.
  25. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    Jeremiah Burroughs' Gospel Remission.
  26. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    I highly recommend The Complete Works of Matthew Henry (2 Volumes) not to be confused with Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (6 Volumes).
    These two volumes contain his many treatises, sermons, and tracts.

    I don't know if they are still in print, or what they might cost...but the first treatise in volume 1 "The Pleasantness of a Religious Life" should be required reading for all Christians (in my opinion).

    In volume 2 there is a wonderful little piece called "A Discourse Concerning Meekness and Quietness of Spirit" and "A Sermon Concerning the Catechising of Youth" which are just fantastic!

    Most people have read Henry's Commentaries, but I find few who are acquainted with these other writings. They are well worth whatever you might have to pay for them.
  27. ~~Susita~~

    ~~Susita~~ Puritan Board Junior

    Matthew Henry is awesome! Do you think this site would be a reliable place to get it? This one is only 50 bucks. The Complete Works of Matthew Henry: Treatises, Sermons, and Tracts by Matthew Henry (Used, New, Out-of-Print) - Alibris
  28. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    Never dealt w/ that site, but it looks okay.
  29. danmpem

    danmpem Puritan Board Junior

    While you are going to be just fine with the lists that have already been given to you, I was looking through my own collection and picked out my favorites/must-haves:

    A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson
    The Glory of Christ by John Owen (Banner of Truth Edition)
    The Mortification of Sin by John Owen (Bot Edition)

    While he's not a puritan, I feel like I can't go without mentioning Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion.

    I also recommend checking this site for a list of which puritans to get in print and which to get just for the computer.
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