About a year ago I received what has become a constant by my bedside: Voices from the Past – Puritan Devotional Readings (Volume 1). I received this book as a gift from Truth For Life – The Bible teaching ministry of Alistair Begg. At the time, I wasn’t very acquainted with the Puritans. This devotional provided a glimpse into an era of church history that I hadn’t previously explored. It helped to develop an interest in the writings of men like John Owen and Richard Sibbes. These are only a few of the many Puritan friends that our favorite Puritan, John Bunyan, is eager to introduce.
Richard Rushing has compiled excerpts from many Puritan authors, some very well known and others who may not even have a Wikipedia page. Each daily entry contains a single verse in the English Standard Version along with a piece from Puritan literature that speaks to the text. Sometimes you may have the same author for multiple days handling verses of a similar theme. I quite enjoyed this. Devotionals can be very sporadic and all over the place at times. What we have here is a book that encourages you to dwell upon a single thought process for a few days.
We also have a book before us that isn’t afraid to be brutally honest about the human condition. These Puritan authors are not afraid to administer a spiritual smack to the face. I need that sometimes. More often than not. Many devotionals act like a spiritual Red Bull. They go down smooth and make you feel great about yourself. The Puritans aren’t interested in giving you that spiritual high but are desperate for God to get all the glory and for His people to reflect in a mysterious mingling of trembling and joy upon His characteristics and attributes. I think we can all agree that this is a noble objective.
I highly recommend this devotional. It’s readable, accessible, yet full of theological meat. I can honestly say that it has been a tremendous blessing to read this before I turn off the light at bedtime each night. There are two volumes available through The Banner of Truth Trust at a very fair price. I will include a link to their website below. Thanks for reading!
“No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God.”
– C. H. Spurgeon
Link for the book – https://banneroftruth.org/us/