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The Puritans, and Online Resources

July 1, 2014

In 1987 Dr. S. Lewis Johnson observed the negative slant our culture puts on the Puritans, while emphasizing the positive aspect of true Puritanism:

There is a genuine New Testament Puritanism. A separation from sin and evil that a genuine Christian must cultivate. Even Arminians and Calvinists who don’t agree on soteriological truths, do agree here if they’re believers in Christ. Christians are to separate from evil and sin in their Christian life. …. New Testament Puritanism is no harsh, repellant thing eradicating the affections. It’s the opening of the heart to eternal love, to eternal joy, to eternal comfort in rich fruitfulness. There is puritanism in the New Testament. It’s for everyone of us who named Christ. May God help us to illustrate it in our lives.

Yet in recent years within evangelical Christianity, the Puritans have made a “comeback,” with increased popularity as their writings have become more available to our generation. Over the last few years I’ve come to greatly appreciate Charles Spurgeon and J.C. Ryle, both of whom were influenced by the Puritans. So I’ve recently looked more closely at the Puritans, both in the history and literature, and put together this list of resources for introduction:

Introductory articles:

Why You Should Read the Puritans, by Joel Beeke:

He recommends starting with these three works:

then move on to the works of John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, and Jonathan Edwards.

History of the Puritan Era

Overview history:

The detailed history of the Puritans, over a thousand pages in the details starting with Henry VIII, through the late 17th century, is available online: Daniel Neal’s History of the Puritans.  The full five volumes are available online, both at Google Play and Archive.org. Here are the two volumes of the abridged set, from Henry VIII to the early 18th century Queen Anne:

  • Volume 1 (Henry VIII to King Charles I)
  • Volume 2 (King Charles I to Queen Anne)

Collections of Puritan Writings

Puritan Blogs

  1. July 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Reblogged this on beliefspeak2 and commented:
    Lynda O. has listed some Puritan resources which I want to pass on to others. If time is limited however, the bible is the first and best read possible.

    • July 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Thanks for the reblog!

  2. July 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

    John Bunyan’s Fear of God was an excellent work! I first read this book when I was a young Christian and still think it’s one of the best on the subject

    • July 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Thanks for the recommendation! I am currently reading it, in the first few pages, concerning the name of the Lord and His worship. Great material, and so saturated with God’s word, so full of references to so many scriptures. I can see why Spurgeon appreciated Bunyan and the Puritans, for so much emphasis on the Word.

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