Practical, rigorous, and deeply reverent, Puritan theologian Stephen Charnock arms us to trust in the One who works all things for his glory and the good of the church. This new edition of his 1680 work, rendered in modern English, introduces contemporary Christians to one of the greatest Puritan thinkers and the beauty of divine providence—the comforting truth that “God is righteous, wise, and good, and nothing takes place that is not in his will.”
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Stephen Charnock (1628–80) was an English Puritan thinker known for his practical preaching and ability to explain deep doctrinal concepts clearly and persuasively; he also had an interest in physics. He served as a pastor in Dublin, Ireland, for several years before political and religious upheaval resulted in his ejection from pulpit ministry in 1660, along with more than two thousand other nonconformists. Although forbidden to preach publicly, he continued to study and write for fifteen years. When government restrictions eased, he co-pastored a church in London with Thomas Watson from 1675 until his death. He left behind “considerable treatises on some of the most important points of religion” that were collected soon afterward and published posthumously.
“Stephen Charnock taught us to take hold of the God of providence with both hands and cling to him with all our might—trusting that even so God is holding us in his almighty hand. Carolyn Whiting has updated the quaint prose of Charnock’s early modern English to communicate more easily with today’s reader, but the thoughts remain deep, brilliant, and timeless. Formatted in short chapters with study questions, this edition will prove very useful for personal study and small groups.” —Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
“The doctrine of providence assures us that God governs and continues to provide for the world and for us. We need this assurance! In this classic book, we find a stimulating discussion that is filled with pastoral insight. Charnock is grounded in Scripture and the wisdom gained from his deep familiarity with God’s ways of providence in his life. Carolyn Whiting has made his work accessible for readers today. Read this book, meditate on its teachings, and be encouraged!” —Donald K. McKim, Author, Pastor, Professor
“Charnock shows how all Scripture contains the theme of God’s providence and how this doctrine works to buck up our faith. More than three hundred years since this book's writing, in an act of providence that Charnock never would have anticipated, God has led Carolyn Whiting to update this work in an attractive new format.” —Dale Ralph Davis, Former Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson
“In chaotic and challenging times, what great comfort there is to be found in soul-nourishing reflection on God’s providence. Carolyn Whiting has given us all a gift by bringing this classic text forward for contemporary readers.” —Stephen Nichols, President, Reformation Bible College; Chief Academic Officer, Ligonier Ministries
“Today the sovereign hand of God is not understood, believed in, or welcomed. I urge people everywhere to get back to the Bible’s most serious teaching: God’s providence. To read this excellent book by the eminent Puritan author Stephen Charnock is to take the first step toward living a life pleasing to our great God and to entering into the happiness of heaven when our brief earthly lives are finished.” —Maurice Roberts, Retired Minister, Free Church of Scotland