Dennison, James T., Jr.
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Originally published as The Doctrine of Fasting and Praier, and Humiliation for Sinne (London 1633)
Hildersham’s Fasting, Prayer, and Humiliation for Sin offers a portrait of eight sermons on Psalm 35:13 preached in 1625–1626. Yet, unlike a still picture, they exude a lively energy and intensity prompted by the seriousness of the occasion: an outbreak of plague. Throughout, Hildersham presents the reasons, need, method, and helps the Christian is to employ in taking up fasting and prayer as a serious duty, both for himself and for others, especially in the face of great judgment. His work encourages Christians to grow in repentance for sin by laying out its seriousness and the reality of its consequences, whether in this life or the next. His word then is timely now: “As the Lord Himself counsels you, ‘Prepare to meet thy God.’”
Author Hildersham (1563–1632) was an English Puritan who trained at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and served as minister of St. Helen, Ashby.
“Arthur Hildersham (1563–1632) was a major Puritan figure who was deeply respected by his contemporaries for his wisdom, learning, and piety. Although Hildersham’s works have been out of print since the seventeenth century, with this reprinting of his sermons from the 1625–1626 plague epidemic in England, Hildersham is no longer silent. During this ‘heavy visitation’ (as his son, Samuel, described it), Hildersham delivered eight sermons on Psalm 35:13—‘But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled myself with fasting: and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.’ Hildersham’s aim was to encourage God’s people to cultivate a genuine heart of repentance for sin through prayer and fasting. Undoubtedly, Fasting, Prayer, and Humiliation for Sin will rouse readers out of spiritual complacency and guide them to the mighty God, who uses even severe providences to humble His people and draw them back to Himself.” — Greg Salazar, assistant professor of historical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary