Friday, November 21, 2008

The Christian's Great Interest

The Christian’s Great Interest
By William Guthrie

What a blessed privilege when by the grace of God your heart is stirred and your faith is strengthened through the reading of great puritan writings. My son and I are both partaking in the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge, issued by Provocations & Pantings (see URL below). Just completing, The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie, my son sent me the following summary of his thoughts.

Provocations & Pantings:

Tonight I completed Guthrie's, The Christian's Great Interest. It is a very, very Christ centered book. I appreciated the biography in the front and the explanation as to what kind of book Guthrie intended this one to be, namely a book for those who don't have much time or money to spend on books. Sadly I think, due to extensive old English and constant digressions, this book is well beyond the attention span of the average modern reader. While it may be more meat than The Cross Centered Life, I will have to continue to recommend Mahaney's book to new Christians and would be believers.

Guthrie first checks to see if the reader has saving faith in Christ and is, Christ centered, and then moves on to a description of saving faith in Christ.

"How shall a man know if he hath a true and special interest in Christ, and whether he hath, or may lay claim justly to, God's favour and salvation?

In the conclusion of the book, the first question reminded is:

"What is the great business a man hath to do in this world?"

He is very concerned that the reader may be a pretender, or have objections, reservations, or fears which hinder him from "closing with Christ" even if the reader knows how to close with Christ. He lists the chief doubts and gives lengthy answers to them. He concludes his book by reviewing the questions (which read something like a catechism) and their answers in brief. He hits hard, and like a faithful evangelist points people to Christ alone, repeatedly urging the reader to completely resign themselves and their righteousness and cling only to Christ.

The final question and answer in the book is:

"Question 18: What if I slight all these things, and do not lay them to heart to put into practice?"

The Lord cometh with His angels, in flaming fire, to render vengeance to them who obey not His gospel; and thy judgment shall be greater than that of Sodom and Gomorrah; and so much the greater that thou has read this Treatise, for it shall be a witness against thee in that day. "

It was definitely a worthy read.

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