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All articles in category Historical

Evangelical Spirituality

Historical

July 2000
Articles > Historical

Evangelical Spirituality

Heat and light, Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections J. I. Packer has observed that a 'revival … is always adisfigured work of God, and the more powerful the revival, the more scandalising disfigurements we may expect to see'. This was certainly the case in the American Great Awakening. Between 1740 and 1742 it is estimated…

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Two thousand years of Christianity

Historical

June 2000
Articles > Historical

Two thousand years of Christianity

Theology and politics Everything changed for the church in AD 313, when the Edict of Milan allowed complete freedom for Christian worship. The previous year the Emperor Constantine had decided to make Christianity the official religion of the Empire. Some would say that Constantine was converted. However, it is unlikely that he was truly…

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Evangelical Spirituality-Sarah Edwards and the vision of God

Historical

June 2000
Articles > Historical

Evangelical Spirituality-Sarah Edwards and the vision of God

In recent articles we have looked at the spirituality of Jonathan Edwards, considered by many to be a classical mentor in this area of the Christian life. But his wife, Sarah Pierrepont Edwards (1710-1758), appears to have had as rich a walk with Christ as her famous husband. Unfortunately, Sarah was not a writer…

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The Priest of Baldu

Historical

June 2000
Articles > Historical

The Priest of Baldu

One would have thought that a man commended by Spurgeon (Sermons 1,538) would be better known among us than he is. Certainly his preaching sometimes produced extraordinary scenes, but he did not encourage excitement any more than Whitefield or Wesley. His own words are revealing: 'We rejoice and work, not [only] as persons who…

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Historical

June 2000
Articles > Historical

John Charles Ryle

From his earliest years John Charles Ryle seemed destined for great things. Born in Macclesfield in 1816, the son of a wealthy banker, he later excelled at Eton College and at Oxford University, where he gained a first class degree. His mind was set on a career in politics, but God had greater plans…

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Evangelical Spirituality – Captivated by the Beauty of God

Historical

May 2000
Articles > Historical

Evangelical Spirituality – Captivated by the Beauty of God

Jonathan Edwards’ writings on spirituality are of special importance, because he possessed a wonderful facility for meticulous and minute observation. This facility can be seen, for instance, in the intriguing and detailed investigation that he conducted during the early 1720s into the way that spiders made their webs. Later in his life, this gift…

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Two Thousand Years of Christianity – 1. The Years of Persecution

Historical

May 2000
Articles > Historical

Two Thousand Years of Christianity – 1. The Years of Persecution

‘The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch’ (Acts 11:26). This was around A.D. 43, a decade after the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ, and the Day of Pentecost. Evidently, it was only gradually that it became possible to distinguish Christianity as a religion in its own right. Until then, the followers of…

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Arminianism

Historical

April 2000
Articles > Historical

Arminianism

'Thank you: I see that hand. Is there another who will decide for Jesus now? [Pause] God bless you! I see that hand. Is there another ...?' In the end, I suppose, five or six hands must have gone up while 'all heads were bowed and all eyes closed'. This was a private moment…

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William Cowper’s Pastor

Historical

April 2000
Articles > Historical

William Cowper’s Pastor

William Cowper, poet and hymn writer, was constitutionally incapable of facing the rigours of life. He had an 'inherited mental imbalance, a physical deformity and a natural melancholic disposition' wrote a contemporary.The loss of five siblings, and of his mother just before he turned six, made an early impression on his sensitive mind. At…

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Evangelical Spirituality

Historical

April 2000
Articles > Historical

Evangelical Spirituality

Down to the eighteenth century, theologians regularly considered the concept of beauty to be central to any discussion of the divine nature. Evangelical theologians were no exception to this. As they read the Bible, especially the Hebrew Scriptures, they were struck by various places where God is described as beautiful. Old Testament evidence For…

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Evangelical Spirituality

Historical

March 2000
Articles > Historical

Evangelical Spirituality

A Celebration of Divine Grace In the two previous articles we have considered the spirituality of that remarkable man of God, the eighteenth-century evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770). It is calculated that he preached around 18,000 sermons in the thirty-five years between his conversion in Oxford in 1735 and his death in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in…

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‘A Little Fair Man’ -Samuel Rutherford

Historical

February 2000
Articles > Historical

‘A Little Fair Man’ -Samuel Rutherford

A seventeenth-century Englishman heard some well-known preachers in Scotland. Later he said, 'I came to Irvine, and heard a well-favoured, proper old man, with a long beard, and that man [David Dickson] showed me all my heart. Then I went to St Andrews, where I heard a sweet, majestic looking man [Robert Blair], and…

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