Not many Christians today are familiar with Nicholas Byfield (1579–1622). This is a tragedy. Byfield was a Calvinistic puritan divine with a sweet preaching and writing style akin to that of Thomas Watson with the practicality of Jeremiah Burroughs. He was an extremely popular puritan in his day who wrote many treatises and was widely respected as a theologian and preacher.
This volume is one of the most biblically sound and theologically amazing works on Christian sanctification and holy living. If any man is going to gain profit by something, as Byfield says, then he is going to gain profit by holy living. There is no one biblical text that Byfield utilizes. Instead, he uses passages from the entire Bible and masterfully applies scripture topically to various aspects of living a holy Christian life.
He covers such topics as preparations to a godly life, general rules to be remembered in the manner of doing all good duties, rules that concern the preservation of our love to God, and how we should carry ourselves in God’s house. He also deals with rules that order us about hearing of the word, of baptism, of the Lord’s Supper, of prayer, of reading the Scriptures, of singing psalms, of vowing and swearing, of fasting, of keeping the Sabbath, and much much more.
This is an astoundingly helpful work, not to turn the Christian into one that “follows rules,” but one that desires to see his life reflect God’s holy prescription of being more like Jesus Christ through living out the Bible’s truth.
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