Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Christian Warfare

Kudos to Solid Ground Christian Books for republishing John Downame's masterpiece on the subject of spiritual warfare, The Christian Warfare Against the Devil, World and Flesh. It is a Puritan classic of the highest rank, and it has long been largely inaccessible to modern readers, so it with great joy that I hold a copy in my hands today. It is a massive work the reading of which will greatly repay the careful soldier's in Christ's army.

This edition is a paperback facsimile of the 1974 English Experience reproduction of the 1609 edition, and it includes three of the four parts of the original work. Its typeface will be a challenge to many modern readers, but I encourage those seeking to benefit from Puritan wisdom on the struggle to live righteously in the midst of a spiritual conflict to persevere. The reward is great.

Joel Beeke notes, "With the possible exception of Gurnall's 'Christian Armour,' this book is the finest Puritan work on the theme of the Christian warfare. It is also Downame's best work."

An interesting bit of historical trivia: The library of Harvard College was donated and established by John Harvard and supplemented by the personal library of William Ames, but ultimately every book save one was destroyed by fire in 1763. The sole surviving book was a copy of Downame's The Christian Warfare which had been checked out by one Ephraim Briggs, a student, and was in fact overdue.

If you are seeking to arm yourself wisely for the battles of a Christian pilgrimage, along with the Bible, consider adding this book to your spiritual armoury. It will be well worth it.

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