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Devotional Book Reviews - The Practice of Piety

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Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

What devotional book would you say sparked the Puritan tradition? What enables young men to become stalwart Puritans. Would you believe it was a devotional? Would you believe it was this book? Read it and see.

Devotional Book Reviews – The Practice of Piety
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

The Practice of Piety: A Puritan Devotional Manual
by Lewis Bayly
Puritan Publications, Crossville, TN

Dr. John Gerstner said that this was the devotional book that started the Puritan movement (besides the Bible). In this volume is one of the most popular devotional manuals written by the puritans of the 17th century. It went through 60 editions by the end of the 17th century. Scare in any edition, this 19th century reprint is particularly rare.

In 44 chapters, Bayly sets forth the Christian life and the duties required of God-glorifying Christian. He begins his book aright in describing God briefly; how may anyone commune with God if they do not know Him? Then Bayly cover meditation, and how to do this aright; how to begin the morning with devotions; how to read the Bible with profit; examples of morning, evening, and mealtime prayers; rules to be observed in singing; how to conduct yourself on the Sabbath day; thoughts on fasting; the right manner of holy feasting; how to confess sin; how to act when you are sick; consolations on fear of death; and much more.

In my estimation, this is one of the best devotionals I have in my library. It is not a book to read once, but one to read once each year. If a Christian were to master this book, or at least some of the basic truths held within it, then he would be spiritual force to be reckoned with, he would be closer in communion with Christ, and would a terror for the devil. Many Christians have poor devotional times, and most have no guidelines on how to have proper devotions. Most of the books on the Christian market give devotional “substance” but not guidelines for the devotions themselves. Bayly’s book does both. It fills the Christian with biblical substance and guides them down a right path of attitude and disposition towards a fruitful devotional time.

Some Quotes:
“Unless that a man doth truly know God, he neither can nor will worship him aright: for how can a man love him whom he knoweth not?…And forasmuch as there can be no true piety without the knowledge of God; nor any good practice without the knowledge of a man’s own self; we will therefore lay down the knowledge of God’s majesty, and man’s misery, as the first and chiefest grounds of the Practice of Piety.”

“Use not sleep a means to satiate the foggy litherness of they flesh, but as a medicine to refresh thy tired senses and members: sufficient sleep quickens the mind and revives the body: but immoderate sleep dulls the one and fattens the other.”

“By religious fasting a man comes nearest the life of angels and to do “God’s will on earth, as it is done in heaven…By breaking this fast, the serpent overthrew the first Adam, so that he lost paradise.”

“As soon as ever thou awakest in the morning, keeping the door of thy heart fast shut, that no earthly thought may enter, before that God come in first; and let him, before all others, have the first place there.”

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