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The Fading of the Flesh and the Flourishing of Faith (Puritan Treasures for Today) Paperback – November 30, 2009
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This wonderful little book, written with charm, simplicity, and clarity by George Swinnock is bound to prove both a delight and a challenge to any Christian who values the riches of the gospel. It is a spiritual gem that deserves to be read and re-read. In addition, its charm, simplicity, and clarity make it a perfect entry point to the writings of the pastoral Puritans. Beautifully edited for the modern reader by Dr. Stephen Yuille, The Fading of the Flesh is a rare spiritual treat. --Sinclair B. Ferguson
From the Inside Flap
"The Puritans frequently talked about dying well. That is something we do not discuss much these days, though we should. In this book, George Swinnock presents modern readers with valuable food for thought as he expounds Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Swinnock combines careful explanation with vivid illustration to reveal the futility of earthly comforts and highlight the inestimable comfort, satisfaction, and joy afforded us in Christ. Displaying the relevance of the Puritans for today, you will find this sorely neglected and sobering topic an easy, thought-provoking, and compelling read.
Puritan Treasures for Today Interest in the Puritans continues to grow, but many people find the reading these giants of the faith a bit unnerving. This series seeks to overcome that barrier by presenting Puritan books that are convenient in size and unintimidating in length. Each book is carefully edited with modern readers in mind, smoothing out difficult language of a bygone era while retaining the meaning of the original authors. Books for the series are thoughtfully selected to provide some of the best counsel on important subjects that people continue to wrestle with today. What will satisfy you when your flesh and heart fail?"
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and change the bible version and the words. We are all grown up enough, I think, to handle and
older style of English. The puritan writers are excellent and I think that Banner of Truth publishers
are the best at keeping them in their original form. This publishers doesn't.
The Fading of the Flesh and the Flourishing of Faith by George Swinnock is the first installation in this series. This book is based upon his sermons on Psalm 73:26: "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." In typical Puritan fashion, Swinnock begins with an overview of the Psalm in context, which gradually narrows to a brief exposition of his selected text. The subject matter is roughly divided into two parts. First, the concept that our flesh is fading and that we must consider death as an inevitable reality (chapters 1-8). Second, the glorious consideration that God alone is suitable to satisfy man's soul (chapters 9-20). The book as a whole reads as an extended evangelistic tract that drives people to the conviction of their sins, faith in Christ, and the necessity of repentance. The most delightful part of the argument resides in the manner in which the author entices his readers by meditations upon the all satisfying nature of God so that every other means of satisfaction appears as dust and ashes by comparison. While it is true that sinners do not love God by nature, it is true as well that most people have never considered what the Bible says about the beauty and glory of the Lord. In chapter seventeen ("Choose God as Your Portion"), Swinnock becomes so enraptured with the pleasure that he finds in God that he bursts forth into exuberant doxology. Because the language of the book has been updated, you can actually give this book to an unbeliever as an evangelistic tract and they will be able to understand it.
The only significant flaw in this work seems to be an under-emphasis upon the Holy Spirit. It is surprising that while the Father and the Son predominate in the author's meditations upon God's glory, the Spirit is mentioned rarely. That caveat aside, this book is a feast for the soul. Swinnock's use of illustrations rival even Thomas Watson and the overall tone of the work is very comforting.
(Published Previously in Puritan Reformed Journal)