SGCB | VALLEY OF VISION - A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions- Gift Edition, black bonded-leather; New Genuine Leather & Premium Goatskin Leather

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VALLEY OF VISION - A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions- Gift Edition, black bonded-leather; New Genuine Leather & Premium Goatskin Leather
Arthur Bennett

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 'Valley of Vision' is finally available in Two New GENUINE LEATHER Gift Editions enclosed in a Protective Case.

(1) GENUINE LEATHER--This edition comes with a GENUINE LEATHER cover, and a single ribbon marker. It has a Smyth Sewn binding with feature hubs on the spine, and comes in a protective case. This edition is a nice step up from the bonded-leather edition. 432 pp - 978-1-84871-309-3 - List Price $70.00

(2) PREMIUM GOATSKIN--This is the top-of-the-line, hand-finished edition, with a GOATSKIN LEATHER cover, gilded filigree edging, and two ribbon markers. It has a Smyth Sewn binding with feature hubs on the spine, and comes in a protective case. This edition is noticeably more supple than the Genuine Leather. 432 pp - 978-1-84871-312-3 - List Price $130.00

Draw upon the inspiration of the elegant prayers of such Puritans as John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, David Brainerd, Augustus Toplady, and Charles Spurgeon. The Valley of Vision has been prepared not to simply supply Christians with prayers, but to prompt and encourage them as they walk upon the path of others who've gone before them. You'll relish the elegance of these writings as they transport you to the heavenly throne of grace. Topics include redemption and reconciliation, holy aspirations, penitence, and more.

Elegant gift edition in cabra bonded leather with gold stamping and gilt-edged pages. This edition opens with a presentation page and includes a satin ribbon page marker. Type is set in classic 12/14 point Adobe Caslon, on fine quality paper. May be imprinted.

'When used slowly, for meditation and prayer, these pages have often been used by God's Spirit to kindle my dry heart.' --MARK DEVER

'The prayers in The Valley of Vision are steeped in Scripture, yet never succumb to mere formula. They are theologically fresh and vibrant, yet they are rooted in confessionalism. They range over a huge sweep of Christian experience and devotion, but they are never merely esoteric or cute. They brim with deep emotion and transparent passion, but they carefully avoid mere sentimentalism. This is a book that teaches readers to pray by example.' --D.A. CARSON

'The Valley of Vision is a wonderful collection of Puritan prayers which both help to shape and inform our own private devotions and, perhaps more importantly, aid pastors as they seek to lead their congregations in prayer and into the presence of God.' -CARL TRUEMAN

'I cannot commend enough The Valley of Vision, which is a compilation of over two-hundred pages of Puritan prayers (each of which are one page in length). I pray through one of these prayers every day. Sometimes the prayers are so meaningful and relevant that I will pray through the same prayer for days. This is a wonderful aid to supplement one s own prayers. Indeed, these prayers will also teach one how to pray, and, at the same time, they teach theological truth. I cannot think of any Christian who would not benefit from these prayers.' -GREG BEALE

'It's amazing how frequently the prayers from the little book The Valley of Vision show up in our worship services. The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers, and I would put them in that category. That is, they are thoughtful, reflective, and meditative. They're even written in a certain kind of cadence, if you've ever noticed, which is probably very intentional, so that they might be used in corporate settings. But they came out of a deep heart of communion with God.' --JOHN PIPER

SAMPLE

The Valley of Vision

LORD, HIGH AND HOLY, MEEK AND LOWLY,

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,

where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;

hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to possess all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to receive,

that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,

and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,

thy life in my death,

thy joy in my sorrow,

thy grace in my sin,

thy riches in my poverty,

thy glory in my valley.

PREFACE

"The prayers in this book are drawn from the largely forgotten deposit of Puritan spiritual exercises, meditations and aspirations. They testify to the richness and color of evangelical thought and language that animated vital piety in an important stream of English religious life. It is hoped that their publication will help to redress the neglect of this vast ocean of Puritan spirituality. The Puritan Movement was a religious phenomenon of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, yet its influence continued at least to the time of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–92) who may be regarded as the last of the great Puritans. Although the political storm ended in 1660, its theological ground-swell carried forward distinct forms of practical religion for many decades, particularly family worship and private devotion. In these spheres, and in that of the authority of Scripture over the whole of life, New England Presbyterians and Congregationalists were at one with English Dissenters and Anglican evangelicals in a close-knit union that transcended differences of worship, discipline and polity. They spoke the same spiritual language, shared the same code of values, adopted the same attitude towards the Christian religion, and breathed out the same God-centered aspirations in a manner that makes it impossible to distinguish the voice of conformist from that of nonconformist. Thus, this book of Puritan prayers has a unity not often found in similar works. The strength of Puritan character and life lay in the practice of prayer and meditation. Many of those who held the doctrines of grace wrote down a record of God’s intimate dealings with their souls, not with an eye to publication, but, as in David Brainerd’s case, to test their spiritual growth, and to encourage themselves by their re-perusal in times of low spiritual fervor. Others, like William Jay and Henry Law, turned their personal devotions into corporate forms for family worship, and published them to the church at large. Yet others, such as Philip Doddridge and William Romaine, wrote prayers into their literary works in order to evoke the reader’s spiritual response. Many ministers went further and advised their congregations to put their private prayer thoughts on paper and vocalize them. There thus emerged an important corpus of inspiring Puritan prayers that are still largely unused.

In extracting this selection from Puritan literature it has been necessary to change some prayers from the plural and the third person into the singular and the first person in order that the book might be used chiefly in private devotion. But, by a change of pronoun, most of them can be employed in corporate worship. A final section has been added for occasions of corporate worship. Old idiom has been retained, but it has been necessary to reframe some phrases in order to accommodate archaic thought to modern understanding. A number of prayers were originally spiritual experiences, as in the case of Thomas Shepard, and some others are conflations from different sources to bind together a given theme. A poetic form has been adopted throughout as an aid to easier comprehension and utterance. Each prayer consists of a number of main clauses with subsidiary clauses that illuminate and enlarge the subject. In this way an opportunity is provided for pauses and reflections. The editor is thus responsible for the structure of the prayers as here printed. The book is not intended to be read as a prayer manual. The soul learns to pray by praying; for prayer is communion with a transcendent and immanent God who on the ground of his nature and attributes calls forth all the powers of the redeemed soul in acts of total adoration and dedication. The prayers should therefore be used as aspiration units, the several parts of which could become springboards for the individual’s own prayer subjects. These and their divisions can also serve homiletic purposes. The prayers are taken from the works of Thomas Shepard, Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, William Williams, Philip Doddridge, William Romaine, David Brainerd, Augustus Toplady, Christmas Evans, William Jay, Henry Law and Charles Haddon Spurgeon. They are sent out with the prayer of Philip Doddridge, that, ‘However weak and contemptible this work may seem in the eyes of the children of this world, and however imperfect it really be, it may nevertheless live before thee, and through a divine power be mighty to produce the rise and progress of religion.’ I desire to thank the Rev. Iain H. Murray of the Banner of Truth Trust for his encouragement to produce this work, Mr. S. M. Houghton, many of whose kindly criticisms have been accepted, and the Rev. R. E. Davies, who helped to resolve theological points. I am grateful to the Trustees of the British Museum, Dr. Williams’ Library, and the Evangelical Library for access to out-of-print books. "

Arthur Bennett

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