As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I want to introduce to you the Puritans and different ones that have influenced my life. This month’s Puritan is Stephen Charnock.
Charnock studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, during which he was converted to the Christian faith, beginning his spiritual journey as a Puritan divine. After leaving the college, he possibly held a position as either a private teacher or tutor, then moving on to become a minister of the faith in Southwark for a short time, converting individuals to Christianity. He continued on to New College, Oxford, where he earned a fellowship and gained a position as senior proctor.
He moved to Ireland in 1656 where he became a chaplain to Henry Cromwell, governor of Ireland. In Dublin, he began a regular ministry of preaching to other believers. Those who came to hear him were from different classes of society and differing denominations, and he became widely known for the skill by which he discharged his duties.
In 1660, the monarchy of England was restored after its brief time as the Commonwealth of England, and Charles II ascended the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Due to new restrictions, Charnock was now legally prevented from practicing public ministry in Ireland, and in England where he returned. Nevertheless, he continued to study and to minister in non-public ways. Charnock began a co-pastorship at Crosby Hall in London in 1675; this was his last official place of ministry before his death in 1680.
One of the many books that Stephen Charnock wrote that had an influenced me is, “The Existence and Attributes of God”. His book covers the existence and eternity of God (also known as Aseity), how God should be worshiped, and covers many of the attributes of God like immutability. Charnock’s book even covers a bit of Atheism and a strong refutation of it. This work is a great book and it is medium in size running close to five hundred pages. If you don’t know the attributes of God it is necessary to learn them because the more we know about God the better we will worship Him and love Him. I of course recommend this work by Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, along with Meet the Puritans: With a Guide to Modern Reprints by Joel Beeke.
In Christ, Pastor Daniel