A Brief Book Summary from Books at a Glance
by Steve West
This book is part of the Banner of Truth’s box set of Puritan Classics. Bridge’s original work was first published in 1649.
Thirteen Sermons on Psalm 42:11 – Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
1 The Good Man’s Peace
2 True Peace May be Interrupted
3 Saints Should not be Discouraged Whatever Their Condition Be
4 A Lifting Up in the Case of Great Sins
5 A Lifting Up in the Case of Weak Grace
6 A Lifting Up in the Case of Miscarriage of Duties
7 A Lifting Up in the Case of Lack of Assurance
8 A Lifting Up in the Case of Temptation
9 A Lifting Up in the Case of Desertion
10 A Lifting Up in the Case of Affliction
11 A Lifting Up in the Case of Unserviceableness
12 A Lifting Up in the Case of Discouragements Drawn from the Condition Itself
13 The Cure of Discouragements by Faith in Jesus Christ
Sermon 1: The Good Man’s Peace
In this verse we read of the sad discouragements we can experience, and also the remedies against them. The psalmist is under a burden, but chides himself and calls himself to wait in hope. It is implied that ordinarily speaking saints will be at peace, but this peace can be interrupted. There is no reason, however, for the saints to ever be discouraged in their circumstances. Saints ordinarily have peace because God their Father comforts them and creates peace for them. He pardons their sin and gives peace to those whose minds are stayed upon him because Christ purchased their peace and pardon. Part of the ministry of Christ as the Servant of the Lord was to bring comfort to those who were broken. Christ is king, but he is meek and merciful. One of the fundamental tasks of the Spirit is to give comfort and peace, fulfilling this desire of Christ for us. There is a foundational peace created in justification, even if our sense of it fades and we doubt. Those who are godly can have internal peace, even when in external difficulty. False peace will confirm us in our sins, but true peace confirms us in grace. No human being has the power to speak peace to a soul and create peace within it, but this is a work that God performs. God speaks peace to us by showing us his great love and the perfect work of Christ. When you mourn for sin and need comfort, apply to Christ for mercy, forgiveness, and peace. Those who are weak and doubting should lean on strong Christians for support. Take every small token of God’s love, and encourage your soul that more is coming.
Sermon 2: True Peace May be Interrupted
Although the saints have internal peace, it is possible that they can become discouraged and cast down. Saints can be so far cast down that they feel the pain in both body and soul. Job and Jeremiah despaired of life and wished they had never been born. In general, we can know that God allows this suffering for our greater good. God knows what each child needs to grow, and he knows how to teach us to appreciate peace and his presence, loving him above all else. Comfort will only hold when we find it from grace and Christ within, and not from external blessings. Some people try to find encouragement by looking at random Bible verses, but this is not how to learn the promises of God. When believers feel discouragement, they should remember the former times of God’s blessing, when they felt his presence and joy, and they should know that that experience was real. Do not be in a rush to have peace restored, but wait on the Lord, reading Scripture and praying. To regain peace, do what you did for justification: lean fully and solely on Christ in faith. Fill your mind with Christ through the Scriptures, and then your mind will not have as much room for fears and temptations. When peace is restored, be thankful and praise God! Do not wait for Satan to attack you, but go on the offensive against him. Entrust your peace and comfort to Christ, and having received it from him, spend it all for his sake. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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THE PURITAN CLASSICS: 10 VOLUME BOX SET