Directions for Improvement in Grace and Practical Godliness in Times of Extraordinary Danger by Richard Alleine (1611-1681)
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Richard Alleine (1611-1681) was a powerful puritan preacher and godly minister of the Gospel. He was a pious man, filled with meekness and moderation.
In all the biblical examples, plagues and pestilence were all halted by actions annexed to repentance. Amendment of life, reformation of life, are what God desires from his church, for they are to stop sinning, repent and believe the Gospel. Christians came together in times past to pray fervently, repent and looked for a revival in those times of danger.
Mr. Alleine is going to take up the subject of extraordinary dangers for the Christian. There is no pointing the finger at someone else here. Alleine is going to point the finger at the church. He is going to instruct God’s people on various directions for them to improve their life, and for them to repent. Only God’s people, who are called by his name, if they humble themselves, and pray and seek his face, if they will turn from their wicked ways, will he forgive their sin and heal their land.
Alleine gives a number of preliminary points to set the stage on what it means to make spiritual improvements during a time of extraordinary danger. Then he will give nine general directions and outline the cultivation of grace that professing believers must engage in. Then he will give four special directions to people in particular, and finally end with an excellent application.
Annexed to this work is Alleine’s wonderful treatment of how to “die well.” What should the Christian be thinking when they come to die?
Finally, an appendix has been added. It was the original appendix included to Alleine’s work when it was first published; a piece by Dr. Increase Mather on the “Prevalence of Prayer.”
Table of Contents
Times of Extraordinary Danger – C. Matthew McMahon
Meet Richard Alleine – C. Matthew McMahon
Preface – Richard Alleine
Directions for Improvement – Richard Alleine
The Art of Dying Well – Richard Alleine
A Discourse on the Prevalence of Prayer – Dr. Increase Mather