Knowing God From The Heart: Samuel Davies On The Means Of Grace -- By: Joseph C. Harrod
PRJ 6:2 (July 2014) p. 216
Knowing God From The Heart: Samuel Davies On The Means Of Grace
Now the ordinances of the gospel are, as it were, the places of interview, where God and his people meet, and where they indulge those sacred freedoms [of communion]. It is in prayer, in meditation, in reading or hearing his word, in communicating at his table; it is in these and like exercises that God communicates, and, as it were, unbosoms himself to those that love him.1
In the tradition of Reformed piety, genuine Christian spirituality is rooted in a monergistic work of God who graciously rescues sinners. Yet the Christian life after conversion also involves various means of grace in the pursuit of personal holiness and divine communion. This article considers the thinking of a prominent Presbyterian, Samuel Davies (
PRJ 6:2 (July 2014) p. 217
Evangelicalism is indeed lamentable, for in his day, and for the better part of a century thereafter, Davies was recalled as a gifted herald of divine truth. This article helps to bring Davies into wider appreciation, especially with regard to his understanding of the vehicles God has designed to enable Christians to live lives to His glory.
The Means Of Grace In The Puritan And Early Evangelical Traditions
Samuel Davies placed himself within the Puritan tradition with regard to his doctrine of conversion, and his insistence upon certain means of grace also indicates his reliance upon this tradition for devotional expressions of Christian spirituality.3 According to Simon Chan’s excellent work on the discipline of meditation, the Puritan doctrine of the means of grace states that “God does not work directly in the world but chooses to operate at the natural and human level. Thus if he regenerates a soul, it is by a process that could be easily discovered via faculty psychology, namely, from the understanding to the affections and will....
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