by Edward Reynolds
Modernized, Edited & Reformatted
"Self-Denial" is an enlightening sermon authored by Edward Reynolds, a significant Puritan pastor in 17th-century. The book centers around the essential Christian principle of self-denial and its crucial role in healing divisions within the Church.
Written in an engaging and persuasive style, Reynolds explores the detrimental effect of prioritising personal interests and private judgments over the common good, particularly in times of distraction and distress. He advocates for selflessness and unity, urging the readers to consider their collective interests over their individual ones, drawing on several historical and Biblical references to reinforce his argument.
The author also explores the negative impact of passionately held private beliefs and judgments, especially when they contribute to the division of the Church. Reynolds suggests that personal views and opinions, particularly those that are not fundamental to faith or salvation, should not become the cause of division and discord.
In the latter part of the book, Reynolds places emphasis on the need for self-denial during speeches and debates, expressing the preference for concise arguments over lengthy orations. He also highlights the importance of staying calm and serene during differences, comparing a peaceful mind to a heavenly state.
Finally, drawing upon the teachings of the Apostle Paul, the book concludes with the call to emulate the humility of Christ Jesus, who embodied the ultimate act of self-denial. Reynolds thus exhorts readers to deny themselves in service and edification of the Church, just as Christ denied himself for its redemption.
Through "Self-Denial", Reynolds provides a thought-provoking exploration of self-denial as an integral Christian virtue, urging believers to embrace it for the sake of unity within the Church. This book is a timeless resource for those looking to deepen their understanding of Christian principles and their practical application within the ecclesiastical and broader societal contexts.