Its a wonder to me that I have found such priceless treasures of literature that for all the world should be on the number one top sellers list for anyone who follows Yeshua (Jesus); but somehow they slip into a well dusted but dark corner of the published world. The Christian in Complete Armor by William Gurnall is just such a treasure. It’s rarely mentioned amongst the “devoutly religious” speakers and authors today. To be fair it was mentioned by Allister Begg. .. hence how I stumbled upon it myself. But listen to what some of these pillars of the faith have said of this book. They came along after William was gone from this earth, but the work God called him to do fed well beyond five thousand.
“If I might read only one book besides the Bible, I would choose The Christian in Complete Armor.” – John Newton (1726-1807)
“A beautiful feature in Gurnall’s book is its richness in pithy, pointed, and epigrammatical sayings. You will often find in a line and a half some great truth, put so concisely, and yet so fully, that you really marvel how so much thought could be got into so few words.
Solid scriptural theology, like that contained in these pages, should be valued and studied in the church. Books in which the Scripture is reverently regarded as the only rule of faith and practice – books in which Christ and the Holy Spirit have their rightful office – books in which justification, sanctification, regeneration, faith (trust), grace and holiness are clearly, distinctly, and accurately delineated and exhibited – these are the only books which do real good. Few things need reviving more than a taste for such books as these among readers.” – J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
“Gurnall’s work is peerless and priceless; every line is full of wisdom; every sentence suggestive. This ‘Complete Armor’ is beyond all other a preacher’s book: I should think that more discourses have been suggested by it than any other inspired volume. I have often resorted to it when my own fire was burning low, and I have seldom failed to find a glowing coal upon Gurnall’s hearth.” – Charles Hadden Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Given how many people quote Spurgeon alone. .. it would bare remarkable to suggest we find who in his library he came to know that influenced his walk with God so profoundly. C.S. Lewis called George MacDonald his master! And McDonald’s countless books take second place on the dark but dustless shelf next to Gurnall. It is rather interesting to me how God often hides things in plain sight. ..emphasis on plain.
Given the fact that the ‘end-times’ began at the death and Resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. .. one would think a book like this would be flying off the shelves and being quoted by every serious follower of the Messiah. Yet obscure though it may be. .. it shines so bright a light time cannot snuff it out. The book was first published in 1665 with two more publications in 1658 and 1662; then revised and reprinted again in 1864. Long did the dust collect from 1864 to 1986 when it again was revised and reprinted, the printing we now can purchase and enjoy. There is an edited addition (the one I will be copying from) which takes the old King James/English verbage and makes it easier to read. And for those who want to read it just as it was written an Unrevised edition.
There is a saying that suits Gurnall well, “Dust of heros, God will know you.” Often given to those fallen/deceased in the “line of duty” in service to their country in the armed forces. .. what a completely appropriate thing to say in Gurnall’s regard! This man was at the feet of the King of Angel Armies often and wrote down His strategies of war and the tactics of our enemy with complete dedication found like that of those who wrote the prophecies.
I will begin to post from beginning to end this book. There are such small sections at a time from beginning to end they can be done like a devotional. Each section, I believe, is so small because of the richness of the content. .. it’s meant to be chewed, swallowed, – but in defiance of the method of eating. .. this material will consume you. ..while you feed upon it. A dichotomy often found in the way God serves a feast to His Children.
I, myself, will make few revisions to his work. Though I will make a note now that as Gurnall often referred to believers as saints. ..I will put follower/s of Messiah. Not for the sake of my readers but because I have such a hard time with that label… it’s too odd and in truth we are not called saints in any of the original languages the Word of God was written in. (This word was translated when put into Latin) Where Gurnall uses the word faith, I will add in (trust). These two slight changes I will do but no more. I will * where I myself lay emphasis.
Either in bold or italics.
Look for the first installment tomorrow. May you feast well and may the light you find shine brightly to the glory of God, in the reflection of Yeshua (Jesus), with the anointing of the Spirit. .. May we all be ever consumed into the enlistment of the Army of the Most High.
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah