"The difference between the Puritan preachers and us, is that they lived six days in eternity, and came down on Sunday to deliver the goods," (Dr Leonard Ravenhill). We often fail in this very matter. These men were great men of God, men who know God intimately. They lived and worked as in His presence. They sought His face continually and looked intently into the face of Christ. No wonder the Word of God came in power to their people through them!
Ravenhill exposes the fact that preachers do not know what it is to pray or to worship the Lord. There is a glaring lack of discipline in our lives.
"The secret of the Puritans was not that they had more time on their hands but that they had more eternity in their hearts! They had an eternity consciousness," says Ravenhill. The need is surely great for a fuller awareness of eternity than perhaps anything else.
It may be objected that we are living in different times from the Puritan era, and there are pressures upon people today that were not evident 350 years ago. Also, ours is a technological and scientific age that has advanced beyond recognition from the days of the Puritans. Surely, you cannot expect people to come and sit through very long sermons that are minutely argued and penetratingly applied to the conscience?Yes, there are great differences between these two eras, but these are not material and certainly do not necessitate any change in the message that is to be addressed to the men of this generation. Why? Because man is still the same sinful man, and God is still the same holy God, and the Gospel is still the same power of God for the salvation of the believing sinner. There are superficial changes, but no deep changes, except, perhaps, to say that men today may well be in a worse mess on account of sin than they were before; yet it is impossible to conceive of anything worse than to be a sinner, regardless of the external circumstances that surround him.