November 15, 2017

Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (1677), now online

Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (1677)

Spiritual classics form a separate branch of sacred literature; although neither a matter of history, nor of theology proper, nor of apologetics, they serve an essential role of clarifying an element or a whole of a Christian’s spiritual devotion, and direct him towards better, stronger, clearer conduct of the Christian life.

In times when a culture experiences a rich spiritual life, its highest expressions are often found not in academic or studious works, but in its soul written out, that is, in its spiritual and devotional literature. In today’s world, even Christian devotional literature runs cold. The devotion towards God either becomes mutated by tortured efforts to shake off the sloth, or else it dwindles, letting other parts of the human existence displace intense piety. In such times, a refreshed clarity of a spiritual masterpiece becomes of utmost importance in bringing to focus the mission and the clarion call of a Christian life.

Among the great Christian classics, one of the greatest is the celebrated The Life of God in the Soul of Man. Written by Henry Scougal, a Scottish Episcopalian priest in 1677, it has never gone out of print, and encapsulates the beauty, the struggle, and the glory of the Christian life so well that to a modern mind few other spiritual classics stand in company. Its easy and crisp language hint at an author in complete comfort with the soul of man, with its many elements that run toward and away from Christian perfection. In a comfortable manner he guides the reader towards the aspirations of a Christian life, through the thorny challenges that await it, and toward the victory and the glory on the other side.

The book has wrought an indelible imprint on the souls of countless readers across the centuries, both among Anglicans, its first and natural readers, and not. In a famous story, John Wesley had put the book into George Whitefield’s hands, and thereby it singlehandedly procured Whitefield’s conversion. We hope you enjoy this spiritual classic, and that it brings comfort, hope, and ambition towards Christian holiness.