Someone is probably thinking that, “Scott needs to cheer up a little and not write/post so much negative stuff.” If you’re such a person, I beat you to it–but not for simply the reason of cheer. I have, for the past few years, been reading writings of the English Puritans (mainly the 16th & 17th centuries). Now these people get a lot of bad press, so before you take a shot at me for caring what they think, make sure you know enough about them to converse about them.
Their concern for the Glory of God is amazing, and they are not the witch-hunters or anti-intellectuals that they are made out to be.
But something more important, and more cheerful: They knew their times were evil, horrible, and completely set against the Gospel. They really were persecuted, and even when they weren’t being hounded from town to town by Roman Catholics or Anglicans, they knew that the times were evil.
But they had hope. They knew that the Gospel was of God, and He is greater than their circumstances. In their time they wrote of contentment, hope, joy, patience, encouragement–all while wisely and truthfully assessing the world in which they lived. They simply did not trust humankind, but trusted God. This trust was the source of their contentment.
Someone commented that “Christianity loves a crumbling empire.” Perhaps. Whether we love it or not, these are times to thrive. That’s cheering.