Three Ways of Self-Entertainment by Nathanael Ranew
Nathanael Ranew (1602-1678) was admitted to
Outside of Scripture, I do not think there is a better place to have your mind stimulated, soul nourished, and life pastorally guided than by 17th century Puritans. Ranew was one of the first Puritans I was introduced as I purchased one of his books at Mt. Zion Chapel Library in
In his introduction, Ranew gives three ways of “self-entertainment” which I would like to tag with this post. I found them encouraging, and I pray you do too.
Three Ways of Self-Entertainment
A pious heart hath three happy ways of self-entertainment in solitary; three ways of being least alone, when most alone.
The first way of self-entertainment, is the ordinance of reading and searching the Holy Scriptures, the pure, perfect, and infallible word and will of Christ concerning us. There Christ hath prepared his rich feast of fat things full of morrow, and his royal banquet of heavenly truths. There he sets forth the great varieties of sure directions, precious promises, high examples, rare experiences, and the help of all his holy ordinances, to feed and satiate the hungry and thirsty spirit.
The second way of self-entertainment, is divine meditation, by either pondering of spiritual things, for improving knowledge, and exciting practice; or by a weighing of all other things whatever, for reducing them to a spiritual end and use.
The third way of self-entertainment, is private praying, such as is both founded on and bounded by Christ’s will in his word; such as is both prepared and assisted, made wise and warm by serious meditation.
Meditation stands between the two ordinances of reading and praying, as the grand improver of the former, and the high quickener of the latter, to furnish the mind with choice materials for prayer, and to fill the heart with holy fervency in it.