“The Christian is bred by the Word, and he must be fed by it.”
William Gurnall is known by his work Christian in Complete Armour, published in three volumes, dated 1655, 1658 and 1662. It consists of sermons or lectures delivered by the author in the course of his regular ministry, in a consecutive course on Ephesians 6: 10–20.
It is described as a magazine whence the Christian is furnished with spiritual arms for the battle, helped on with his armour, and taught the use of his weapon; together with the happy issue of the whole war. It is thus considered a classic on spiritual warfare.
The work is more practical than theological; and its quaint fancy, graphic and pointed style, and its fervent religious tone render it still popular with some readers.
Richard Baxter and John Flavel both thought highly of the book. Toplady used to make copious extracts from it in his common-place book. John Newton, the converted slave trader, said that if he was confined to one book beside the Bible, he’d choose Christian Armour.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon commented that Gurnall’s work is “peerless and priceless; every line full of wisdom. The book has been preached over scores of times and is, in our judgment, the best thought-breeder in all our library.”
“O soul, consider this deeply: it is the life of a Christian that carries more conviction and persuasion than his words. Though, like an angel, you talk of Christ, of the gospel, of the doctrines of grace, and of heaven; yet, if you indulge devilish tempers, and live under the power of any sinful ways …