Nearing the end of his life and ministry, William Greenhill left his congregation a parting gift and lasting testimony of his pastoral care for their souls—he published The Sound-Hearted Christian. This book developed from a series of sermons Greenhill preached on Psalm 119:18, “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.” Greenhill shows that a sound heart is watchful and attentive, recognizing that our soul is our greatest possession. After demonstrating the excellence and desirability of a sound heart, he challenges us to test the soundness of our heart. He then directs and motivates us to get and keep a sound heart. The book ends with several appended sermons on faith, Christ, and God’s Word, which serve as further encouragements to establishing and maintaining a sound heart.
Table of Contents:
To the Reader
1. A Sound Heart Is a Watchful Heart
2. The Chief Care of a Gracious Man Is about His Heart
3. The Application
4. A Gracious Soul Desires Soundness of Heart
5. The Privilege, Dignity, and Excellency of a Sound Heart
6. How to Get a Sound Heart
7. How to Keep a Sound Heart
8. Motives to Keep a Sound Heart
9. A Description of an Unsound and Corrupted Person
10. Uses and Applications
Believing Falls Under a Command
Christians Ought to Be of Christ’s Mind
Do All in Christ’s Name
The Preciousness of the Word
The Sweetness of the Word
William Greenhill (1598–1671) entered Cambridge University at the age of seventeen, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1619 and a master’s degree in 1622. Along with Jeremiah Burroughs, Greenhill was forced to take refuge in Rotterdam because he refused to read the king’s Book of Sports from the pulpit in 1636. By 1641, Greenhill and Burroughs had returned to England and settled in London, where they became lecturers at Stepney, Middlesex. Over the course of his ministry, he served both parish churches and Independent congregations—sometimes simultaneously.
Greenhill’s competence and respectability are observable in the numerous positions he was honored to hold. He was a preacher to Parliament, involved in both the Westminster Assembly and the Savoy Conference, and a commissioner under Cromwell with the responsibility of approving preachers. Greenhill was ejected from his parish church in 1660 after the Restoration, but managed to continue to serve his gathered Independent church at Stepney—sometimes meeting in his house adjacent to the church and sometimes in a concealed attic—until his death. In 1669, when the congregation numbered five hundred, he took on Matthew Mead as his assistant. Mead became his successor upon Greenhill’s death in 1671.
"The Puritans affirmed that true knowledge always begins in the head and extends to the heart, embracing the affections. In a day (not unlike our own) in which mere assent was taken for faith, empty profession was taken for conversion, and dead formality was taken for holiness, the Puritans’ insistence upon the need for a heart-felt appropriation of the truth was both timely and necessary. They devoted countless pages to exposing the danger of hypocrisy and the nature of sincerity. The skill with which they handled this delicate probing of the heart is nowhere more evident than in the present work. In William Greenhill, a renowned preacher and eminent scholar, you have a trustworthy guide into this vitally important subject—what it means to be a sound-hearted Christian." - Stephen Yuille
"Greenhill’s exposition of sound-heartedness is superlative. His chapters on how to keep and retain a sound heart are themselves worth the price of the book. The five additional sermons included in this volume are incredibly rich and clear in content, and help promote sound-hearted Christian living. Taken together, The Sound-Hearted Christian and these appended sermons form an outstanding, practical summary of how to live coram Deo (in the presence of God) from the inside out. If you are a Christian who yearns to walk before God with biblical, Christ-centered, spiritual vitality and practical reality, I know of no book more valuable than this one." - Joel Beeke