Barrett, Michael P.V.
A Guide to Christ was written by Solomon Stoddard, grandfather of Jonathan Edwards, to instruct ministers how to work with those who were under conviction of sin, and who were seeking God, in order to lead them to Christ rightly. Stoddard experienced several seasons of genuine revival during his pastorate at Northampton, Massachusetts. He had observed how the Spirit of God worked in the lives of men during these times. He, more than almost any other person of his day, knew the windings and turnings of the human heart. He was not fooled by presumptuous hopes and false religious affections. The Puritans knew that there must be preparatory work by the Spirit of God in convicting a person of their sins and humbling their heart before they could truly believe.
Solomon Stoddard believed that this conviction of sin and humbling of the heart was a necessity, but even in his day there were those who did not believe in the necessity of this preparatory work, prompting Stoddard to write these words: “Some there be that do deny any necessity of the preparatory work of the Spirit of God, in order to a closing with Christ, This is a very dark cloud, both as it is an evidence that such men have not the experience of that work in their own souls: and as it is a sign that such men are utterly unskilful in guiding others that are under this work; if this opinion should prevail in the land, it would give a deadly wound to religion, it would expose men to think themselves converted when they are not.”
We are now living in a day when Stoddard’s prediction has come true. A Guide to Christ is perhaps the best book ever written on this subject. Our version was taken from the 1742 edition and for the first time ever, it contains a table of contents so that the reader can easily navigate to different topics within the book.