Waiting on the Spirit of Promise is a study of the life and ministry of Abraham Cheare (1626-1668), containing selections from Cheare's works, and rescuing an important seventeenth-century Baptist from obscurity. Cheare has been overshadowed by other more celebrated Baptist contemporaries, but as the pastor of the Particular Baptist work in Plymouth, Devon, Cheare played a key role in the advance of the Baptist cause in the West Country in the 1650s. His Sighs for Sion is an excellent illustration of early Baptist piety.
With the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Cheare, like many other Dissenters, suffered arrest for his refusal to give up preaching. Cheare's prison writings reveal both a sturdy faith in God and a deep-seated piety. Despite the fact that he was incarcerated in a series of "nasty prisons," Cheare used this time of suffering to deepen his walk with God and so provide a model for his congregation of Christian integrity and joy in the midst of trial. To the very end of his life, Cheare eagerly awaited further outpourings of the Spirit of Promise upon the Church and looked forward to that day when his Lord Jesus would make all things right.
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Brian L. Hanson (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a PhD candidate in Reformation Studies in the School of History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He is also a musician and the composer of several published works including Jesus, Lover of My Soul and The Very Thought of Thee.
Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, University of Toronto) is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He has authored or edited more than twenty-five books, including Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church.
"This is a much-needed piece in the seventeenth century Particular Baptist jigsaw. In particular the reader is made to feel Cheare's spiritual pulse, especially as he explains what it means to suffer for Christ and displays what it is to pray with ardent zeal for the cause of Sion." -- Austin Walker, Maidenbower Baptist Church, England
"Abraham Cheare has much to teach the modern church about how to suffer as a Christian. . . . Readers will find a helpful biographical introduction to Cheare, focusing on his experience in prison. Also included are several selections from Cheare's writings, which are available to a modern audience for the first time." -- G. Stephen Weaver Jr., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kentucky
"This book presents us with the life, thought, and fervent spiritual vision of Abraham Cheare. . . . His fervent, single-minded devotion to Christ, his perceptive views of the enticement to compromise (especially in the brutally oppressive persecution of the Clarendon Code years), his saturation with Scripture so that its languages and images were virtually his native tongue, his unflagging pastoral concern even during his prison years, his admonitions and scriptural hopes concerning the future of the church, [and] his attention to promote the godliness of children all present a salubrious challenge and a worthy goal for Christian spirituality and pastoral ministry. It will not take long to read it; but, hopefully, one will never get over it." -- Tom J. Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kentucky