The following piece from A Lifting Up For The Downcast, is so typical of the Puritan theology. If you have not read the Puritan divines, this piece will give you a clear example of their teachings. It typifies the encouraging, inspiring, line of thought that permeates their writings. I will abridge it at the end because of the language difficulties.
“ Every godly, gracious man, is in covenant with God by Jesus Christ; and that covenant is a covenant of grace, which is the great charter, the “magna-Charta” of all his spiritual privileges and immunities (freedom from natural or usual liability). Now in this great charter, the Lord proclaims this, that sincerity shall go for perfection; that a little done for God, in the time of temptation, shall be counted much. In this great charter, the Lord proclaims unto all His people, that He rather regards the bent (inclinations ) of the heart than the enlargement of the heart: that He rather regards the will to do, than the doing.
In this great charter, the covenant of free grace, the Lord proclaims unto all His people, that if they fail in prayer and other duties (for I speak not of prayer only ),
He will not cast them off, but He will rather be moved to pity them; for the covenant that the Lord makes with His people is as the covenant that a man makes with his wife; “I will betroth thee unto me for ever” says the Lord, Hosea 2:19. Now a man will not put away his wife for every failing, neither will the Lord put away his people nor cast them off, because He is betrothed to them though they do fail in duties. Again, in this great charter and covenant of grace, the Lord proclaims unto all His children, that what they lack in performance, he will make up in indulgence. He proclaims this unto them, that He will require no more than He gives; He will give what he requires, and He will accept what He gives. Now, therefore, am I in that covenant of grace? And are there many failings in my duties? Yet if this be true, that the Lord is more moved by my failings to pity me than to cast me off, then I have no reason to be discouraged. And thus it is with every child of God. He is in this covenant of grace, and so the privileges and immunities of all this great charter belong unto him.”
It is remarkable, that in this covenant of Grace,” that sincerity shall go for perfection”. This is a reoccurring theme through all the Puritan writings.
” that a little done for God, in the time of temptation, shall be counted much”.
He regards the inclinations of the heart and is not worried about the hearts size or ability.
Of course the security of the believer is throughout their writings, comments like
“He will not cast us off but rather is moved to pity. We are betrothed to Him and God hates divorce. What we lack in performance, he will make up in indulgence. When is the last time you heard that from a pulpit? Or, what He requires he will give.