Ralph Venning T-shirt | PURITAN Collection

Regular price $ 25.00
Ralph Venning (1621 - 1674) was born in Devon to Francis and Joanne Venning, and spent his childhood and early adult life in the vicinity of Tavistock, where his father was a yeoman farmer. There Venning encountered the Puritan preacher, George Hughes, under whose diligent pastoral ministry he was converted, along with two other young men who also went on to become gospel ministers.

Apart from a short period in Devon, Venning ministered primarily in London, in fellowship with both Independent and Presbyterian preachers such as Joseph Caryl, John Owen, Richard Baxter and George Griffith. Indeed, London was a hub for godly preaching at that time. Venning, although known for his moderation and as one who avoided partisanship, was unequivocally committed to the goals of the Reformation and of the ‘Puritan revolution’, and served in a number of capacities during the Commonwealth period and under the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell.

In addition to his ministry among the Reformed churches during the heady days of the 1650s, Venning also preached on occasions at Paul’s Cross, an open air pulpit adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral, and described by historian Patrick Collinson as the seventeenth century equivalent of national broadcasting. Those who listened would have included the Aldermen and Mayor of London, as well as a broad spectrum of both Londoners and visitors to the capital. This was a platform to present to the widest possible audience sermons on matters of national importance. "The Way to True Happiness" is a record of one such sermon.

• Printed on Bella + Canvas tees
• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (heather colors contain polyester)
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
• Side-seamed

Size guide

Length (inches) 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Width (inches) 16 ½ 18 20 22 24 26 28 30

Media Gratiae is an independent nonprofit (501c3) multimedia ministry based out of New Albany, Mississippi. Our desire is to produce film, print, and other media for the glory of Christ and for the good of His Church.

Media Gratiae (pronounced "GRAH - tee - ā") is Latin for "the Means of Grace."

Fallen man receives all the blessings of salvation out of the eternal fountain of the grace of God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ and through the operation of the Holy Spirit. While the Spirit can and does in some respects operate immediately on the soul of the sinner, He has seen fit to bind Himself largely to the use of certain means in the communication of divine grace. " (L. Berkhof)

In other words, Christ has fully accomplished the redemption that the Father planned, and now the Spirit is applying that grace in time to the lives of God’s people all around the world. God has appointed certain “means” to serve as the channels through which the Spirit applies that grace. The scope of the work Media Gratiae produces is meant to give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission by the use of those means.

We believe that the chief means of grace is God’s word. It alone has the promise of being the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:16). Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. In doing so, he elevates the preached word of God to the foreground as the means by which God’s own voice is heard by sinners (Rom. 10:13-17). Paul's determination to preach Christ and Him crucified is understood in light of the fact that it is the voice of our Savior that brings dead men out of their tombs (John 5:25).

In Acts 2 we see that the early church not only gave themselves to the apostles' teaching and prayer, but also to fellowship with one another. In addition to the crucial fellowship we experience by being committed to a local body of believers, we can also experience something of "the communion of the saints" by making use of Christian Biography. In this way we can be helped by the example of those who have followed our Lord before us, and follow Paul's admonition to keep our eyes on those who walk according to the example we have in him.

Two lines from a hymn by John Berridge—one a statement, the other an earnest prayer—sum up the mission and hope of Media Gratiae:

The means of grace are in my hand,
The blessing is at God’s command
Who must the work fulfill;
And though I read, and watch and pray,
Yet here the Lord directs my way
And worketh all things still.

Prepare my tongue to pray and praise,
To speak of providential ways,
And heavenly truth unfold;
To strengthen well a feeble soul,
Correct the Wanton, rouse the dull,
And silence sinners bold.