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Summaries by Reg Barrow and others.

 

 

 

Resource 0. NEW ULTRA LOW PRICE!!!

THE ENGLISH HEXAPLA EXHIBITING THE SIX IMPORTANT ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES, WICLIF, TYNDALE, CRANMER, GENEVAN, ANGLO-RHEMISH, AUTHORIZED OR KING JAMES VERSION (1841)

"Hexapla," of course, means "six-fold" or "six-columned" As the section of this book explaining the "Plan of the English Hexapla" notes, "the term 'Hexapla' was originally applied to the work executed by Origen in the 3rd century; in which the first column contained the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament; the second, the Hebrew text in Greek letters; the third, Aquila's Greek version; the fourth, the translation of Symmachus; the fifth, the LXX version (i.e. the Septuagint--RB); the sixth, Theodotion's version." The English Hexapla offered here contains the six English translations noted in the title, arranged side by side for easy comparison and reference. Dates for each version used are as follows: Wiclif (1380), Tyndal (1534), Cranmer (1539), Geneva (1557), Rheims (1582), King James Version (1611). Of special interest may be the Geneva 1557 version (from a copy of the first edition), as both Geneva Bible's presently in print contain later versions (1599 and 1602) of this text. It should also be noted that the notes to the Geneva Bible are not included in the English Hexapla, just the text. The 1611 edition of the KJV will also be of value to those who would like to compare it with the more modern version of this translation. "The notation of the verses has been inserted in all the translations, for convenience of reference... In illustration of the utility of the comparison of the various translations, much that is interesting might be advanced, but which the use of the volume will at once afford. The varied, although ordinarily equivalent manner in which the different translators render the same phrase, often throws much light upon the exact meaning; and when the versions vary in sense, the enquiry suggested with reference to the Original cannot fail to afford profit while it interests" ("Plan of the English Hexapla," pp. 161-162). Additionally this English Hexapla also includes "The original Greek text after Scholz with the various readings of the Textus Receptus and the principal Constantinopolitan and Alexanderine manuscripts, and a complete collation of Scholz's text with Griesbach's edition of 1805... The Greek text has been placed in the upper part of each page, for the purpose of facilitating the comparison of the versions with the Original, so desirable when they vary in rendering any passage." This is all preceded by a detailed and annotated 160 page historical account of the English translations of the Bible (in connection with the progress of the Reformation). This introductory section (which is a book in itself) also includes biographical notices about the various translations (from the Anglo-Saxon and English versions prior to the middle of the Fourteenth century up to the King James Version).

 

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Resource 1. WALKER, PATRICK (Compiler)

Biographia Presbyteriana (2 volumes, 1827 edition)

 

Volume one covers the lives and remarkable testimonies of Alexander Peden (also know as Peden the Prophet, because of the extraordinary [and always accurate] prophecies that God gave him throughout his life), John Semple, John Welwoold and Richard Cameron. Volume two covers the lives of Donald Cargill, Walter Smith, and James Renwick. Walker's advantage in writing of these men, as Hay Fleming points out, can be seen in "that he lived in the times of which he wrote, that he personally knew many of the Covenanters and martyrs of whom he wrote, and that he was himself a shrewd observer and was endowed with a tenacious memory." Walker himself had endured imprisonment and torture for Christ's Covenanted cause and Burton writes that his "unadorned descriptions of suffering and heroism convey a lesson to the heart which no genius or learning could strengthen."

 

Pertaining to Peden's prophetic gifts, note the following two testimonies (and Walker includes a great number of similar accounts in this book),

 

"In the year 1689, after the murdering of Mr. Cameron, and these Worthies with him at Airdsmoss, he (Peden--RB) was near Machline in the Shire of Air. One Robert Brown of Crosshouse, who lived near the Newmills, and one Hugh Pinaneve Factor to the Earl of Lowdon, stabled their horse in that house where he was, and went to a fair in Machline: And in the afternoon, when they came to take their horse, they got a drink; and in the time of it, the said Hugh, a wicked wretch both in principle and practice, brake out in railing against the sufferers (i.e. the faithful Covenanters--RB), particularly against Mr. Cameron. Mr. Peden being in another room, over-hearing all, was so grieved, that he came to the Chamber-door, and said to the said Hugh, Sir, hold your peace; ere Twelve a clock you shall know what for a man Mr. Cameron was; God shall punish that blasphemous mouth and cursed tongue of yours, in such a manner as shall be astonishing and affrighting to all that shall see you; and shall set you up as a beacon to all railing Rabshakehs. Robert Brown, knowing Mr. Peden, hasted to his horse, being persuaded that Mr. Peden's words would not fall to the ground, and fearing that some mischief might befall him for being in the said Hugh's company. They rode hard home; Robert went to his own house, and Hugh to the Earl's house; and casting off his boots, he was struck with such sickness and pain through his body, with his mouth so wide, and his tongue hanging so far out in a fearful manner, they sent for the said Robert, being used to take blood: he got some blood of him, but all in vain; he died before midnight. The said Robert, an old man, told me this passage, when in prison together" (p. 51).

 

"...the same night after this discourse, while about family worship, about ten or eleven of the clock, explaining the portion of Scripture he (Peden--RB) read, he suddenly halted, and hearkened, and said three times over, 'What's this I hear?' and hearkened again a little time, and clapt his hands and said, 'I hear a dead shot at the throne of Britain; let him go yonder, he has been a black sight to these lands, especially to poor Scotland; we're well quit of him; there has been many a wasted prayer wearied on him.' And it was concluded by all, the same hour, in the same night, that unhappy man Charles the II died. I had this account from John Muirhead and others, who were present, and confirmed in the truth of them by some worthy Christians, when I was in Ireland" (p. 56).

 

There are few things like the life stories of faithful Christians who have been persecuted and even martyred for faithfulness to the whole counsel of God to stir the soul to greater diligence and zeal in all areas of holiness. Indexed, over 700 pages.

 

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RELATED RESOURCE (On the Prophecy Question):

 

BARROW, GREG

(on behalf of the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton)

A Reformation Discussion of Extraordinary Predictive Prophecy Subsequent to the Closing of the Canon of Scripture (1998)

"The following document is a response to questions raised by Mike Wagner (a member of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton or PRCE) regarding the position of the PRCE on the subject of extraordinary predictive prophecy subsequent to the closing of the canon of Scripture. This is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the subject, but simply a response to specific questions asked. Though this was not initially intended for public distribution, we have received requests that it be made available to a wider audience. It is hoped that this summary of our position will aid the Church of Christ by encouraging further study of this difficult subject" (Introductory paragraph).

 

This book (of 28 pages) clearly demonstrates that many major Reformers (and even the early church fathers) were not strict cessationists, nor were they "Charismatics." It shows how extraordinary predictive prophecy was practiced during both Reformations and how the Reformers justified this from Scripture. Proof for this continuing practice (and the parameters laid out in Scripture) is provided from the teaching and practice of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (from the Second Book of Discipline), John Knox, Samuel Rutherford, George Gillespie, James Durham, David Steele, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Thomas Goodwin, Justin Martyr and a host of others. Notice, for example, the following comment by George Gillespie,

 

I must say it, to the glory of God, there were in the church of Scotland, both in the time of our first reformation, and after the reformation, such extraordinary men as were more than ordinary pastors and teachers, even holy prophets receiving extraordinary revelations from God, and foretelling diverse strange and remarkable things, which did accordingly come to pass punctually, to the great admiration of all who knew the particulars. Such were Mr. Wishart the martyr, Mr. Knox the reformer, also Mr. John Welsh, Mr. John Davidson, Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. Alexander Simpson, Mr. Fergusson, and others. It were too long to make a narrative here of all such particulars, and there are so many of them stupendous, that to give instance in some few, might seem to derogate from the rest, but if God give me opportunity, I shall think it worth the while to make a collection of these things (George Gillespie, "Miscellany Questions," in The Works of George Gillespie Vol. 2, Chapter 5, section 7, p. 30).

 

The following eight questions are answered herein:

 

Question #1 - What is the difference between the theological position on prophecy (extra biblical revelation) of the above mentioned men of God and the present day charismatics?

 

Question #2 - What is the explicit Scriptural teaching that underlies and justifies what those men of God did? Why should I believe that extra-biblical revelation can still occur?

 

Question #3 - Is the cessationist position basically correct with extraordinary exceptions, or is the cessationist position a theological error that should be repudiated?

 

Question #4 - Is it permissible for church officers to receive extra-biblical revelation that will guide them in the direction of church affairs?

 

Question #5 - Is it permissible for members of our congregations to claim to receive extra-biblical communications from God about future events and to claim to be prophets?

 

Question #6 - How would someone know that he has received extra-biblical communication from God rather than having simply deceived himself?

 

Question #7 - How would I know that someone claiming to get extra-biblical revelations from God is actually getting such revelations from God?

 

Question #8 - What is the difference between mysticism and genuine spiritual experience?

 

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RELATED RESOURCE (Modern Day Martyrs):

 

 

HAMMOND, PETER (Video Documentary)

In the Frontline: Evangelizing in the War Zones

This 35 minute video is an astonishing and graphic account of the terrible oppression that Christians face in various African countries today (at the hands of Muslims, Communists and others). It also shows the sacrifices that must be made if Africa is to become a Christian continent. Furthermore, it explains what is presently being done to bring these nations to Christ and how you can help.

 

(Video) $24.95 (US funds) [$19.95, $5.00 off to September 13, 2010]

 

 

HAMMOND, PETER (Audio Documentary)

Jihad & Slavery in Sudan: Africa's Forgotten War

A stunning account, based on many eyewitness testimonies, of the ongoing and brutal Islamic persecution of Christians in Sudan. Also provides documentation of the thriving slave trade practiced by the Muslims (on Christians) in Africa. "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body" (Heb. 13:3).

 

(Cassette) $9.95 (US funds) [$8.95, $1.00 off to September 13, 2010]

 

 

 

Resource 2. RENWICK, JAMES

A Choice Collection of Very Valuable Prefaces, Lectures, and Sermons Preached Upon the Mountains and Muirs of Scotland In the Hottest Times of the Late Persecution By that Faithful Minister and Martyr of Jesus Christ the Reverend Mr. James Renwick (1776 ed.)

Another very rare item of over 600 pages. Carefully collected and faithfully transcribed from several manuscripts, these pages exhibit some of the reasons why Renwick sealed his testimony with his blood. Houston notes that these sermons were preached "in the Coventicles, in the fields, amidst all dangers and incidents of weather, and by night as well as by day." They set forth the amazing grasp of truth that this young martyr for Christ was granted. "Renwick's sermons," writes Hay Fleming, "show that he was a faithful preacher of the Gospel; and those who had realized in their own experience that it was the power of God unto salvation were anxious at all hazards to listen to the Word when proclaimed by such a devoted and fearless messenger" (Story of the Scottish Covenant in Outline [$US3.99 P; $14.00 HP]). Furthermore, Houston says of these sermons, "They were not prepared with any view to future publication; and the trying circumstances in which their devoted author was placed, wholly prevented any correction or revisal. Yet they contain not only remarkably clear expositions of the word, and a full exhibition of the scheme of salvation, but also many passages which, for searching application to the conscience, and moving eloquence, are unsurpassed in the discourses of eminent preachers either in ancient or modern times" (Life of Renwick, p. 17 [$US4.49 P; $19.00 HP]).

 

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Resource 3. BROOKS, THOMAS

The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod; With Sovereign Antidotes for Every Case (1811)

Subtitled: "A Christian with an Olive Leaf in His Mouth, When Under the Greatest Afflictions, Trials, Troubles, and Darkest Providences; With Answers to Questions and Objections, Calculated to Promote Submission and Silence Under All the Changes that May Be Experienced in this World." A Puritan look at the perplexing and sometimes disconcerting subject of dealing in a godly manner with those trials and afflictions which frequently beset the saints. This is an important book for all Christians who seek to maintain a faithful testimony by adding patience and godliness to moderation (cf. 2 Peter 1:6-7); and who constantly wage war with the world, the flesh and the devil. If you have ever complained, become angry, or let the flame of your first love grow dim because of the trials of this life, this book should be a great encouragement and help. Brooks also wrote Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices ($9.95 from SWRB). In the preface to Precious Remedies it is noted that he was among the leading Puritan preachers/authors and that "some few might even award him a topmost niche among the choicest spirits of the seventeenth century." 250 pages.

 

ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTED SALE PRICE UP TO AND INCLUDING September 13, 2010

 

(Bound photocopy) $6.95 (US funds) [$13 off!]

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Resource 4. RUTHERFORD, SAMUEL

Quaint Sermons of Samuel Rutherford Hitherto Unpublished (1885)

As Andrew Bonar notes in his preface to this book, "Samuel Rutherford never fails to set Christ on high, for truly he had 'a thirst no earthly stream could satisfy -- A hunger that must feed on Christ, or die.'" These sermons, in setting forth the splendor of Christ as revealed in His Word, will continue to offer much comfort and consolation to contemporary Christians. Of the sermons that make up this volume some titles include, "The Spouse's Longing for Christ (Song of Solomon 5:3-6)," "Fear not, thou worm Jacob (Isa. 41:14-16)," "The Worth and Excellence of the Gospel (2 Cor. 10:4-5)," and "The Forlorn Son -- The Fathers Expressed Welcome (Luke 15:22-23)" -- along with fourteen others. 384 pages.

 

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Resource 5. AUGUSTINE

A Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints (c. 428)

Augustine was the great forerunner to the Reformation and it was on books like this that Luther, Calvin, and the other magisterial Reformers cut their teeth. "This treatise is the first portion of a work, of which the following, On the Gift of Perseverance, is the second... (these titles) were called out by two long letters, one from Prosper and the other from Hilary, acquainting Augustine with the Semi-Pelagian outbreak in Southern Gaul, and earnestly beseeching his aid in meeting it" (Editor's note). The corrupted demon seed of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism (later being refined into Arminianism), being just newly planted by the wicked one in Augustine's day, has grown into a massive tree in our day. Its poison fruit now feeds most of the branches of ecclesiastical antichrist: from Rome, to the liberal Protestant churches and the cults, and now even reaching all the way into the very heart of so-called "evangelical" Protestant chruches (of all varieties). This soul destroying heresy has reached pandemic proportions among professing "Christians" in our day. Ironically, this work of Augustine is probably more needed in our day than it was in his -- over a millennium and a half later. A section of the subtitle provides an interesting overview of this treatise: "Wherein the truth of predestination and grace is defended against the Semi-Pelagians, -- those people, to wit, who by no means withdraw altogether from the Pelagian heresy, in that they contend that the beginning of salvation and of faith is of ourselves; so that in virtue, as it were, of this precedent merit (in man--RB), the other good gifts of God are attained." The editor notes, "Augustine shows that not only the increase, but the very beginning also of faith, is God's gift. On this matter he does not disavow that he once thought differently, and that in some small works, written before his Episcopate, he was in error, as in that exposition, which they object to him, of propositions from the epistle to the Romans. But he points out that he was subsequently convinced chiefly by this testimony, 'But what hast thou that thou hast not received?' Which he proves is to be taken as a testimony concerning faith itself..."

 

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Resource 6. PERKINS, WILLIAM

A Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (1617)

"Perkins was justly esteemed by his contemporaries as a master in theology. This commentary is deeply theological, and reads like a body of divinity," writes Spurgeon (Commenting on Commentaries). Darling, in his Cyclopaedia Bibliographica (p. 2337) writes, "A learned and pious Calvinistic divine... He excelled in a distinct judgment; a rare dexterity in clearing the obscure subtleties of the schools, and in an easy explication of perplexed subjects. As a preacher, he was greatly admired. Several of his works have been translated in Latin, French, Dutch, and Spanish." Perkins covers the first five chapters of Galatians in this work, while Cudworth completes the final chapter. 613 pages.

 

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Resource 7. M'CRIE, THOMAS

The Life of Andrew Melville (2 volumes)

Almost 900 pages covering the life and work of Knox's successor. Melville raised the level of learning and education in Scotland to the point where it became a leading nation in this field. He also advanced much of the practical work concerning the purifying of the Presbyterian church, which Knox had started. Melville is often remembered for his bold rebuke of "God's silly vassal," King James VI, regarding the divine right of the true church to govern her own affairs, without unwarranted interference from the civil magistrate.

 

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Resource 8. HOG, JAMES

Notes About the Spirit's Operations, for Discovering from the Word, their Nature and Evidence (1709)

The title continues: "Together with Diverse Remarks, for Detecting the Enthusiastical Delusions of the Cevenois, Antonia Bourignon, and Others. As Also Some Account of the Differences Betwixt a Legal and Evangelical Administration. Being the Substance of Several Private Discourses on Gal. 3:2." "Hog was one of the 'Marrow men,' as advocates of evangelical truth were styled in the Church of Scotland. He edited the first edition of the Marrow of Modern Divinity ($US14.99P; $29.00 HP) published in Scotland. He was a distinguished preacher. This little work of his is now rare" (Inside cover note). 189 pages.

 

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Resource 9. BEEKE, JOEL

The Quest for Full Assurance: The Legacy of Calvin and His Successors (1999)

In-depth studies and comparisons of William Perkins, Willem Teellinck, the Westminster Confession, John Owen, Alexander Comrie, and Thomas Goodwin convincingly demonstrate, with fresh insights, that the differences between Calvin and English/Dutch Calvinism on assurance arose primarily from a newly evolving pastoral context -- rather than from foundational variations in doctrine. "The first extensive essay on this important topic to appear in the English language…" (Richard Muller, back cover). "A long-needed and outstanding work on the subject of assurance… of permanent importance for preachers and students" (Iain Murray, back cover). "An erudite treatise… a valuable study in pastoral theology. It will therefore repay careful reading by scholar, pastor and lay people alike" (Preface, p. xvi, Sinclair Ferguson). "It is a joy to see Joel Beeke's simplified revision of his Ph.D. dissertation produced as The Quest for Full Assurance. For the first time in the English language we are offered a superb description and evaluation of the neglected doctrine of Assurance as developed from the Reformers through the Puritans to Alexander Comrie of the Dutch Second Reformation. What strikes this reviewer most, having read the original Ph.D. thesis, is not merely the clarity, simplicity, ease and familiarity with which Dr Beeke moves through his chosen field, but also his evident love for the Lord's people -- both those who have been formative influences on his own spiritual life and studies and those who continue to struggle with the great question 'Am I His or am I not?' May the God of all comfort richly apply to others our good friend's sensitive and warm-hearted treatment of a subject so evidently dear to his own heart." (John M. Brentnall in Peace and Truth 1999:3). Chapters include: "The Early and Medieval Church," 'The Reformation from Luther to Bullinger," Reformed Development in Calvin and Beza," "The Fathers of English Puritanism and the Dutch Second Reformation," "English Puritanism and the Westminster Confession, Chapter 18," "John Owen," "Alexander Comrie," "Thomas Goodwin: The Merging of English-Dutch Thinking of Assurance," and an appendix on " The Dutch Second Reformation." One of the best books on this most important (and practical) topic -- maybe even the best! Contains a 68-page bibliography, an 11-page index of names and subjects and a 3-page index of biblical references. 407 pages.

 

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Resource 10. KNOX, LATIMER and WELCH

The Pulpit of the Reformation

Contains four sermons: "The Last Judgment," by John Welch (with an extract from Latimer's sermon "The Day of Judgment"); "The Parable of the Householders," and "The Parable of the Tares," by Hugh Latimer; and a sermon on Isa. 26:13-14 preached before the King of Scotland (Darnley). Subsequent to this sermon, his conscience stinging, the King attempted to forbid Knox from preaching. Knox, of course, refused the King's command, as "he had spoken nothing but according to his text." An extract from Knox's "Admonition to the People of England" is subjoined to the final sermon in this collection. 64 pages.

 

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Resource 11. PAUL, JOHN

A Refutation of Arianism (1828)

The title continues: "Or, A Defence of the Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, The Supreme Deity of the Son and the Holy Ghost, The Atonement, Original Sin, Predestination, The Perseverance of the Saints, etc." To this is added "A Defence of Creeds and Confessions." 319 pages.

 

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Resource 12. HERKLESS, JOHN

Richard Cameron

Part of the famous Scots series, this book chronicles the life of the Presbyterian Pastor know as the "Lion of the Covenant." Cameron rejected his early Episcopalian persuasion, subsequent to hearing "the persecuted Gospel in the fields," and after "the wonderful working of the Lord by His powerful Spirit upon him" revealing "a lively discovery of the sin and hazard of Prelacy," he joined with ranks of the persecuted Covenanters, notes Howie (in Scots Worthies). He set an uncompromising standard for the gospel and against the enemies of Christ, for which he was hunted and ultimately martyred. In mockery of his testimony, the wicked took his head and hands and fixed them upon the Netherbow Port, with the fingers upward. "One of his and Christ's declared enemies, when he looked at his head at Edinburgh, gave him this testimony, saying, "There's the head and hands of a man who lived praying and preaching, and died praying and fighting.' And wherever the faithful contendings of the Covenanted Church of Scotland are made mention of, this, to his hounour, shall be recorded of him." (Scots Worthies). Herkless also states that "[i]t is of noteworthy significance... that for over two hundred years Cameron's name has been associated with a set of men marked by the strictest adherence to Calvinism, and by a genuine, even though severe, profession of piety. It was a remarkable testimony to their religious earnestness when Norman Macleod, referring to the parish of Loudoun, wrote: 'I am eagerly desirous to get family worship established -- of that there seems not to be a vestige, except among the Cameronians, and there every family has it.' In this testimony stands the name of Cameron, who, by the genuineness of his religion, his uncompromising devotion to principle, and the greatness of his cause, touched the nation and fixed himself in its memory." Cameron was ordained at the hands of the exiled Robert MacWard and John Brown (of Wamphray), while in Holland. "He and a group of supporters issued the Sanquhar Declaration, renouncing the authority of Charles II, and declaring war upon him as a tyrant and usurper. For this he was declared a traitor, and had a heavy price put on his head" (Cameron, ed. Dictionary of Scottish Church History, p.124). 152 pages.

 

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Resource 13. STEELE, DAVID

Notes on the Apocalypse (1870)

 

In 1779, in their Testimony and Warning Against the Blasphemies and Idolatry of Popery, the Reformed Presbytery called Durham's Complete Commentary... On the Book of Revelation [$39.98, 2 vol. rare bound photocopy], "the best exposition of that book that has yet been published" (p. 61n). Had they had the privilege of reading Steele's Notes on the Apocalypse we are quite certain that they would have given it a similar endorsement. Though written in a different style than Durham's work, Steele's notes on Revelation may be even more valuable in many respects -- Steele having taken a more decided position "in the wilderness." Steele also had the benefit of many more resources, having written over two centuries later. Steele's aim in writing this book is made clear in his own words taken from the preface,

 

As this work is intended for the instruction and edification of the unlearned, rather than for the entertainment of the learned, words of foreign extract are used as seldom as possible. Practical remarks and reflections are rarely introduced; the principal aim being simply to ascertain and present to the reader the mind of the Holy Spirit. How far this object has been accomplished, is of course left to the judgment of the honest inquirer. The reader, however, in forming his judgment of the value of these Notes, may be reminded of that inspired rule in searching the Scriptures,--"Comparing spiritual things with spiritual." To assist him in the application of this divine rule, many chapters and verses are quoted from other parts of the Bible, but especially within the Apocalypse itself; that by concentrating the various rays upon particular texts or symbols, their intrinsic light may be rendered more luminous. Thus the interpretation given, if correct, may be confirmed and illustrated.

 

Appendices include a section on, The New Jerusalem, The Antichrist, The Image of the Beast, The Beast's "deadly wound," The Little Book, The Death of the Witnesses, The Mark of the Beast, The First Resurrection, The Identity of the Two Witnesses, Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet and The Title of this Book (i.e. the Book of Revelation--RB). This work also includes various "animadversions on the interpretations (of Revelation--RB) of several among the most learned and approved expositors of Britain and America."

 

Comments on this work include the four given below, all which were given without the solicitation or knowledge of the author. The Evangelical Repository notes, "the author adduces a greater number of Scriptural illustrations than any other writer on prophecy we ever met with." Hutcheson writes, "I can recommend it to any person as condensing the best thoughts to be had on the subject." Brooks says, "I have derived more knowledge of the Apocalypse from this work than from all other expositions which I have consulted." And finally, John Cunningham comments, "It is neither a dictionary nor concordance; neither a confession of faith, nor an encyclopedia, but a thesaurus of Theology, embodying the characters of all these." Steele dedicated this work to John Cunningham, author of The Ordinance of Covenanting ($14.99 P, $29.00 HP). 323 pages.

 

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Resource 14. DEXTER, HENRY MARTIN

Roger Williams and His 'Banishment' from the Massachusetts Plantation; With a Few Further Words Concerning the Baptists, the Quakers, and Religious Liberty (1876)

Refutes the silly, historically inaccurate, anti-Biblical notion that Williams was some kind of champion of liberty. The fact of the matter is that Williams' wicked views were much closer to Anabaptist antinomian anarchy than to biblical liberty. Moreover, Williams paved the way, with his antichristian views, for much of the open opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ and His law that we see in society today. He even abandoned many of his own ideas, after seeing their unworkableness, when they were turned against him in his later life. Ultimately, as this book demonstrates, Williams was a confused upstart that promoted a number of devilish ideas. It also demolishes much of the historical revisionism surrounding Williams, his contemporaries and their times (from many [rare] source documents). 146 (8.5" x 11") pages with a chronological table of events surrounding Williams and his life.

 

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Resource 15. RIDGELEY, THOMAS

Commentary on the Larger Catechism (2 volumes)

Originally entitled: A Body of Divinity: Wherein the Doctrines of the Christian Religion are Explained and Defended. Being the Substance of Several Lectures on the Assembly's Larger Catechism, we have re-titled it to better reflect its contents for contemporary readers. Consisting of over 1300 pages, this massive and extensive two-volume commentary on the Westminster Larger Catechism is unrivaled in scope or extensiveness. Ridgeley himself notes, in "The Author's Preface" (p. ix), "The work is large, but the vast variety of subjects will render it more tolerable.... especially since it is rather designed to be read in families than committed to memory..." The editor of this edition, John Wilson, pronounces Ridgeley's work as "the best book of its class," stating, "no book in the English language, or, so far as I know, in any other, will serve so efficiently the purposes of a daily companion to a reflecting Christian in his inquiries into Divine truth, or a guide to a candidate for the Christian ministry in introducing him to his theological studies (p. xi). "In 1731 appeared the first edition of Mr. Ridgeley's great work -- that in connection with which chiefly his name lives in history, and whose influence, as an instrument of good, will probably render him celebrated and useful for generations to come... (p. xxii)." Moreover he continues, "a taste, however, for the racy and substantial theological writings of the days of Britain's moral giants has of late revived; and it will scarcely fail to adopt, as one of the richest dishes of its multifarious banquet for the intellect and the soul, Dr. Ridgeley's Body of Divinity (p. xxi)." Additionally, Wilson concludes his "Life of the Author" with these words, "His method of reasoning he has adapted to the capacities of those who are unacquainted with the abstruse terms made use of by metaphysicians and schoolmen, and when introduced into subjects of theology, have a tendency rather to perplex than to improve the mind. His scheme of divinity is evidently Calvinistic; but; then, he has explained his subjects with so much moderation and latitude, as to obviate many of the objections raised against the system of doctrines that passes under that name. Upon the whole, it is probable that the English language does not furnish a work of this nature that, for perspicuity of language, extent of research, accuracy of judgement, and judicious description of the numerous subjects that fall under examination, any way equals this work of Dr. Ridgeley... he was accounted one of the most considerable divines of his age" (emphasis added, p. xxiii).

 

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Resource 16. BOSTON, THOMAS

Commentary on the Shorter Catechism (2 volumes)

Two large volumes of over 1300 pages! Boston's work is the most comprehensive reference set ever penned on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Concerning the Shorter Catechism, A.F. Mitchell states "...it is a thoroughly Calvinistic and Puritan catechism, the ripest fruit of the Assembly's thought and experience, maturing and finally fixing the definitions of theological terms to which Puritanism for half a century had been leading up and gradually coming closer and closer to in its legion of catechisms" (The Westminster Assembly...). The Shorter Catechism is the "king of the catechisms" for shear power of expression, combining logical cogency with succinctness. Boston's exposition is unrivalled; there is nothing else like it. Here you have the cream of Puritan catechisms married to the cream of clear Puritan exposition! This is likely Boston's most important work. A set that will meet numerous needs, ranging from use in family worship, Christian education and personal study, to sermon preparation -- and for help in settling debated questions on the Presbytery floor. A one-of-a-kind set of books that will serve your family for generations to come!

 

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Resource 17. BOSTON, THOMAS

A Rich Feast for Hungry Souls

Concerning the duty, privilege and wonder of being the object of Christ's love (11 sermons, 123 pages).

 

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Resource 18. DARLING, JAMES

Cyclopaedia Bibliographica: A Library Manual of Theological and General Literature, and Guide to Books for Authors, Preachers, Students and Literary Men. Analytical, Bibliographical, and Biographical (1854)

An indispensable set for authors, researchers, serious students of Scripture, librarians, ministers, collectors, rare book dealers, etc. Contains much information that is either unavailable elsewhere or would have to be gleaned from several scattered volumes. Its ten volumes total 5245 pages. A phenomenal, theological, bibliographical resource of staggering comprehensiveness. The first section of this extremely rare set is a huge bibliography, organized by authors alphabetically. Most known Biblical and theological publications, to the author's day, are listed. Includes not only English listings, but Latin, French and German also. The second part is a topical bibliography categorizing items under the headings of Universal Knowledge, Theology (including the major commentaries, sermons, articles and studies for just about every verse in the Bible), a listing of Scripture texts (Hebrew, Greek and Latin) and an extensive index. The Morning Post calls this massive work "the most copious, accurate, and well-arranged catalogue of works in theological and general literature which has as yet been published." Brownson's Review noted that "for practical utility we know of none that surpasses or approaches it." Finally Bell's Messenger states, "No clergyman or antiquarian should think it needless to possess a copy of this work. It will smooth many a day's hard toil, by diminishing the labour of research, pointing as it does, in an instant to works which it might have taken weeks, if not months, or years, to search after." Don't miss this darling of a help, which will ease and aid all your theological studies!

 

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Resource 19. RUTHERFORD, SAMUEL

The Covenant of Life Opened; Or, A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace, Containing Something of the Nature of the Covenant of Works, the Sovereignty of God, the Extent of the Death of Christ, the Nature & Properties of the Covenant of Grace: And Especially of the Covenant of Suretyship or Redemption Between the Lord and the Son Jesus Christ, and the Seal of Baptism: With some Practical Questions and Observations (1655)

A exceedingly rare Covenanter classic! These are deep waters and this title is recommended for those who have already developed some fair strength in swimming the strong theological currents of the second Reformation. Containing some of Rutherford's most mature thought, this book was published six years before Rutherford passed on to glory. Over 350 pages.

 

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Resource 20. CALVIN, JOHN

Calvin's Selected Works (7 Volumes)

These remarkable volumes contain Calvin's tracts and letters. They clearly exhibit why Calvin was one of the great saints (who defended the regulative principle of worship) and why his work was singularly blessed of God. Understanding these works will shed much light on our current situation; for many in the professed Christian community live in as great (or greater) darkness today than those who were contemporaries of Calvin. This set contains such classics as "The Necessity of Reforming the Church," "The Catechism of the Church of Geneva," "An Antidote Against Trent," "The Sinfulness of Outward Conformity to Romish Rites" and much more. Calvin's only letter to Luther, his letters to Knox, Bullinger, Beza and a host of other Reformers, along with Beza's 100 page Life of Calvin are also all included. Indexed, 3507 pages.

 

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Resource A. MACHEN, J. GRESHAM

New Testament Greek for Beginners (1923)

A standard text for learning Greek. "This textbook is intended primarily for students who are beginning the study of the Greek Testament either without any previous acquaintance with the Greek language or with an acquaintance so imperfect that a renewed course of elementary instruction is needed... The New Testament usage will here be presented without any reference to Attic Prose... The book is an instruction book, and not a descriptive grammar. Since it is an instruction book, everything in it is made subservient to the imparting of a reading acquaintance with the language... The effort is made here to enter upon these explanations which the fifteen years' experience of the author in teaching New Testament Greek has shown to be essential... The vocabularies have been limited to words which are very common in the New Testament..." (Preface). Indexed, 299 pages.

 

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Resource B. WHITAKER, WILLIAM

A Disputation on Holy Scripture, Against the Papists, Especially Bellarmine and Stapleton

(Originally written in 1588; 1610 [Latin], 1849 English edition translated by Fitzgerald)

The apostate (now) Roman Catholic apologist, Scott Hahn, in his book Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism, speaks of the extensive reading of pro- and anti-Romanist literature he had done as he was led down the road to Rome from modern Calvinism. Among other reasons he lists for his declension, one major factor was what he saw to be the lack of cogent reply from modern "Protestants," including Dr. John Gerstner, to the arguments of the Roman Catholic Church. Notwithstanding that there are serious reasons to doubt Hahn's credibility and integrity (for example, he paints out Luther and Calvin to teach only a formal, "courtroom language" view of justification: "Luther and Calvin explained this [justification] exclusively in terms of courtroom language. But I was beginning to see that, far more than simply being a judge, God was our Father. Far more than simply being criminals, we were runaways. Far more than the New Covenant being made in a courtroom, it was fashioned by God in a family room." -- p. 30; for refutation of this ridiculous, slanderous caricature, see Luther's Small Catechism, question on "Our Father who art in heaven;" Calvin's Institutes, Book III, 20.36ff; Robert Dabney's Systematic Theology, p. 627; Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 12; etc., etc.), had he read this work by William Whitaker (and it is our prayer that he may still perhaps do so), he would have found more than a lifetime of Romanist readings and reasonings could overcome.

 

Whitaker's design (prosecuted throughout his lifetime) was to deal systematically with the major points of controversy between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics; his Disputation on Holy Scripture was the first in this series, and the only one translated from Latin into English (of which we are aware). In his dedicatory epistle to William Cecil and his preface to his Cambridge audience, he describes his opponents, especially the Jesuits, and then his confidence in Christ and His truth to overcome them:

 

"Amongst these locusts [Rev. 9:3], -- that is, as very learned men justly deem, amongst the innumerable troops of monks -- none, as we before said, have ever appeared, more keen, or better prepared and equipped for doing mischief, than are the Jesuits at this present day; who in a short space have surpassed all other societies of that kind in numbers, in credit, and in audacity. Other monks, following the rule and practice of former times, lived in general a life of leisure and inactivity, and spent their time, not in reading and the study of the sciences, but in repeating by the [hour]glass certain offices for the canonical hours, which contributed nothing to the advancement of either learning or religion. But the Jesuits have pursued a far different course. They have left the shade of ancient sloth and inactivity, in which the other monks had grown grey, and have come forth to engage in toils, to treat of arts and sciences, to undertake and carry through an earnest struggle for the safety of the common interest. It hath come to be understood, that the cause of Rome, which, shaken by the perilous blows dealt on every side by men of ability and learning, had begun in many parts to totter and give way, could never be defended or maintained, except by learned and diligent and active champions.... Among these Jesuits, Robert Bellarmine, a native of Italy, hath now for several years obtained a great and celebrated name.... Now, therefore, Bellarmine is cried up by his party as an invincible champion, as one with whom none of our men would dare to engage, whom nobody can answer, and whom if any one should hope to conquer, they would regard him as an utter madman.

 

When you, honoured sir, demanded my opinion of this writer, I answered, as indeed I thought, that I deemed him to be a man unquestionably learned, possessed of a happy genius, a penetrating judgment, and multifarious reading; -- one, moreover, who was wont to deal more plainly and honestly than is the custom of other papists, to press his arguments more home, and to stick more closely to the question....

 

[N]ow that Bellarmine hath been published, we shall know better and more certainly what it is they [the Papists] hold upon every subject, the arguments on which they specially rely, and what is (so to speak) the very marrow of popery, which is thought to be as much in the Jesuits as in the pope himself....

 

Our arms shall be the sacred scriptures, that sword and shield of the word, that tower of David, upon which a thousand bucklers hang, and all the armour of the mighty, the sling and the pebbles of the brook wherewith David stretched upon the ground that gigantic and haughty Philistine. Human reasonings and testimonies, if one use them too much or out of place, are like the armour of Saul, which was so far from helping David that it rather unfitted him for the conflict.... However, since we have to deal with adversaries who, not content with these arms, use others with more readiness and pleasure, such as the decrees of councils, judgments of the fathers, tradition, and the practice of the church; lest perchance we should appear to shrink from the battle, we have determined to make use of that sort of weapons also. And, indeed, I hope to make it plain to you, that all our tenets are not only founded upon scriptural authority, which is enough to ensure victory, but command the additional suffrage of the testimonies of the fathers, councils, and, I will add, even of many of the papists, which is a distinguished and splendid ornament of our triumph.... Thus it will be clear, that what Jerome, Epist. 139, applies out of Isaiah to the heretics, that 'they weave the spider's thread,' is pertinently applied to the papists. For, as Jerome says, they weave a web 'which can catch small and light animals, as flies and gnats, but is broken by the stronger ones.' Just thus many stick fast in the subtleties of the papists, as flies do in the spider's web, from which they are unable to extricate themselves, though nothing can possibly be frailer than those threads. Such are the reasonings of the papist, even the Jesuits themselves; who, although they seem to spin their threads with greater skill and artfulness, yet fabricate nothing but such cobwebs as may easily be broken by any vigorous effort. Be ye, therefore, of good cheer. We have a cause, believe me, good, firm, invincible. We fight against men, and we have Christ on our side; nor can we possibly be vanquished, unless we are the most slothful and dastardly of all cowards. Once wrest from the papists what they adduce beside the scripture, and you will presently see them wavering, turning pale, and unable to keep their ground."

 

Bellarmine was regarded by the Romanists as a scholarly and theological Goliath, and as Whitaker notes above, he was indeed a greatly gifted and learned man. It is most noteworthy, then, to read of Bellarmine's description of Whitaker:

 

"[a man] whom Cardinal Bellarmine is said to have pronounced 'the most learned heretic he had ever read,' and of whom Bishop Hall says, 'Who ever saw him without reverence, or heard him without wonder?...." "'I have,' says the writer of his life, in Lupton's Protestant Divines, 'I have heard it confessed of English Papists themselves, which have been in Italy with Bellarmine himself, that he [Bellarmine] procured the true portraiture and effigies of this Whitaker to be brought to him, which he kept in his study. For he privately admired this man for his singular learning and ingenuity; and being asked of some of his friends, Jesuits, why he would have the picture of that heretic in his presence? He would answer, Quod quamvis haereticus erat et adversarius, erat tamen doctus adversarius: that, 'although he was an heretic, and his adversary, yet he was a learned adversary'" ("Preface of the Editor" in the 1857 edition of Nathanael Culverwell's Of the Light of Nature; and from the editor's preface of Whitaker's work).

 

In this book we find the following six main chapters: "Of the number of the Canonical Books of Scripture," "Of the Authentic Edition and Versions of the Scriptures," "Of the Authority of Scripture," "Of the Perspicuity of Scripture," "Of the Interpretation of Scripture," "Of the Perfection of Scripture, against Unwritten Traditions," as well as Whitaker's "Preface to the Controversies, Delivered to the Audience at Cambridge."

 

Whitaker's masterwork, refuting some of the best the Jesuits had to offer (in upholding their Romish heresies attacking the Word of God), may even be more valuable in our day than when it was first written -- as many Protestants are unaware of the historic Protestant position on Scripture (witness the lack of response described by Scott Hahn), or worse, are already on the way back to Rome (on this and other vital points). Furthermore, Larry Birger comments, "...it's wonderful. He is absolutely thrashing the Papists, tying them in knots with not only the Scriptures, but the writings of the Church fathers (Jerome is devastating on the issue of the Apocrypha) and the Papists themselves (e.g., Cajetan, John Driedo, Melchior Canus, Sixtus Senensis)." This is a first-rate classic on some of the most foundational teaching of the Faith, not to be missed by the serious Christian, the scholar or anyone (including those presently trapped in Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth [i.e. Roman Catholic Church], Rev. 17:5) seeking ultimate truth. Study for yourself what Hahn missed, as the Christ-empowered Whitaker sinks his stones into Goliath's forehead, and then decapitates him with the sword of truth and the skill of one exceedingly learned in the very areas the Papists rely on the most! 718 pages, indexed; crystal-clear print.

 

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