Thomas Goodwin (1600–1680) was a faithful pastor, Westminster divine, advisor to Oliver Cromwell, and president of Magdalen College, Oxford. In this book, Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones acquaint the reader with Goodwin through an informative biographical introduction. The remainder of the book, 35 selections from across the works of Goodwin, displays Goodwin’s constant attention to Christ in his various theological engagements. You will learn much about the life and works of this influential Puritan, and perhaps, be strengthened with a habitual sight of Christ.
“A Scribe Well-Trained” acquaints us with the life and writings of Princeton Theological Seminary’s founding professor, Archibald Alexander (1772–1851). In the opening biographical sketch, James M. Garretson introduces us to the things that influenced Alexander and how he sought to cultivate godliness in himself, the men he trained, and people to whom he ministered. Garretson reinforces this through fifty-six short excerpts from across the published writings of Alexander, allowing us to experience firsthand the richness of “Old Princeton” spirituality.
A Sweet Flame introduces readers to the piety of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). Dr. Haykin’s biographical sketch of Edwards captures the importance the New England minister placed on Scripture, family piety, and the church’s reliance upon God. The remainder of the book presents 26 selections from various letters written by Edwards, two written by family members at his death, and an appendix drawing upon Edwards’s last will and the inventor of his estate.
“An Honest, Well-Experienced Heart” introduces us to the life and writings of Puritan preacher and author John Flavel (1627–1691). In his brief, introductory biography, Adam Embry discusses Flavel’s background, ministry, and theology of keeping the heart, which, for Flavel, “is the great business of a Christian’s life.” Centuries ago, Flavel wrote, “Above all other studies in the world, study your own hearts.” Embry guides us through forty-two short passages from Flavel’s writings that acquaint us with this dedicated Puritan minister’s piety and help us see the importance of this great business of keeping and managing our hearts.
Through both the biographical essay and the selections from Lemuel Haynes’s writings, readers are sure to perceive an Edwardsian sense of spirituality that ever lived in view of eternity. Well acquainted with difficulties, suffering, and death, Haynes’s ministry was infused with the unfailing hope of heaven.
“Sweetly Set on God” introduces readers to the life and journal writings of David Brainerd (1718–1747), best remembered for his missionary work among the American Indians. Dustin Benge begins by presenting the events of Brainerd’s short life and the intense personal spiritual piety that undergirded his pioneering missionary work. Then, in fifty-one excerpts drawn from Brainerd’s journal, readers will discover his evangelical humiliation, his understanding that God had altered his sinful human nature, his sensitivity to sin, and his holiness of life. Read this book and come to view Brainerd as Jonathan Edwards, his biographer, did: as “a remarkable instance of true and eminent Christian piety in heart and practice.”
“The Foundation of Communion with God” introduces readers to the Trinitarian piety of John Owen (1616–1683). Ryan McGraw’s introduction to Owen sketches the major events of this important theologian’s life and shows how his circumstances shaped his thought on the themes of the Trinity and public worship. The second part of the book presents forty-one brief selections from Owen’s writings that trace his thoughts on knowing God as triune, on Scripture and worship, on heavenly-mindedness, and on covenant and the church. Appendixes provide readers with a chronological list of Owen’s writings and a guide to them for those who wish to delve deeper into this great theologian’s thoughts.
“The King in His Beauty” introduces readers to the life and writings of Samuel Rutherford (1600–1661). Matthew Vogan’s biographical introduction traces the significant events of this Scottish theologian’s life and guides readers through his writings, focusing on his distinctive insight into Christian experience. In forty-three excerpts drawn from Rutherford’s letters, major treatises, catechism, and sermons, readers will discover the depth of Rutherford’s compassion, piety, and theological wisdom, all rooted in his unwavering love for Christ.
"Ever heard a foreign language and thought, 'That's beautiful. I'd love to understand that, or even speak like that'? You may have a similiar sensation as you read Samuel Rutherford's moving descriptions of Jesus Christ and His loving interactions with needy sinners. While the heavenly language and passionate experiences may initally seem strange to our shallow minds and cold hearts, Christians will find themselves enraptured and enticed to a deeper, higher, and wider knowledge and experience of Jesus Christ as they read these beatiful words." - David P. Murray, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
John Calvin is the most notable figure from the Reformed tradition. Unfortunately, he is often characterized as a stern and cerebral individual who had little concern for practical matters. However, Calvin was actually influential in promoting a profound sense of piety among early Protestantism. In The Soul of Life, Joel R. Beeke presents the life and ministry of Calvin with a special emphasis on Calvin’s efforts for cultivating healthy spirituality among the churches. The selections from Calvin’s own work will give readers a firsthand look at Calvin’s emphasis on godliness, and by God’s grace, will be a means for spurring on greater godliness in our day.
“The Sum and Substance of the Gospel” introduces readers to the life and writings of one of the greatest preachers of the modern era, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892). Nathan A. Finn and Aaron Lumpkin’s introduction trace the life and ministry of this great London pastor, focusing on Spurgeon’s commitment to the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, in forty-nine selections from Spurgeon’s sermons, writings, and correspondence, readers can see for themselves the way Spurgeon reveled in the glories of Jesus Christ, His saving work, and its effects upon the believer.
The Wholesome Doctrine of the Gospel familiarizes readers with one of England's most influential theologians, William Perkins. In the opening biographical sketch, Andrew S. Ballitch and J. Stephen Yuille give an overview of Perkins' life, theology, and piety. Then, in thirty-two excerpts, readers learn from the relationship between faith and love from Perkins himself as he explains the foundational "ground of doctrine to be believed" and "grounds of doctrine to be practice". Rather than treating theology as a subject for mere academic debate, Perkins calls for true Christian devotion that moves beyond intellectual assent to heartfelt dedication to Christ.