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‘The people of God have ever been exercised with two sorts of enemies–persecutors [external foes] and sectaries [internal foes]: it is hard to say which is worst’. So Thomas Manton begins his ‘To the Reader’ section prefacing hisCommentary on Jude. He describes how the threat to the Reforming churches came not only from Roman Catholicism, but increasingly from ‘Libertines and a yokeless generation of men, who are most reproachful to religion and most troublesome’. He clearly understood that some of the gravest threats to the health of the Church come from within its own ranks, and believed Jude to be particularly concerned with such threats.
As well as Manton’sCommentary on Jude, this volume containsMeat out of the Eater, Or, Hopes of Unity in and By Divided and Distracted Times, a sermon preached to the House of Commons on June 30, 1647;England’s Spiritual Languishing; with The Causes and Cure, preached to the House of Commons on June 28, 1648;How May we Cure Distractions in Holy Duties,a sermon on Matthew 15:7,8 (‘Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.’);How Ought We to Improve Our Baptism?,a sermon on Acts 2:28 (‘Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins’);Man’s Impotency to Help Himself Out of His Misery, a sermon on Romans 5:6, (‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.’);The Scripture Sufficient Without Unwritten Traditions,a sermon on 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle.’); finally, there is included an editorial note onSmectymnuus Redivivus,a work composed by five ministers to answer Bishop Hall’s argument for the divine right of episcopacy and for which Manton provided a preface.
This product consists of Volume 5 ofThe Works of Thomas Manton (1620-1677).Manton’sWorkspresent us with an outstanding example of what was most characteristic in the ministry of the English Puritans: careful, solid, warm-hearted applicatory exposition of the Scriptures. The entire twenty-two volumes are composed of sermons— the legacy of a lifetime devoted to the patient and systematic teaching and application of God’s word. Like his younger contemporary, John Flavel, Manton’s Works are characterised by great pastoral concern and a balanced wisdom. He was, said William Bates in his funeral sermon, ‘endowed with an extraordinary knowledge in the Scriptures’ and this enabled him to exercise a sustained ministry of verse-by-verse preaching without losing the interest of his congregation.
The set is a facsimile of the James Nisbet & Co. edition of 1870.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. A PRACTICAL COMMENTARY; OR, AN EXPOSITION WITH NOTES, ON THE EPISTLE OF JUDE:–
The Epistle Dedicatory (3)
To the Reader (6)
2. MEAT OUT OF THE EATER (377)
3. ENGLAND’S SPIRITUAL LANGUISHING (411)
4. SERMONS AT THE MORNING EXERCISE:–
How we may Cure Distractions in Holy Duties (441)
How Ought we to Improve our Baptism? (459)
Man’s Impotency to Help Himself out of his Misery (473)
The Scripture Sufficient without Unwritten Traditions (485)