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The Works of Thomas Manton(1620–1677) present 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.
22 volume set
‘If ever there was an English divine who must be classed as a Puritan, that man is Manton…his works, like [Bunyan’s]Pilgrim’s Progress, deserve the attention of all true Christians…As an expositor of Scripture I regard Manton with unmingled admiration. Here, at any rate, he is facile princeps [easily first] among the divines of the Puritan school…In days like these, I am thankful that the publishers of Manton’sWorkshave boldly come forward to offer real literary gold to the reading public.’ — J.C. RYLEon the occasion of the reprinting of Manton’sWorksby James Nisbet in 1871–73.