Sunday, April 16, 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017
Travis Fentiman has done yeoman's work to assemble most of the highest rated commentaries identified by Charles Spurgeon, Richard Muller, Cyril J. Barber and others in one place where they are easily accessible online. Of particular interest to readers of this blog, there are so many Puritan and Reformation-era Bible commentaries that are now accessible.
This is a fantastic resource, and I highly commend it to all students of the Word of God.
Here is a more thorough overview of what this resource entails:
This is the best and largest collection of Bible commentaries on the net (a total of 2,200+). It includes, but is not limited to:
– Every commentary that Charles Spurgeon gave his top recommendation (3 stars *** ) and ‘good’ recommendation (2 stars ** ) to in his Commenting and Commentaries (1876);
– Every Reformed, Puritan or otherwise good commentary we could find on PRDL and EEBO that is in English;
– Every relevant commentary mentioned by Dr. Richard Muller in his survey of the major Reformation and Puritan era commentaries in McKim’s Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters Buy that is in English and online;
– Most all of the older Bible commentaries that a Bible-believer would be interested in, that are free online (in the public domain, pre-1920’s);
– The best of the commentaries listed in Cyril J. Barber’s The Minister’s Library (1974), including his top recommendations;
– The major commentaries from the Early and
that have been translated into English; Medieval Churches
– And many more.
The Best works are at the top of each page. More commentaries follow under the sub-sections: 1500’s, 1600’s, Simple & Practical, Intermediate, Advanced.
Commentaries in larger subsections have not been reduplicated on the pages of the individual books, except as Spurgeon or Barber commented on them. Some of the best commentaries are on those pages, so be sure to check them as well.
In the days ahead (Deo volente) we hope to add much more to this collection, including works in Latin and a selection of the better contemporary commentaries (only a few are present as is).
While contemporary commentaries have their benefits (they are typically more uniform, focus on exegesis, bring in archaeology, have some updated research, etc.), they are, as a whole (with few exceptions), seriously deficient in deep, savory, godliness. They will feed you information, but not your eternal soul. On the other hand, not only do many 1800’s commentaries often have more thorough scholarship in them than many contemporary commentaries (for instance, see Jamieson-Fausset-Brown in Whole Bible Commentaries), but in reading older puritan commentaries from the Reformation age, one not only grows in knowledge, but finds depths of soul-stirring communion with our Eternal and Beloved God.
Spurgeon’s justly famous, helpful and often humorous comments and evaluations have been quoted under the titles where possible. His scale is as follows:
*** – ‘Heartily recommended’ ** – ‘Good, but more ordinary’ * – ‘Least desirable’
Do note that Spurgeon’s recommendations were for whether a late-1800’s seminary student preparing to be a preacher should buy a certain commentary. As some commentaries were very pricey and scarce in Spurgeon’s day, he sometimes gave a lower rating to certain commentaries than what they otherwise deserve, and his emphasis is on whether a given work will be helpful to a preacher or not. By God’s grace, we have many more of these works available to us than what even Spurgeon and his readers had available to them in their own day.
Cyril J. Barber’s comments have been added where possible as well. He was a late-1900’s evangelical pastor and bibliophile who reprinted many of the best works he commends through (the now defunct) Klock & Klock Publishers (which commentaries should be purchased immediately if found).
Not every commentary is reformed, as truth may appreciated, and should be desired, wherever it is found. A number of broadly evangelical works have been included (especially in the mid-1900’s) at Barber’s recommendation.
Please note, in relation to this collection, the words of Spurgeon:
‘It is to be specially noted, that in no case do we endorse all that any author has written in his commentary. We could not read the works through, it would have needed a Methuselah to do that; nor have we thought it needful to omit a book because it contains a measure of error, provided it is useful in its own way; for this catalog is for thoughtful, discerning men, and not for children.
We have not, however, knowingly mentioned works whose main drift is skeptical, or Socinian, except with a purpose; and where we have admitted comments by writers of doubtful doctrine, because of their superior scholarship and the correctness of their criticisms we have given hints which will be enough for the wise. It is sometimes very useful to know what our opponents have to say.’
Do note that, while liberal theology is in serious, fundamental, unbelieving error, some of the better, more conservative liberal works (usually noted as such) from the mid-late 1800’s and early 1900’s have been included on these pages as they often contain a wealth of information that can be found nowhere else (which is particularly valuable for the advanced student if one is looking for exhaustive information on a particular text). These works are usually in the advanced sections of the webpages (as liberals rarely wrote anything that fed anyone’s soul). Barber often relates why the particular work is useful. Needless to say: Beware of their presuppositions, eat the meat, spit out the bones, and feed upon the vast majority of the commentaries that hold forth God’s Truth in shining fullness.
Many of the works on these pages can be bought on Amazon and BookFinder. A book in hand is worth two on the computer.
Please enjoy thoroughly to the glory of God, and tell your friends.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
In March 2016 I began to undertake an historical survey of Reformed literature on the subject, and was delighted to see how many Puritans, Huguenots, Reformed Baptists, Dutch Reformed theologians and modern Reformed divines have also affirmed this important aspect of Christ's mediatorial kingly rule. The fruit of my research is a paper which can be found at a new website, which I hope will serve as a resource for those interested in delving further into this topic. It is a chronological survey covering the period from the 1500s to the present day demonstrating that there is broad historic appreciation within the Reformed church for the Covenanter distinctive doctrine that Christ rules over nations as well as the church in his kingly office.
For those who are interested, please bookmark this page for your reference, and I encourage you to not only read the quotes that I have assembled but also to click on the hyperlinks to the authors' own writings, and to study this important and practical, but often neglected, doctrine at greater length. May the Lord bless your studies, and may Christ's crown and covenant be lifted high among the nations.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
And long to feast upon Thee stil:
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill." -- Bernard of Clairvaux
Yet feed on hunger, drink on thirst.
My hunger brings a plenteous store,
My plenty makes me hunger more." -- Ralph Erskine
Monday, May 16, 2016
There are a number of great websites around which have assembled collections of Reformed literature. I recommend the Post-Reformation Digital Library, Monergism, A Puritan's Mind and others. But as RBO has grown and expanded (and continues to do so weekly), I think it has become a site that all Reformed Christians will find to be simply invaluable as it makes available and accessible material from the time of the Reformation forward to the present on such a wide range of topics that readers of this blog will appreciate.
For example, those interested in Psalmody, Psalters or the Establishment Principle or the writings of the Westminster Divines or Scottish Covenanters will have hours and hours of edifying reading. If you desire to read all Reformed Systematic Theologies available online, and much, much more [see also several recommended reading lists here], RBO is the place to go.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
I am pleased to report that this gap has finally been filled by J. Parnell McCarter and his team at the Historicism Research Foundation who have now produced an English translation of this work titled "Not to be Ignored: Rev. Wilhelmus à Brakel's Commentary on Revelation" (2016), which is now available for purchase in paperback or digital format. For those who have been waiting, as I have, for this important work to be accessible in English, please see the announcement of this publication here for details on how to purchase your copy.
Many thanks to Mr. McCarter and those who assisted in the project for this valuable contribution to the church!
Sunday, January 10, 2016
The Assembly still had before it another proposition from the Second Committee, 'That widows, which we read of, I Tim. v. 3, and elsewhere, are included under the name deacons.' This came up for discussion on December 28 and 29, 1643.
The Independents, especially [Sidrach] Simpson and [William] Bridge, argued most strongly in the Assembly for the inclusion of deaconesses in the church. Simpson, for example, drew from 1 Timothy 5 the points that qualifications for the widow are given, some of them the same as are required for bishops and deacons; that she is to be enrolled, i.e., elected; and that she is not to depart from her employment. Significantly, he related the passage in 1 Timothy to the text that was so central in the Independents' ecclesiology, Romans 12:6-8, understanding 'he that sheweth mercy' (with a curious change in gender) to refer explicitly to the widow, or deaconess. The position taken by the Independents was supported by other leading men of the Assembly only by Lazarus Seaman and George Gillespie.
The notion that the widow in 1 Timothy 5 was a deaconess went back at least to [John] Calvin, who also appealed to Romans 12:8. In the Institutes, Calvin held that there are two grades of deacons: those who distribute alms, and those who devote themselves to the care of the poor and sick. 'Of this sort were the widows whom Paul mentions to Timothy [1 Tim. 5:9-10]. Women could fill no other public office than to devote themselves to the care of the poor.' Calvin's teaching on this point was taken up by the English Separatists; Henry Barrow's A True Description out of the Word of God, of the Visible Church (1589) made a distinction between the 'most diligent and trusty deacons' and 'most loving and sober relievers' in the church. The latter, who are designated as officers,
'must be women of sixty years of age at the least, for avoiding of inconveniences: they must be well reported of for good works, such as have nourished their children, such as have been harbourers to strangers: diligent and serviceable to the saints, compassionate and helpful to them in adversity, given to every good work, continuing in supplications and prayer night and day.'
Some of the strongest leaders in the Assembly argued against including widows or deaconesses as officers, holding that they were, in the Timothy passage, the recipients rather than the bestowers of the alms of the church: [Charles] Herle, [Stephen] Marshall, [Herbert] Palmer, [Thomas] Temple, and [Cornelius] Burgess all took the negative side.
When it came to a vote, the Assembly was evenly divided: the proposition passed by just one vote. Had [John] Lightfoot been present, the outcome would have been different, for he strongly opposed the proposition; but, as he said, 'It was my unfortunacy to be called into the city before it came to a vote.' In the next session, there was a long debate on Romans 16:1-2 as a proof text, which ended in a negative vote, and the Assembly went on to other matters.
In the process of editing, the only significant change that was made in the section was that this reference to widows was quietly dropped. Although technically this amounted to changing a previous vote of the Assembly, it was not objected to, undoubtedly because of the divided opinion in the Assembly when the proposition was originally passed. As far as can be determined, the existence of deaconesses in the church was no more than a matter of theory, even for the advocates of their inclusion.
 Lightfoot, Journal, 43.
 Lightfoot, Journal, 94-25.
 Calvin, Institutes, 4.3.9.
 In The Reformation of the Church, ed. Iain Murray (London: Banner of Truth, 1965), 197.
 Murray, Reformation, 99.
 Lightfoot, Journal, 94-96.
 Lightfoot, Journal, 96; Gillespie, Notes, 5.
 Lightfoot, Journal, 97-98.HT: Steve Bradley
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
The Presbytery Inn. A bar and guest house for those of a Confessional Presbyterian persuasion. If you like to talk about Turretin while drinking an Oatmeal Stout, this is the place for you. Feel free to stretch your legs, take a walk around the establishment, and note that there are many dusty corners and small nooks in this creaky old inn. We find those places that have been the most lived in are the ones that provide the greatest rest. And, indeed, the one who called us before the foundation of the world, is the one in whom we find our greatest rest. This website is intentionally confessional, subscribing to the original Westminster Confession of Faith.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Sundry necessary observations for a Christian, fit also to meditate upon.
1. That we keep a narrow watch over our hearts, words, and deeds continually.
2. That with all care the time be redeemed, which hath been idly, carelessly, and unprofitably spent.
3. That once in the day at the least private prayer and meditation be used.
4. That care be had to do, and receive good in company.
5. That our family be with diligence and regard instructed, watched over and governed.
6. That no more time or care be bestowed in matters of the world, then must needs.
7. That we stir up ourselves to liberality to God's Saints.
8. That we give not the least bridle to wandering lusts and affections.
9. That we prepare ourselves to bear the cross, by what means it shall please God to exercise us.
10. That we bestow some time not only in mourning for our own sins, but also for the sins of the time and age wherein we live.
11. That we look daily for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for our full deliverance out of this life.
12. That we use (as we shall have opportunity, at least as we shall have neccessity) to acquaint our selves with some godly and faithful person, with whom we may confer of our Christian estate, and open our doubts, to the quickening up of Gods graces in us.
13. That we observe the departure of men our of this life, their mortality, the vanity and alteration of things below, the more to condemn the world, and to continue our longing after the life to come. And that we meditate and muse often of our own death, and going out of this life, how we must lie in the grave, all our glory put off; which will serve to beat down the pride of life that is in us.
14. That we read somewhat daily of the holy Scriptures, for the further increase of our knowledge, if it may be.
15. That we enter into covenant with the Lord to strive against all sin, and especially against the special sins and corruptions of our hearts and lives, wherein we have most dishonored the Lord, and have raised up most guiltiness to our own consciences, and that we carefully see our covenant be kept and continued.
16. That we mark how sin dieth and is weakened in us, and that we turn not to our old sins again, but wisely avoid all occasions to sin.
17. That we fall not from our first love, but continue still our affections to the liking of Gods word, and all the holy exercises of religion diligently hearing it, and faithfully practicing the same in our lives and conversations: that we prepare our selves before we come, and meditate and confer of that we hear, either by our selves, or with other: and so mark our daily profiting in religion.
18. That we be often occupied in meditating on Gods benefits and works, and sound forth his praises for the same.
19. That we exercise our faith by taking comfort and delight in the great benefit of our redemption by Christ, and the fruition of Gods presence, in his glorious and blessed kingdom.
20. Lastly, that we make not these holy practices of repentance common in time, nor use them for course.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
The saying was invented by Al Scalpone, a professional commercial-writer, and was used as the slogan of the Roman Catholic Family Rosary Crusade by Father Patrick Peyton (P. Peyton, All for Her, 1967). The crusade began in 1942 and the slogan was apparently first broadcast on
6 Mar. 1947during the radio programme Family Theater of the Air. The Crusade in Britainstarted in 1952, and the expression now has many (often humorous) variant forms. [Jennifer Speake, ed., “The OxfordDictionary of Proverbs” (5th ed., 2008), p. 109]
Religion is absolutely necessary to preserve domestic union. For families are but little societies, as societies are larger families; and therefore religion, which is confessedly the best bond and cement of union in states and larger communities, is likewise so in little domestic governments: and family prayer is as much a duty in this smaller sphere of action, as public worship is a national concern. [Jeremiah Seed, “Domestic Love and
UnionRecommended and Enforced” (Serm. III) in “Discourses on Several Important Subjects. To Which are Added Eight Sermons,” (5th ed., 1757) Vol. 1, pp. 68-69]
Besides, the united devotions of a whole family acting in concert will be more effectual, than the solitary prayers of any single member, when detached from the whole body: as they have a tendency to beget in others a correspondent piety, to propagate the flame from breast to breast, and to encourage, countenance, and give a sanction to exemplary holiness: but chiefly, because God has promised, that where two or three are gathered together, he will be in the midst of them. It is a beautiful and amiable sight to behold a well-regulated society, glorifying God with one heart and one mouth, canceling their former sins by repentance, and forming settled resolutions of obedience for the future.
Add to this, that the joint devotions of a family are as necessary to derive a blessing upon a family, and to return thanks for blessings already received; as the applications of each individual are to beg God, or to thank him for, his own personal advantages. [Jeremiah Seed, “The Duties of Family and Private Prayer Considered” (Serm. XI) in “Discourses on Several Important Subjects. To Which are Added Eight Sermons,” (5th ed., 1757) Vol. 1, pp. 290-291]
More recently, Herbert Lockyer writes:
A home which puts Christ first and is bathed in prayer never breaks apart. When the first family was formed, family prayer began, with the head of the family as the priest. 'I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord.' Genesis 18:19 'There can be no true family life without family religion, and family religion is best sustained by family worship,' says W.C. Proctor. The proverb has it that, 'A home without prayer is like a house without a roof.' Manifold promises are for those whose home life is permeated with prayer. 'A family that prays together, stays together.' Family prayer is 'the bond of family love, the cement of domestic amity, and the sweetener of home life.'" [Herbert Lockyer, "All the Promises of the Bible (1962)," p. 219]
Saturday, March 14, 2015
The gospel and the offer of grace in it, is the revealer of this deliverance.
“That is his gracious offer, made to the soul therein: which is nothing else, but the expression of the covenant of grace, that he is willing a poor soul may come to him without doubting and fear, because he holds out the Golden Scepter unto it, and bids it, Be reconciled. Hither refer all those texts wherein this offer is made, both in the covenant and in the seal of Baptism, Isa. 55.1, Ho, every one that thirsteth come. And, Let him that thirsteth, drink freely, Rev. 22.17, and John 7.37, In the great days of the feast, Jesus cried, If any man thirst, let him come.
And surely whoso will profit by this Article, must get this lesson by heart: That the Lord who freely purposed, and faithfully sent his Son into the world, still continues his freedom, and doth offer the Lord Jesus with his excellency most freely. A bottom of most unspeakable comfort to all poor, bruised reeds and broken souls. For if he be freely offered, what poor soul should doubt to accept him? What is freer than gift? He that gave him freely, cannot withdraw him again, nor keep back his satisfaction from a needing soul, as if he repented. And having given him once, he cannot recall him, for why then gave he him? And if he be wholly given, even with all his excellency, what particular thing can be denied with him? It behooves us then much to understand the truth of this freedom: which in a few particulars I will name.
First, God offers Christ of his own accord, therefore freely. It never came into the heart of Angel or man to dream of it, or desire it. Romans 5, When we were yet enemies. The sun doth not arise more freely over the head of a drunkard snoring in his bed, or wallowing in his vomit, than the Lord Jesus came and is offered to a sinner in his blood and woeful misery. Preventing kindness is free, ere we desired it. See Isa. 65.1.
He offers it to whom he pleaseth, passing by millions of people in the world, and offering it to such and such nations, as he did of old to Israel, neglecting the world; so that it is merely unconditional and free, as when Paul came to Athens or Ephesus, who had never heard of gospel before.
Q. What are you so large in opening of this?
A. Because it’s the main hinge whereupon the door of hope and faith turneth: the offer of God satisfied, being the immediate object to which the soul is to resolve and empty itself. The offer I say assisted with a promise. For an offer is no otherwise differing from a promise, than as a general out of which a particular issueth; the promise is included in an offer, but yet in special expressing the Covenant of God to all that receive the offer, that he will receive them, be their God, both in pardon and in all-sufficiency. Into these the soul doth wholly pour forth herself: which that we may understand, consider this, that we have to do with the Father immediately, but with our Lord Jesus only mediately, as a means to lead us with confidence unto him. The Father properly looks at the Son as our surety, and us, for his sake: but we look at him directly, and to our Lord Jesus, as our Mediator. So that look what we can show for our reconciliation, must come from the Father, and that is his offer and promise, oath and covenant of mercy. Into that therefore the poor soul is to resolve itself, all her doubts, fears, temptations and distempers whatsoever, and so to remain settled. So that it mainly concerns the soul to understand the nature, ground, and properties of the offer and promise.
Fifthly, this should sear us from all infidelity and contempt of God’s offer: Oh! It’s free and from mere good will, the Lord is tied to none; He hath rejected millions of Jews and Turks and baptized ones, and chosen to offer grace to thee. And, shall the contempt of the free offer of that which thousands would have been glad of (upon the price of going from sea to sea for it) be pardonable? Do but consider what woeful punishment will lie upon thee, who refuseth such an offer laid in thy lap, when as many poor souls would rejoice if the spending of days and nights might procure them a tender and believing heart to receive it; and yet complain, that they cannot come by it. Oh, tremble at the freedom of this offer! Be humble and base thyself to consider but this; I am a poor wretch, standing to the mercy of a free God, who hath it to give where he will, and to deny it at his pleasure. If he gave it to a prodigal son, and deny it to a moral civilian: if he give it to one that came into the vineyard at the eleventh hour, and deny it to him that came in at the seventh: if he deny it to the willer and runner, and be found of such as sought him not, who shall allege against freedom? May he not do with his own as he pleases? Oh, despise none! Lest the Lord make the despisers to seek the despised (as the Gileadites sought to Jeptha) and be glad of their portion. Oh! Turn all emulation and scorn into humility; and deep adoring of this freedom.
Fourthly, let it teach thee to mend thy slow pace, and run, yea, fly to this offer and free gift.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
This 124-line epic poem is Calvin's only known poetic work, originally written in Latin, and thus far, only translated in full into German and French. Written in 1541, and circulated amongst friends in manuscript form. It was finally published for the first time in Geneva in 1544, after it had already been added to a Catholic index of prohibited works by the inquisitor Vidal de Bécanis.
Calvin later, in a letter to Conrad Hubert, on May 19, 1557, stated: "By nature I was inclined to poetry, but I have bid it farewell, and for twenty-five years I have composed nothing, except at Worms, following the example of Philipp and Sturm, I was led to write for diversion that poem that you read." (Calvini Opera 16, no. 2632, col. 488)
Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné later translated a portion of this poem from the French version into English, from History of the Reformation in the Times of John Calvin, Vol. 7, Chap. 19, which is here reproduced for our readers. "It is the only poem of his that we possess, and it contains some fine lines." It concludes with an eloquent cry of exultation in the victory of Jesus Christ over his enemies at the last day.
Yes, the victory will be Christ’s, and the year which announces to us the day of triumph is now beginning. Let pious tongues break the thankless silence and cause their joy to burst forth. His enemies will say, What madness is this? Are they triumphing over a nation which is not yet subdued, are they seizing the crown before they have routed the enemy? True, impiety sits haughtily on a lofty throne. There still exists one who by a nod bends to his will the most powerful monarchs, his mouth vomiting a deadly poison and his hands stands with innocent blood. But for Christ death is life and the cross a victory. The breath of his mouth is the weapon with which he fights, and already for five lustra he has brandished his sword with a vigorous hand, not without smiting. The pope, leader of the sacrilegious army, wounded at last, groans under the unlooked for plagues which have just fallen upon him, and the profane multitude is trembling for terror. If it be a great thing to conquer one’s enemies by force, what must it be to overthrow them by a mere sign? Christ casts them down without breaking his own repose: he scatters them while he keeps silence. We are a pitiful band, low in number, without apparel, without arms, sheep in the presence of ravening wolves. But the victory of Christ our king is for that very reason all the more marvelous. Let his head then be crowned with the laurel of victory, let him be seated on the chariot drawn by four coursers abreast, that his glory may shine forth before all.
Que tous ses ennemis qui lui ont fait la guerre
Aillent après, captifs, baissant le front en terre:
Eck still flushed with his Bacchic orgies, the incontempent Cochlaeus, Nausea with his wordy productions, Pelargus with his mouth teeming with insolence, -- these are not the chief men, but the shameless multitude have set them for standard-bearers in the fight. Let them learn then to bow their necks under an unaccustomed yoke. And you, O sacred poets, celebrate in magnificent song the glorious Victory of Jesus Christ, and let all the multitude around him shout ‘Io Paean!’
Thursday, November 13, 2014
It is true that Saint John saith generally, that [God] loved the world. And why? For Jesus Christ offereth himself generally to all men without exception to be their redeemer...Thus we see three degrees of the love that God hath shewed us in our Lord Jesus Christ. The first is in respect of the redemption that was purchased in the person of him that gave himself to death for us, and became accursed to reconcile us to God his Father. That is the first degree of love, which extendeth to all men, inasmuch as Jesus Christ reacheth out his arms to call and allure all men both great and small, and to win them to him. But there is a special love for those to whom the gospel is preached: which is that God testifieth unto them that he will make them partakers of the benefit that was purchased for them by the death and passion of his Son. And forasmuch as we be of that number, therefore we are double bound already to our God: here are two bonds which hold us as it were strait tied unto him. Now let us come to the third bond, which dependeth upon the third love that God sheweth us: which is that he not only causeth the gospel to be preached unto us, but also maketh us to feel the power thereof, so as we know him to be our Father and Saviour, not doubting but that our sins are forgiven us for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, who bringeth us the gift of the Holy Ghost, to reform us after his own image.
Monday, October 20, 2014
- A leader of the Scottish Covenanters;
- A combatant at the Battle of Drumclog (June 22, 1679);
- A fugitive from English justice, who was exiled in Holland for many years for his Covenanter convictions;
- The man whose influence led to the Dutch Presbyterian ordination of James Renwick, the last Scottish Covenanter minister to be publicly executed; and he was
- An author of the 1679 Rutherglen Declaration and the 1692 Sanquhar Declaration.
I die a true Protestant, and to my knowledge a reformed Presbyterian, in opposition to popery, prelacy, and malignancy, and whatever is contrary to truth, and the power of godliness, as well against flattering pretenders to unwarrantable zeal on the right hand, as against lukewarmness on the left; adhering with my soul to the holy sweet scriptures, which have often comforted me in the house of my pilgrimage, our confession of faith, our catechisms, the directory for worship, covenants, national and solemn league and covenant, acknowledgment of sins and engagement to duties, with the causes of God's wrath, and to all the faithful public testimonies given against defections of old or late, particularly these contained in the informatory vindication, and that against the toleration, and the two last declarations emitted since this fatal revolution, which testimonies I ever looked upon as a door of hope of the Lord's returning again to these poor backslidden lands.
And now, my dear friends, let nothing discourage you in that way. The Lord will maintain his own cause, and make it yet to triumph. The nearer to-day it may be the darker, but yet in the evening time it shall be light, and the farther distant ye keep from all the courses and interests of this generation, the greater will your peace and security be. O! labour to be in Christ, for him, and like him, much in reading of the holy scriptures, much in prayer and holy unity among yourselves. Be zealous and tender in keeping up your private fellowship for prayer and Christian conference, as also your public correspondences and general meetings, go to them and come from them as these intrusted, really concerned and weighted with Christ's precious controverted truths in Scotland, and labour still to take Christ along with you to all your meetings, and to behave yourselves as under his holy and all-seeing eye when at them, that ye may always return with a blessing from his rich hand. Now farewell, my dear Christian friends, the Lord send us a joyful meeting at his own right hand after time; which shall be the earnest desire, while in time, of your dying friend,
Sic subscribitur,R. HAMILTON.
In such sentiments as these we find the true inner spirit, the real sustaining power of these faithful men. Religion was to them after all much more than a public testifying for the truth; it was a living and walking by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the joy of his holy fellowship upheld them in all their sorrows and trials. 'In Christ, for Him, like Him,' that was the sum of their testimony, that was their aim and their glory.
But let the world say what it they will, I must say this, and I say it without vanity or flattery, that a little of Robert Hamilton's spirit in such a day as this is very much worth.
The faithful Mr. Renwick called him Mi pater, my father, and ever had a high esteem and regard for him, as the contents of most part of his letters bear: Yea, in the very last letter he wrote, he accosts him thus, 'If I had lived and been qualified for writing a book, and if it had been dedicated to any, you would have been the man; for I have loved you, and I have peace before God in that; and I bless his name that ever I have been acquainted with you, &c.'
"How We Got the Name Reformed Presbyterian
The first recorded use of the term was in 1701. In that year Robert Hamilton died. Among his last words were these: 'I die a true Protestant, and to my knowledge a Reformed Presbyterian.'" (Peter Lippincott, ed., Psalm Singing of the Covenanters, p. 19)
Monday, September 15, 2014
Thus, my hearers, I have delineated a true theologian. How little I resemble, how very far I differ from such a one, no one knows better than myself. What groans, what tears, should not the consciousness of my ignorance, sloth, and deficiencies of every kind cause to flow forth while I reiterate on what I have declared!...I tremble and throb with emotion as often as I reflect on the nature and extent of those duties which God now requires at my hand and which you have called me to undertake. Yet ought I to lose courage on these accounts? Or should I lower the exact standard of duty that it may the less strongly condemn my deviations? This, God will never allow. I had rather, in truth, my hearers, that you should all detect how little I am what I ought to be, nay, how absolutely unqualified I am – I had rather blush a hundred times a day for my failures than that I should, by proposing an imperfect standard, displease others less and lay an unction to my own soul as foolish as flattering. (“On the Character of a True Theologian” [1994 ed.], pp. 47-48)
Monday, June 30, 2014
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
What return shall I make to my ever-blessed Redeemer for all the favours he hath bestowed upon me? Help, I entreat you, help me to be thankful, and as you abound in prayer, abound in praises. I find my heart too backward to this divine exercise. I am ready enough to ask for mercies, but alas! how slow to return thanks! Indeed sometimes God touches me from above, and my heart, hard as it is, is melted down and quite overcome with the sense of his free grace in Christ Jesus towards me. But I want always to go on my way rejoicing; I want the heart of a seraphim;
I want to sing as loud as they
Who shine above in endless day.
I could almost say more than they, and why should I not return angelic thanks? But my heart is as yet unhumbled, I see not what I am, what I deserve, and therefore set not a due value on the divine mercies. Pray therefore, …, that I may receive my sight, that my eyes may be opened, and that seeing what God hath done for me, I may break out into songs of praise, and by such heart-transforming divine exercises be gradually trained up for eternal uninterrupted communion with that heavenly choir, who cease not chanting forth day and night hallelujahs to Him that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb for ever.
The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God. We should neither eat, nor drink, nor sleep, but eat to God, and sleep to God, and work to God, and talk to God; do all to his glory and praise.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
After her conversion to Christianity, she was baptized by Alexander Whitaker, son of the famous Puritan scholar, William Whitaker, and took the name Rebecca. John Rolfe, who was famous in his own right for being credited as the first to successfully cultivate tobacco in the New World, had lost a wife and child in Bermuda previously, but fell in love in Rebecca, and the two were married by Rev. Richard Buck, who was the first chaplain to the Virginia General Assembly.
The two lived in Virginia for a short while, and had a child, Thomas, in 1615, before they traveled to England, where Pocahontas died in the Lord in March 1617, in Gravesend, Kent, England.
Theirs was not the first marriage between a European and an Indian princess, however, nor the first Christian wedding in America. In 1566, Ernst d'Erlach, French Huguenot nobleman and survivor of the infamous 1565 Fort Caroline massacre, and Princess Issena of the Timucuan Indian tribe, were wedded at Ormond Beach, Florida, in a Huguenot ceremony.
Although Princess Issena is remembered by some, the name Pocahontas -- who is credited with saving the life of Captain John Smith and bringing peace to the conflict between his colonists and the braves of her father Chief Powhatan -- stands alongside those of Squanto and Samoset, who helped to further the cause of Christ in colonial America.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Further works are planned for release, both through the Amazon Kindle store, and also as exclusives on the EPP site. Content planned for the EPP CD 4.0 will be released early on the Amazon Kindle store as well.