Summer is a great time to catch up on edifying reading. There is no shortage of books hot off the press to explore. Here are some suggestions related to the Second Reformation.
They include a variety of types of books that help you explore further.
1. Precious Promises
Joseph Alleine (c.1634–68) connects the “exceeding great and precious promises” of God together from Scripture. in a way that delights and encourages the believer. He demonstrates how, by embracing these promises, the believer is enabled to overcome all the assaults of unbelief. “Faith,” he says, ‘makes its claim to all the benefits of the covenant, and stirs up the soul to joy and thankfulness.” Alleine’s treatment of God’s precious promises is long overdue a reprint.
2. THE REFORMATION OF THE CHURCH
This is a valuable anthology of documents, drawn largely from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It presents the views of many puritans and others including James Durham on key Church matters in a readily accessible form. It deals with principles of worship, the need for reformation, the nature of the government, unity and membership of the church of Jesus Christ.
3. BELIEVERS’ EVIDENCES FOR ETERNAL LIFE
How do we know we are a Christian? Roberts writes, “to be in a gracious state is true happiness. But to know ourselves to be in such a state is true happiness doubled upon us.” Francis Roberts (1609-1675) was a member of the Westminster Assembly. He seeks to show how believers may grow in assurance of their faith.
4. AN ARK FOR ALL GOD’s NOAHS
Taking Lamentations 3:24 as his starting-point. Thomas Brooks expounds the attributes of God with the aim of comforting those who have felt not only the stresses and strains of daily life but also the searing pain of loss in its various forms. God, he says, “is a portion that is exactly suited to the condition of the soul in its desires, needs, wants, longings and prayers. All the soul needs is found in God. There is light to enlighten the soul, wisdom to counsel the soul, power to support the soul, goodness to supply the soul, mercy to pardon the soul, beauty to delight the soul, glory to ravish the soul, and fullness to fill the soul.”
All true comfort and happiness is only to be found in having an all-sufficient God for your portion.
5. THE LAW, THE PRINCE AND THE SCRIBE
Designed for young adults, this will introduce them to the life of Samuel Rutherford. They will discover the power and passion of his letters and preaching as well as his enduring influence.
Accused of treason he died of illness before there was time to make him a martyr and on his gravestone today, just west of the Bell Tower in St. Andrews Cathedral are engraved the striking words that sum up his life, “Acquainted with Emmanuel’s Love”.
6. The LORD’s SUPPER
This most important work on the Lord’s Supper has been edited and brought back to life in this collectible format from Soli Deo Gloria.
In sixteen discourses the depth and the riches of this ordinance are fully explored.
7. COMMENTARY ON EPHESIANS
This clear translation of a commentary by this important Scottish theologian is now available. It was highly commended by Theodore Beza.
Robert Rollock (1555–1599) was the first principal of the University of Edinburgh and his theology of the covenants was very influential on later writers.
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