trueThe True Doctrine of the Sabbath: or, Sabbathum Veteris et Novi Testamenti

Nicholas Bownd

No book had more influence in confirming a Sabbatarian “heart” to Puritanism than that of the parson of St. Andrews, Norton, Suffolk, Nicholas Bownd. The True Doctrine of the Sabbath was the first scholarly treatment defending the concept of the Christian Sabbath or Lord’s Day, later embodied in the Westminster Standards. Not reprinted since 1606, this influential work is presented afresh in a new critical edition.

Author

Nicholas Bownd (1551?–1613) was the pastor of a country parish in rural England. Judging from the sermons he published, his ministry exhibited the practical divinity taught by his stepfather, Richard Greenham, which focused on the means of grace. The crucial ‘mean of the means’ whereby all these means of grace were made available to the people of God was the weekly gatherings on the Christian Sabbath or Lord’s Day. In 1595, Bownd published True Doctrine of the Sabbath, which derived from sermons preached about 1586. This book embroiled him in a singular controversy with a troublesome neighbor, which resulted in the first Sabbatarian controversy in England, and also led to a vindicating expanded edition in 1606. For the last two years of his life he ministered at St. Andrew in Norwich, the highest call a man of his Puritan convictions could have attained in those days.

Endorsements

“After four centuries of rest, Nicholas Bownd’s famous book on the Sabbath has re-Bownded. Attractively printed, this work is a critical edition of the 1595 version and the expanded 1606 edition. Coldwell has painstakingly collated and meticulously annotated the two so as to allow Bownd’s classic Puritan doctrine of the Lord’s Day Sabbath to be published afresh. Lovers of the Scriptures as interpreted by the Westminster Standards will rejoice. May all glory redound to the Eschatological Lord of Sabbath rest, as it did four centuries ago.”  — James T. Dennison, Jr., author of The Market Day of the Soul: The Puritan Doctrine of the Sabbath in England, 1532–1700; and Academic Dean and Professor of Church History and Biblical Theology, Northwest Theological Seminary, Lynnwood, Washington

“Those with an interest in developments leading up to the formulation of the Sabbath doctrine taught in the Westminster standards will  benefit from this careful documentation and analysis of the views of Nicholas Bownd.” — Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., author of Calvin and the Sabbath; Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary

"Nicholas Bownd’s work, The True Doctrine of the Sabbath, occupies a hugely significant place among Puritan works on polemical and practical divinity. For its scope, detail, and erudition, this work on the Sabbath is unparalleled in the Puritan tradition—indeed, perhaps even in the Christian tradition. Particularly illuminating are Bownd’s “spiritual exercises,” which clearly had an influence upon the later Puritan attitudes regarding the practical implications of Sabbath-keeping and worship. As an added bonus to the content of this book, the editorial work on this book is first-class, and makes for far more enjoyable and easier reading than a simple re-print.” — Mark Jones, coauthor of A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life and Minister at Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church (PCA)

cultivating-4Review of How Do I Kill Remaining Sin? by James Chittenden, Evangelical Times

This short booklet is a serious and helpful introduction to the doctrine of mortification. Readable in under 30 minutes, it is yet full of good teaching and practical advice.

Geoffrey Thomas begins by clearly demonstrating from Scripture that the Christian has died to sin through the death of Christ and is no longer bound to obey the voice of the former master.

He then spends time reminding us to fight sin, for the Christian ‘has not died to the influence of sin, but has died to the dominion of sin’. The ideas of perfectionism are exposed as being thoroughly unbiblical. To be reminded in this way that we are not alone in ongoing battles with sin is encouraging and humbling.

Towards the end of the book, the author briefly tackles three of the most common problems in society: drunkenness, adultery and pornography. He suggest ways to help fellow believers struggling with these issues, which could also be applied personally.

The book is rounded off with the challenge to keep looking to Jesus for help and strength. For it is by ‘trusting in Jesus with all your heart and living out of Him’ whilst seeking to kill off sin, that we can have lives that glorify our Father in heaven.

This could be a helpful and timely aid to all believers, particularly young Christians.

(Taken from Milk and Honey)

Whom he justified, them he also glorified. – Romans 8:30

How beautifully reassuring these words are to everyone who loves the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity! They confirm what is taught throughout the Scriptures, namely, that God will never forsake the works of His own hands.

These words are part of the beautiful golden chain of redemption: predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. This chain is a masterpiece of God’s own making, connecting eternity past and eternity future, and it cannot possibly be broken. Thus the linkage between justification and glorification is unbreakable.

In order for us to draw comfort from this, we must know that we are justified, for then, and then alone, shall we be glorified. Earlier, Paul taught that we are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1). Therefore, we must ask ourselves whether we have already exercised the faith that yields such extraordinary blessings to sinners.

This faith is the simple act of trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work for the salvation of my soul. It is the act whereby a guilty, polluted, and wretched sinner touches the hem of Jesus’ garment. It is the act of one who hungers and thirsts after Jesus and His righteousness, and who can only find rest in what He has accomplished on the cross. God is pleased to reward such faith by justifying a sinner – not because of the quality of this faith, bur rather, because this faith honors His Son and His work.

If, by the grace of God, we have embraced Christ by faith, god will have justified us, and when He does this, He will certainly glorify us. This justification is irreversible and therefore the future glorification of every believer is guaranteed. This means that all to whom Jesus Christ is precious (a mark of saving faith) are going to make it home!

Has Jesus become altogether lovely to you, and do you repeatedly take refuge in Him by faith? The day is coming when you will forever be translated into His presence, for God’s work in your life cannot possibly abort. All who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity will be glorified. Why? Because you have been justified. Why? Because you have been called. Why? Because you have been predestined. Why? Because you have been loved with an everlasting love. Why? That is something you will never be able to fathom! Soli Deo Gloria!

Why FastWhy Should I Fast? - EBOOK

Daniel R. Hyde

Electronic Format, 48 pages

Our Price: $1.99

Today, the church seems to have forgotten about the spiritual discipline of fasting. Most of us have never heard a sermon about it, and few of us have ever practiced it. We think of fasting as an antiquated relic of the past. So why should we fast in an age of fast food? Pastor Daniel R. Hyde argues that “fasting is actually a basic biblical teaching and practice, one that is vital to cultivating godly living in an ungodly generation.” Fasting is a means to the end of abiding, deep, and personal communion with the triune God through prayer. The author explains what fasting is, provides biblical examples of it, reminds us of what Jesus taught regarding it, and tells us how to go about it.

 

9781601783806What Is Experiential Calvinism? - EBOOK

Ian Hamilton

Electronic Format, 37 pages

Our Price: $1.99

“There is no such thing as ‘dead Calvinism,’” writes author Ian Hamilton. Calvinism, simply put, is biblical Christianity. No mere human devised theological system, Calvinism is rooted in and shaped by God’s revelation in Holy Scripture. Hamilton asserts that Calvinism is “natively experiential.” In What Is Experiential Calvinism?, the author shows us that Calvinism is far richer and more profound than five points and helps us see that the lives and ministries of those who are true Calvinists pulse with living, Spirit-inspired, Christ-glorifying, God-centered truth.

 

9781601783701Faith Seeking Assurance - EBOOK

Anthony Burgess

Electronic Format, 144 pages

Our Price: $4.99

It is not uncommon for professing Christians to question the genuineness of their faith. In seasons like this, they can wonder whether it is even possible to know for sure if they are in a state of saving grace. In this book, Anthony Burgess shows that Christians not only can come to an assurance of their salvation but should pursue it. Burgess provides helpful advice for avoiding a presumptuous spirit while developing a humble confidence in grace. Here is a book that will help you understand the marks of grace and avoid some common abuses associated with self-examination. Read it with an open Bible and a prayerful heart, looking to the Holy Spirit as your faith seeks assurance.

 

9781601783783The Quest for the Historical Adam - EBOOK

William VanDoodewaard

Electronic Format, 400 pages

Our Price: $9.99

Was Adam really a historical person, and can we trust the biblical story of human origins? Or is the story of Eden simply a metaphor, leaving scientists the job to correctly reconstruct the truth of how humanity began? Although the church currently faces these pressing questions—exacerbated as they are by scientific and philosophical developments of our age—we must not think that they are completely new. In The Quest for the Historical Adam, William VanDoodewaard recovers and assesses the teaching of those who have gone before us, providing a historical survey of Genesis commentary on human origins from the patristic era to the present. Reacquainting the reader with a long line of theologians, exegetes, and thinkers, VanDoodewaard traces the roots, development, and, at times, disappearance of hermeneutical approaches and exegetical insights relevant to discussions on human origins. This survey not only informs us of how we came to this point in the conversation but also equips us to recognize the significance of the various alternatives on human origins.

 

9781601784049Night of Weeping and Morning of Joy - EBOOK

Horatius Bonar

Electronic Format, 240 pages

Our Price: $4.99

The Night of Weeping expounds compassionately and beautifully a biblical view of suffering, showing how it is an integral part of belonging to God’s family, how to cope with it, and how it benefits the believer. The chapters on the purifying and solemnizing fruits of suffering are themselves worth the price of the book.

The Morning of Joy shows how God leads believers to rejoice in the present and future joys of the living church, particularly through fellowshipping with the resurrected Christ. The chapters on the majestic kingdom of Christ and the superlative joys of glory are most uplifting.

9781601784032Essential Truths in the Heart of a Christian - EBOOK

Wilhelmus Schortinghuis

Electronic Format, 133 pages

Our Price: $9.99

This book presents a clear explanation of the main topics of the Reformed faith. Written in the catechetical style of question and answers, the book is noted for its succinctness and ample references to Scripture. The forty brief chapters are characterized by careful doctrinal distinctions, and each one concludes with a question or two asking what the particular subject means for the faith and spiritual reflection of the reader. For today's readers, it is both an ideal representation of the Dutch Further Reformation's attention to doctrine and piety, as well as an invitation to carry on that spiritual legacy.

 

9781601784025In Remembrance of Him - EBOOK

Wilhemus a Brakel and Guilelmus Saldenus

Electronic Format, 144 pages

Our Price: $4.99

The two seventeenth-century essays translated and offered in this book were originally designed to help people of the Dutch Further Reformation derive the greatest benefit from celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Guilelmus Saldenus’s The Efficacy of the Lord’s Supper concentrates on the joy received in celebrating the sacrament and the sanctified living that it ought to generate. Wilhelmus à Brakel’s Edifying Discourses instructs believers in preparing their hearts for the celebration, participating in the Supper responsibly, and following up the meal in a spiritually beneficial manner. These contributions are but two examples of a much larger genre of edifying Lord’s Supper literature that developed in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century.

 

raisingReview of Building a Godly Home: A Holy Vision for Raising Children by Paul Relf, Evangelical Times.

This is the final part of a three-volume series focusing on the responsibilities of parents and children. Subtitled A Holy Vision for Raising Children, it is a modernized edition of a book originally written by the Puritan, William Gouge (1578-1653).

This book is worth reading. It has insights and applications which modern parenting books do not have and is thoroughly scriptural. Based, not only on general biblical principles, its ideas and teaching are backed up by specific Bible references.

Five chapters focus on children’s responsibilities. Included are ‘Children showing respect for their parents’ and ‘Children giving back to parents’.

A further five chapters focus on parental responsibilities to children. Chapters include: ‘Parents loving, praying and providing for children’ and ‘Parents directing their children into adulthood’. It is rightly balanced between parents’ and children’s duties and stand therefore against today’s child-centered age.

The book has helpful subheadings, lists and question-and-answer sections. Concentration is nonetheless required if everything is to be taken in.

There are many useful points, including sections on parents’ weaknesses, the things contrary to love, a balance between indulging and nurturing, the need to make a will, and a helpful recognition of the limitation of a child’s obedience, as consistent with obedience to God.

Overall, a good Bible-centered book which helps counter prevailing liberal attitudes to parenting.

9781601783691Faith Seeking Assurance - Puritan Treasures for Today

Anthony Burgess 

Paperback, 144 pages

Retail Price: $10.00/ Our Price: $7.50

It is not uncommon for professing Christians to question the genuineness of their faith. In seasons like this, they can wonder whether it is even possible to know for sure if they are in a state of saving grace. In this book, Anthony Burgess shows that Christians not only can come to an assurance of their salvation but should pursue it. Burgess provides helpful advice for avoiding a presumptuous spirit while developing a humble confidence in grace. Here is a book that will help you understand the marks of grace and avoid some common abuses associated with self-examination. Read it with an open Bible and a prayerful heart, looking to the Holy Spirit as your faith seeks assurance.

Endorsement   “Anthony Burgess laments, ‘In former times Christians labored much for experimental knowledge, while today they are satisfied with mere brain knowledge.’ With biblical, practical, and Christ-focused wisdom, characteristic of the Puritans generally, Burgess helps us assess the reality of our own spiritual condition. He takes us through the Scriptures to the promises of Christ Himself, for to know Him is the assurance of eternal life. Joel Beeke has done the church of the twenty-first century a great service by making this work of the seventeenth century accessible to all who refuse to be satisfied with ‘mere brain knowledge’ of the Savior.” — Stephen J. Casselli, senior minister, Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, Tampa, Florida

to winTo Win Our Neighbors for Christ: The Missiology of the Three Forms of Unity

Wes Bredenhof

Paperback, 95 pages

Retail Price: $10.00/ Our Price: $7.50

In many modern histories of Christian missions, the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century is depicted as a movement lacking missionary zeal. it has virtually become a given that the Reformation was not oriented to the church’s missionary task. in to win our neighbors for Christ, Wes Bredenhof answers these charges, proving that it is a mistake to say the Reformation and the confessional documents it produced have nothing to say about missions. the author demonstrates that the three forms of Unity—the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort — properly understood, have much to off er the study of missions. more importantly, they encourage us to care about a world lost in unbelief, making us more mission oriented and outward looking.

Endorsements  To Win Our Neighbors for Christ is a helpful tool for every Reformed Christian seeking to understand and use our confessions in a missional way. It gives the historical background for each of the three forms of Unity and shows that the original intent of our confessions was indeed to reach the lost with the good news of the gospel. It also shows how we as a church need to have that same desire to clearly articulate these truths to our own generation of souls today.” — Richard Bout, missions coordinator, United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA)

“Full disclosure: Dr. Wes Bredenhof is my family’s enthusiastic pastor, through whom we are fed with pure gospel preaching. His heart pulses with true love for the biblical, Reformed faith and with a deep desire to reach the lost. In this book he shows us that these two things belong together— indeed, that the Reformed confessions themselves encourage mission. i pray that many more believers would see the intricate interconnections of these two pulses, and i’m sure that this book will help them." — Dr. Theodore Van Raalte, professor of ecclesiology, Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary

(Taken from Seasons of the Heart)

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:19

Though we have had so many feasts upon a precious Jesus, we find each time as much freshness as though we had never partaken before. This has been very striking to me; things of earth often repeated grow stale, but the same view of a precious Jesus a thousand times over is ever new. How often has the Divine Spirit testified in our Souls “of the sufferings of Christ – and the glory that would follow”. How often have we, by faith, beheld His bloody sweat in the garden and spent sweet, solemn moments at the foot of the cross. Yet, when Jesus shows Himself again to us in either of those sacred positions, is He not as a lamb newly slain? And is not His sacrifice a sweet-smelling aroma – as fragrant as though but just offered, without spot unto God? Oh yes, He is ever the same, without sameness, and will be to eternity. The glories, beauties, and excellences of His person are infinite. And from these boundless sources our finite minds will be feasted forever and ever. We “shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make [us] drink of the river of thy pleasures”.

Oh that my poor, contracted heart were most enlarged into this our fathomless ocean of love and loveliness! Oh to abide in Him forever! “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” Christ is our true temple; in Him we may inquire of the Lord concerning all our hard cases and have an answer of peace. In Him we see the beauty of the Lord, even all His divine attributes harmonizing and glorified in saving poor sinners. This is seeing the King in His beauty, and beauty indeed it is in the eye of a sin-sick soul to see the holy Jehovah “a just God, and a Savior” too. – Ruth Bryan

perkins(Interview of Stephen Yuile and Joel R. Beeke discussing their recent editorial work on The Works of William Perkins)

Today we continue our interview with Joel Beeke and Stephen Yuille. Volume 1 of their landmark republication of The Works of William Perkins, and they are here to talk about their project. If you missed Part 1 of their interview yesterday, you can catch up here.

Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel):
Talk to us about Perkins’s popularity both as a preacher and as an author. I think many will be surprised to learn that Perkins’s writings became more popular than Calvin! What accounts for this? Perhaps you could also mention something about those with whom he was popular – did he write for fellow theologians only?

Yuille & Beeke:
In seeking to account for Perkins’s popularity, one scholar identifies two unique features in his writings: first, “an ability to clarify and expound complex theological issues which aroused the respect of fellow scholars”; and, second, “a gift for relating seemingly abstruse theological teaching to the spiritual aspirations of ordinary Christians.” To state it simply, Perkins was able to merge intricate theology with practical piety – a rare gift indeed. This made his writings very appealing to a large audience and, as a result, the name of no preacher recurs more often in later Puritan literature. For example, in New England, close to one hundred Cambridge men, including William Brewster of Plymouth, Thomas Hooker of Connecticut, John Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay, and Roger Williams of Rhode Island, lived in Perkins’s shadow. It has been said that “a typical Plymouth Colony library comprised a large and small Bible, Henry Ainsworth’s translation of the Psalms, and the works of William Perkins.”

Books At a Glance:
Okay, what about Perkins’s Works? Just how extensive was his literary output? Do the 10 volumes projected in this series comprise all that he published? Were these volumes originally published in Perkins’s own lifetime? And tell us how your republication of these works is significant.

perkins

(Interview of Stephen Yuile and Joel R. Beeke discussing their recent editorial work on The Works of William Perkins)

The publication of The Works of William Perkins is a landmark event in Christian publishing. Long overdue, the republishing of this “Father of the Puritans” will give new life to Puritan studies. Edited by J. Stephen Yuille (Review Editor for Spirituality and Christian Living here at Books At a Glance) under the general editorship of Joel Beeke and Derek Thomas, volume 1 is now available. We are very pleased to have Drs. Yuille and Beeke with us today to talk about their new work – and their fascinating subject!

Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel):
First, let’s talk about William Perkins himself – perhaps you could introduce our readers to him briefly. Who was he?

Yuille & Beeke:
Perkins was born in 1558 in the village of Marston Jabbet (near Coventry) in Warwickshire. No parish registers exist, so it’s impossible to trace his family ancestry. We do know that he was lame in his right hand. This must have presented a significant challenge for a young boy living in the world of plow and harness. He demonstrated sufficient promise as a student that his family enrolled him in Christ’s College, Cambridge, when he was nineteen years of age. He was converted to Christ during his early years at Cambridge. After receiving his master’s degree in 1584, he was ordained to the ministry. He preached at Great St. Andrew’s Church from 1584 until his death. He was also elected to a fellowship at Christ’s College. He held this position from 1584 to 1595. He married a young widow, Timothye Cradock, in 1595. During their seven years of marriage, they conceived seven children – three of whom died in infancy. He succumbed to complications arising from kidney stones in 1602 at age forty-four.

Books At a Glance:
Give us a sense of Perkins’s significance historically and theologically. What kind of influence did he have – in his own day and after?

Keep Reading -->

9781601783790What Is Experiential Calvinism?

Ian Hamilton

Paperback, 37 pages

Retail Price: $3.00/ Our Price: $2.25

“There is no such thing as ‘dead Calvinism,’” writes author Ian Hamilton. Calvinism, simply put, is biblical Christianity. No mere human devised theological system, Calvinism is rooted in and shaped by God’s revelation in Holy Scripture. Hamilton asserts that Calvinism is “natively experiential.” In What Is Experiential Calvinism?, the author shows us that Calvinism is far richer and more profound than five points and helps us see that the lives and ministries of those who are true Calvinists pulse with living, Spirit-inspired, Christ-glorifying, God-centered truth.

Endorsement

“It is not every Christian book (or booklet in this case) that you read and find that nearly every line and thought are gems that urge you to stop reading and ponder and worship the living God of grace! But this is such a book! In a short compass, Ian Hamilton has wonderfully captured the experiential heart of true Calvinism: ‘deeply affectional, God-centered, cross-magnifying.’ In a word, this is an essay deeply needed by all who call themselves Calvinists—and even all those who do not!” — Michael A. G. Haykin, professor of church history and biblical spirituality, and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Why FastWhy Should I Fast?

Daniel R. Hyde

Paperback, 48 pages

Retail Price: $3.00/ Our Price: $2.25

Today, the church seems to have forgotten about the spiritual discipline of fasting. Most of us have never heard a sermon about it, and few of us have ever practiced it. We think of fasting as an antiquated relic of the past. So why should we fast in an age of fast food? Pastor Daniel R. Hyde argues that “fasting is actually a basic biblical teaching and practice, one that is vital to cultivating godly living in an ungodly generation.” Fasting is a means to the end of abiding, deep, and personal communion with the triune God through prayer. The author explains what fasting is, provides biblical examples of it, reminds us of what Jesus taught regarding it, and tells us how to go about it.

Endorsement

“If you like a lazy and complacent Christian life, this book is dangerous because it shows in a convincing way that fasting belongs to Christianity. Danny Hyde shows from the Bible, the words of Jesus, the early church, the Reformers, and the Puritans how and why Christians should fast. This message is an appeal to Christians that while our old nature would prefer feasting to fasting, our new nature will experience spiritual feasting by fasting.” — Dr. Willem van Vlastuin, professor of theology and spirituality of Reformed Protestantism, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series  

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said, “The world today is looking for, and desperately needs, true Christians. I am never tired of saying that what the Church needs to do is not to organize evangelistic campaigns and attract outside people, but to begin herself to live the Christian life. If she did that, men and women would be crowding into our buildings. They would say, ‘What is the secret of this?’”

Many people who are new to the church need instruction in the most basic aspects of godly living. Even where churches are engaged heavily in discipleship, visitors and members often have gaps in their understanding and practice. One of the greatest needs of our time is for the Spirit of God to cultivate biblical godliness in us in order to put the glory of Christ on display through us, all to the glory of God the Father.

For these reasons, Joel Beeke and Ryan McGraw are coediting a series of booklets titled Cultivating Biblical Godliness. These booklets treat matters that are vital to Christian experience, and each contribution aims to address a wide variety of people and circumstances at a fundamental and introductory level. This includes teaching people what to believe in order to practice personal holiness as well as specific directions on how to cultivate biblical godliness in relation to issues that are common to God’s people.

The distinctive feature of this series is its experiential tone. While some booklet series aim to enlighten the mind, these booklets aim to warm the affections as well. The goal is to promote communion with the triune God and to transform the entire person in thought, speech, and behavior. To this end, we intend to include a wide range of authors whom the Spirit has blessed to skillfully stir up the church to personal holiness and affection to Christ through their preaching and writing ministries.

We need a Christianity that puts the transformative power of God in the gospel on display through developing a communion with God that is visible to the world. Our prayer is that through this series, the Lord would revive His church by producing Christians who are full of love for Christ, who deny themselves in order to follow Him at great personal cost, and who know the joys of walking with the triune God. This is the kind of Christianity that we need. This is the kind of Christianity that the triune God has used to turn the world upside down. May He  be pleased to do so again.