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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A.W. Pink - The Divine Covenants

In The Divine Covenants by Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952), Pink offers a very thoughtful and learned consideration of the covenantal dealings of God with mankind, with the ultimate, redemptive purposes of God always at the center of the discussion. This work was first published in serial format in Studies in the Scriptures, between 1934 and 1938.

In his introductory statements, Pink hints at the value of an understanding of the Divine covenants:

"Salvation through Jesus Christ is according to 'the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God' (Acts 2:23), and He was pleased to make known His eternal purpose of mercy, unto the fathers, in the form of a series of covenants, which were of different characters and revealed at various times. These covenants enter into the very nature, and pervade with their peculiar qualities the whole system of Divine truth. They have an intimate connection with each other and a common relation to a single purpose, being, in fact, so many successive stages in the unfolding of the scheme of Divine Grace. They treat of the Divine side of things, disclosing the source from which all blessings come to men, and making known the Channel (Christ) through which they flow to them. Each one reveals some new and fundamental aspect of truth, and in considering them in their Scriptural order we may clearly perceive the progress of revelation which they respectively indicated. They set forth the great design of God which was to be accomplished by the Redeemer of His people."

Pink goes on to describe the great importance of this understanding, as it relates to evangelicalism:

"Sufficient should have already been said to impress us with the weightiness of our present theme, and the great importance of arriving at a right understanding of the Divine covenants. A true knowledge of the covenants is indispensable to a correct presentation of the Gospel, for he who is ignorant of the fundamental difference which obtains between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace is utterly incompetent for evangelism. But by whom among us are the different covenants clearly understood? Refer unto them to the average preacher, and you at once perceive you are speaking to him in an unknown tongue. Few today discern what the covenants are in themselves, their relations to each other, and their consequent bearings upon the design of God in the Redeemer. Since the covenants pertain unto the very 'rudiments of the doctrine of Christ,' ignorance of them must cause obscurity to rest upon the whole Gospel system."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Horatius Bonar - God's Way of Holiness

In God's Way of Holiness, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) carefully examines the relationship between the Christian and the Law.  The result of this examination is a strong, Biblically-supported call to personal holiness.  Dr. Bonar also considers the various bad theologies which have sought to weaken or sever the believer's responsibility to God-given moral law.  This e-book has an active table of contents for your e-reader device.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Horatius Bonar - The Everlasting Righteousness

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), in The Everlasting Righteousness, provides adept Scriptural handling of the doctrine of justification and the role of faith in the believer's salvation.  In this, Dr. Bonar discusses the atonement and the matter of double-imputation, while giving broad mention to the errors of the papists and of certain protestant sects concerning justification.  Finally, Dr. Bonar concludes with a lesson on the implications of the believer's justification and personal holiness.  This e-book version is fully annotated and contains an active table of contents.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A.W. Pink - The Doctrine of Revelation

In The Doctrine of Revelation, Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952) treats the subject of Divine revelation along several lines of evidence:  The existence of God as manifested in the created world, in man, in human history, and in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; God's revealed Word; in subjective revelation (i.e., the workings of the Holy Spirit).  He also includes a consideration of further revelation in glory.  This book has an active table of contents for your e-reader device.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How To Install E-books On Your Device

To ensure a good install to your e-reader device, follow these steps:

1.) Download and install the free Calibre e-book management software appropriate to your operating system.

2.) During the installation, select your e-reader device (manufacturer and model).  It is not important that you enter an email for your e-reader device, as these instructions cover the typical manual installation.

3.) Download the appropriate file format for your device.  Kindle devices will use the MOBI format, while most other devices will use the EPUB format.  If you are uncertain about your device, refer to the manual for supported file formats.  If you don't own an e-reader device, select the PDF version for viewing on your desktop or laptop computer.

4.) Connect your e-reader device to your desktop computer or laptop using the data cable that came with your device.  Run Calibre, and drag and drop the e-book file (MOBI or PDF) into the main window of Calibre.  Confirm that Calibre has recognized your connected device.  With the chosen book selected in the main Calibre window, select "Send to Device" from the tool-button menu at the top of the Calibre GUI.  If you have dropped multiple e-book files into the Calibre main window, you may select them all and send them to your device simultaneously.

5.) Once the file copy is complete, disconnect your device (you may use the "eject device" function from within Calibre).  The e-books should now be accessible on your device.

A.W. Pink - A Guide To Fervent Prayer

In A Guide to Fervent Prayer, Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952) examines the apostolic prayers of the New Testament, to expound upon the nature and the basis of our communion with God.  Considering passages in the books of Hebrews, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation, Pink treats such topics as spiritual regeneration, sanctification, glorification, the resurrection of Christ, the suffering of the saints, faith and grace, restoring and preserving grace, the keeping of the saints and apostasy.  This e-book translation contains an active table of contents for your e-reader device.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Stick With Your Work

Stick with your work.
Do not flinch because the lion roars.
Do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs.
Do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits.

Do your work.

Let liars lie.
Let sectarians quarrel.
Let critics malign.
Let enemies accuse.
Let the devil do his worst.

But see to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you.

He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed.
He has never bidden you defend your character.
He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood (about yourself)
which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle,
or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation.
If you do these things, you will do nothing else.
You will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Keep at your work.
Let your aim be as steady as a star.
You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered,
wounded and rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motives;
You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends,
and despised and rejected of men.
But see to it with steadfast determination,
with unfaltering zeal,
that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being
until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”

- Anonymous

Monday, May 5, 2014

Richard Baxter on the Decline of Doctrine, Formalism and Dead Religion

Richard Baxter (1615-1691), under the heading of Christian Ethics in his Christian Directory writes,

"How apt men are to corrupt and debase all duties of religion, is too visible in the face of the far greatest part of the Christian world.  Throughout both the eastern and western churches, the papists, the Greeks, the Armenians, the Abassines, and too many others, (though the essentials of religion through God's mercy are retained, yet,) how much is the face of religion altered from what it was in the days of the apostles!  The ancient simplicity of doctrine is turned into abundance of new or private opinions, introduced as necessary articles of religion:  and, alas, how many of them false!  So that Christians, being too proud to accept of the ancient test of Christianity, cannot now agree among themselves what a Christian is, and who is to be esteemed a Christian; and so they deny one another to be Christians, and destroy their charity to each other, and divide the church, and make themselves a scorn by their divisions to the infidel world:  and thus the primitive unity, charity, and peace is partly destroyed, and partly degenerate into the unity, charity, and peace of several sects among themselves.  The primitive simplicity in government and discipline, is with most turned into a forcible secular government, exercised to advance one man above others, and to satisfy his will and lusts, and make him the rule of other men's lives, and to suppress the power and spirituality of religion in the world.  The primitive simplicity of worship is turned into such a mask of ceremony, and such a task of formalities and bodily exercise, that if one of the apostolical Christians should come among them, he would scarce think that this is the same employment which formerly the church was excercised in, or scarce know religion in this antic dress.  So that the amiable, glorious face of Christianity, is so spotted and defiled, that it is hidden from the unbelieving world, and they laugh at it as irrational, or think it to be but like their own:  and the principal hinderance of the conversion of heathens, Mahometans, and other unbelievers, is the corruption and deformity of the churches that are near them, or should be the instruments of their conversion.  And the probablest way to the conversion of those nations is the true reformation of the churches, both in the east and west:  which, if they were restored to the ancient spirituality, rationality, and simplicity of doctrine, discipline and worship; and lived in charity, humility and holiness, as those whose hearts and conversations are in heaven, with all worldy glory and honour as under their feet; they would then be so illustrious and amiable in the eyes of heathens and other infidels, that many would flock into the church of Christ, and desire to be such as they:  and their light would so shine before these men, that they would see their good works, and glorify their heavenly Father, and embrace their faith."

"The commonest way of the degenerating of all religious duties, is into this dead formality, or lifeless image of religion.  If the devil can but get you to cast off the spirituality and life of duty, he will give you leave to seem very devout, and make much ado with outward actions, words and beads; and you shall have so much zeal for a dead religion, or the corpse of worship, as will make you think that it is indeed alive.  By all means take heed of this turning of the worship of God into lip-service.  The commonest cause of it is, a carnality of mind (fleshly men will think best of the most fleshly religion); or else a slothfulness in duty, which will make you sit down with the easiest part.  It is the work of a saint, and a diligent saint, to keep the soul itself both regularly and vigorously employed with God.  But to say over certain words by rote, and to lift up the hands and eyes, is easy:  and hypocrites, that are conscious that they are void of the life and spirituality of worship, do think to make all up with this formality, and quiet their consciences, and delude their souls with a handsome image...."

Richard Baxter On Reading

Puritan Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was a Puritan with immense pastoral concern for fellow believers.  His works were genuinely practical, providing very succinct instructions for the various problems of life and in the Christian walk.  Under the heading Directions For Reading Other Books in Christian Directory, Baxter gave these general thoughts on reading truly Christian material...

"Because God hath made the excellent, holy writings of his servants the singular blessing of this land and age; and many a one may have a good book, even any day or hour of the week that cannot at all have a good preacher; I advise all God's servants to be thankful for so great a mercy, and to make use of it, and be much in reading:  for reading, with most, doth more conduce to knowledge than hearing doth, because you may choose what subjects and the excellentest treatises you please; and may be often at it, and may peruse again and again what you forget, and may take time as you go to fix it on your mind:  and with very many it doth more than hearing also to move the heart, though hearing of itself in this hath the advantage; because lively books may be easilier had than lively preachers."

Although giving this general commendation for Christian readings outside of Scripture, in a separate section of Christian Directory called Directions to Weak Christians for Their Establishment and Growth, Baxter also advises,

"Make careful choice of the books which you read.  Let the holy Scriptures ever have the pre-eminence; and next them, the solid, lively, heavenly treatises, which best expound and apply the Scriptures; and next those, the credible histories, especially of the church, and tractates upon inferior sciences and arts:  but take heed of the poison of the writings of false teachers, which would corrupt your understandings; and of vain romances, play-books, and false stories, which may bewitch your fantasies, and corrupt your hearts."

"As there is a more excellent appearance of the Spirit of God in the holy Scriptures, than in any other book whatever, so it hath more power and fitness to convey the Spirit, and make us spiritual, by imprinting itself upon our hearts.  And there is more of God in it, so it will acquaint us more with God, and bring us nearer Him, and make the reader more reverent, serious, and divine.  Let Scripture be first and most in your hearts and hands, and other books be used as subservient to it.  The endeavours of the devil and papists to keep it from you, doth show that it is most necessary and desirable to you.  And when they tell you, that all heretics plead the Scriptures, they do but tell you, that it is the common rule or law of Christians, which therefore all are fain to pretend; as all lawyers and wranglers plead the law of the land, be their cause never so bad, and yet the laws must not therefore be concealed or cast aside:  and they do but tell you, that in their concealment or dishonouring the Scriptures, they are worse than any of those heretics...."

"....The writings of the divines are nothing else but a preaching of the gospel to the eye, as the voice preacheth it to the ear.  Vocal preaching hath the preeminence in moving the affections, and being diversified to the state of the congregations which attend it:  this way the milk cometh warmest from the breast.  But books have the advantage in many other respects:  you may read an able preacher, when you have but a mean one to hear.  Every congregation cannot hear the most judicious or powerful preachers; but every single person may read the books of the most powerful and judicious.  Preachers may be silenced or banished, when books may be at hand:  books may be kept at a smaller charge than preachers:  we may choose books which treat of that very subject which we desire to hear of; but we cannot choose what subject the preacher shall treat of.  Books we may have at hand every day and hour; when we can have sermons but seldom, and at set times...."

"...As for play-books, and romances, and idle tales, I have already pernicious they are, especially to youth, and to frothy, empty, idle wits, that know not what a man is, nor what he hath to do in the world.  They are powerful baits of the devil, to keep more necessary things out of their minds, and better books out of their hands, and to poison the mind so much the more dangerously, as they are read with more delight and pleasure:  and to fill the minds of sensual people with idle fumes, and intoxicating fantasies, as may divert them from the serious thoughts of their salvation:  and (which is no small loss) to rob them of the abundance of that precious time, which was given them for more important business; and which they will wish and wish again at last, that they had spent more wisely.  I know the fantastics will say, that these things are innocent, and may teach men much good (like him that must go to a whore-house to learn to hate uncleanness, and him that would go out with robbers to learn to hate thievery):  but I shall now only ask them as in the presence of God,

     1. Whether they could spend that time no better?

     2. Whether better books and practices would not edify them more?

     3. Whether the greatest lovers of romances and plays, be the greatest lovers of the book of God,
         and of a holy life?

     4. Whether they feel in themselves that the love of these vanities doth increase their love to the
         word of God, and kill their sin, and prepare them for the life to come? or clean contrary?

And I would desire men not to prate against their own experience and reason, nor to dispute themselves into damnable impenitency, nor to befool their souls by a few silly words, which any but a sensualist may perceive to be mere deceit and falsehood.  If this will not serve, they shall be shortly convinced and answered in another manner."

Friday, April 25, 2014

A.W. Pink - An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount

The account of the Sermon on the Mount is given in Matthew chapters 5-7.  This sermon of our Lord represents the longest segment of Jesus' teaching recorded in the gospels, and the most astounding. Indeed, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine:  For He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matthew 7:28-29).

In An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount, the late Christian writer, A.W. Pink (1886-1952) undertakes a careful study of our Lord's warnings, exhortations and promises found in this section of Scripture.  The covered topics include The Beatitudes, ministry, murder, adultery, prayer, fasting, serving God, anxiety, judgment, grace, The Golden Rule, salvation, and false prophets.  The most arresting portion of the sermon, the testing of Christian profession and false profession, are treated last.  This is a highly recommended work and one which gives glory to Christ while challenging a man to "examine himself."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A.W. Pink - The Doctrine of Justification

The Doctrine of Justification by Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952) is the companion volume to his The Doctrine of Election.  Pink gives close examination to the subject of faith in justification and corrects serious but popular misunderstandings of the role of faith.  This discussion necessarily invokes a study of sanctification and works.  Like most of Pink's writings, this is a very edifying and God-glorifying handling of the subject.  An honest reading will lead to strong self-examination.

An excerpt from the book...

It is therefore the bounden duty of those who profess to have been justified by God to diligently and impartially examine themselves, to ascertain whether or not they have in them those spiritual graces which always accompany justification. It is by our sanctification, and that alone, that we may discover our justification. Would you know whether Christ fulfilled the law for you, that His obedience has been imputed to your account? Then search your heart and life and see whether a spirit of obedience to Him is daily working in you. The righteousness of the law is fulfilled only in those who "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4). God never designed that the obedience of His Son should be imputed to those who live a life of worldliness, self-pleasing, and gratifying the lusts of the flesh. Far from it: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A.W. Pink - The Lord's Prayer

 This little work by Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952) examines the individual petitions of the Lord's Prayer to derive important lessons for the Christian life and our approach to prayer.

From Pink's introduction...

From earliest times it has been called "the Lord’s Prayer," not because it is one that He Himself addressed to the Father, but because it was graciously furnished by Him to teach us both the manner and method of how to pray and the matters for which to pray. It should therefore be highly esteemed by Christians. Christ knew both our needs and the Father’s good will toward us, and thus He has mercifully supplied us with a simple yet comprehensive directory. Every part or aspect of prayer is included therein. Adoration is found in its opening clauses and thanksgiving in the conclusion. Confession is necessarily implied, for that which is asked for supposes our weakness or sinfulness. Petitions furnish the main substance, as in all praying. Intercession and supplication on behalf of the glory of God and for the triumph of His Kingdom and revealed will are involved in the first three petitions, whereas the last four are concerned with supplication and intercession concerning our own personal needs and those of others, as is indicated by pronouns in the plural number.

This prayer is found twice in the New Testament, being given by Christ on two different occasions. This, no doubt, is a hint for preachers to reiterate that which is of fundamental importance. The variations are significant. The language of Matthew 6:9 intimates that this prayer is given to us for a model, yet the words of Luke 11:2 indicate that it is to be used by us as a form. Like everything in Scripture, this prayer is perfect—perfect in its order, construction, and wording. Its order is adoration, supplication, and argumentation. Its petitions are seven in number. It is virtually an epitome of the Psalms and a most excellent summary of all prayer. Every clause in it occurs in the Old Testament, denoting that our prayers must be Scriptural if they are to be acceptable. "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us" (1 John 5:14). But we cannot know His will if we are ignorant of His Word.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

William Law - A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

William Law (1686-1761) was ordained in the Anglican church in 1711.  After refusing to take an oath of allegiance to George I, he was stripped of his ordination.  From thenceforth, he remained a non-juror, teaching privately and engaging in a ministry of writing.  A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life is perhaps his best known and most cherished work.  It has become an undisputed classic of Christian literature and has continued to find favor with modern readers.

In the present work, Law examines the principles of Christian devotion.  In so doing, he places tremendous emphasis on prayer.  Concerning this work, John Wesley commented, "Meeting now with Mr. Law's 'Christian Perfection' and 'Serious Call,' although I was much offended at many parts of both, yet they convinced me more than ever of the exceeding height and breadth and depth of the law of God.  The light flowed in so mightily upon my soul that everything appeared in a new light . . . I was convinced more than ever of the impossibility of being half a Christian."

Dr. Samuel Johnson referred to Serious Call as "the finest piece of hortatory theology in any language."  He also shared, "When at Oxford, I took it up expecting to find a dull book, and perhaps to laugh at it.  But I found Law quite an over-match for me; and this was the first occasion of my thinking in earnest of religion after I became capable of religious inquiry."

What is interesting about these endorsements is that both Wesley and Johnson had, elsewhere, been just critics of William Law, especially Law's association with Behmenism.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A.W. Pink - Gleanings From Elisha

A.W. Pink (1886-1952) was an English-born Christian Evangelical who held pastorates in both the United States and abroad.  He was converted from Theosophy to Christianity in his early 20's.  Pink is best known for his decades-long writing ministry, and has penned several classics of Christian literature, to include The Sovereignty of God, The Satisfaction of Christ, Spiritual Growth, The Doctrine of Election and The Life of Elijah.  Pink's view of the Scripture and of doctrine was conservative and calvinistic.  He has been described as "a Puritan born out of time."

In Gleanings From Elisha, Pink evaluates Elisha's seventeen miracles, considering the circumstances, meaning and spiritual significance of each.  From Pink's opening paragraph...

"THAT WHICH OCCUPIES the central and dominant place in what the Spirit has been pleased to record of the life of Elisha is the miracles performed by and connected with him. Far more miracles were wrought by him or were granted in answer to his prayers than any other of the Old Testament prophets. In fact the narrative of his history consists of little else than a record of supernatural acts and events. Nor need this at all surprise us, though it is strange that so few seem to grasp its implication and significance. The character of Elisha’s mission and ministry was in thorough keeping with Israel’s condition at that time. The very fact that these miracles were needed indicates the state into which Israel had fallen. Idolatry had held sway for so long that the true and living God was no longer known by the nation. Here and there were individuals who believed in the Lord, but the masses were worshipers of idols. Therefore by means of drastic interpositions, by awe-inspiring displays of His power, by supernatural manifestations of His justice and mercy alike, God forced even the skeptical to recognize His existence and subscribe to His supremacy."

J.C. Ryle - Where Art Thou?

This tract by Anglican bishop J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) was harvested from the hard-to-find and long out-of-print Startling Questions.  In "Where Art Thou?", Ryle examines the state of the false professor as well as the disquited, backslidden believer.  To the one, he provides warning; to the other, exhortation.  This e-book was carefully prepared (OCR'd, edited, formatted and converted) from the 1853 printing of Startling Questions.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Constantine von Tischendorf - When Were Our Gospels Written?

Let me preface this addition to the Reformed e-book blog by stating that this is not standard fare for The Calvinist Cafe, then again, neither is a work by Scofield.  This work does not necessarily follow the theme of the e-book blog, which is, the offering of a short list of doctrinally strong, spiritually edifying books.  I'll place it here, at least for a short time, for those who find some interest in it.

Constantine von Tischendorf (1815-1874) was a German Bible scholar, a professor of Greek and of New Testament Theology at the University of Leipzig.  In addition, he was an archaeologist who sought out ancient manuscripts.  In 1844, Tischendorf located one of the oldest New Testament mansucripts, the Codex Sinaiticus (A.D. 360-375) at St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai.  In the present work, Tischendorf recounts his discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus and makes a case for the dating and historical validity of the Gospels.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Octavius Winslow - Thus Saith the Lord

Octavius Winslow (1808-1878) laid out the aim of Thus Saith the Lord -- also known as Words of Divine Love and Words of Divine Comfort -- in the work's preface...

"The title of this little work, it is hoped, sufficiently indicates its character and design, irrespective of any formal preface. It is intended to be a faint echo of God's words of divine love, addressed from time to time to His people, amid the varied experiences, duties, and trials of their Christian course.  Never was there a period when we had greater need to keep close to the, 'THUS SAITH THE LORD,' than the present!  The Word of God is assailed by avowed foe and by sworn friend.  Its most subtle and dangerous enemies are among its professed and sworn friends.  Infidelity, enthroned in high places, perched upon the pinnacles of the temple, robed in solemn gesture, and uttering its voice from the chair of authority and state, is striving, by its learning, eloquence, and sophistry, to shake the nation’s faith in the Divinity, Inspiration and integrity of the only BOOK that has made the nation truly great—even God’s revealed truth.  Where is our remedy? and what is our safety?  It is found only in believing no dogma, in recognising no teaching, in accepting no decision in matters of faith which come not with the Divine imprimatur of — 'Thus saith the Lord.'  To aid and secure this holy result is the earnest design of this little volume, which the author commends to the devout perusal of the sincere believer in Jesus, and commits to the condescending blessing of the Triune God."

This e-book was carefully prepared and contains an active table of contents.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Octavius Winslow - The Man of God

Octavius Winslow (1808-1878) was an evangelical preacher of the 19th century, and a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon and J.C. Ryle.  He held pastorates in both New York and in England.  His written works are known for their Christ-centeredness, their immense practicality, and their display of experimental Calvinism.  The description and aim of this book is best given by Winslow, in his original preface...

"A false profession of religion, a spurious conversion, an invalid title to heaven, is of all fallacies and delusions the most momentous and fatal!  The following pages are an attempt to supply a corrective to this evil. They by no means propose to cover the entire ground. They rather seek to portray the man of God in some of the essential and prominent features of his holy character, and to trace a few of the stages of his Christian experience; making the Lord Jesus Christ—the Divine Man—the central object of the picture. Brevity in the unfolding of each subject has been studied, with the view of introducing, into so limited a work, as great and rich a variety of topic as possible. To the blessing of the Triune God, and to the prayers of the man of God, this small volume is devoutly commended (April 1863)."

Saturday, March 1, 2014

John Flavel - Saint Indeed

Saint Indeed, known more so as Keeping the Heart in modern publications, was first published in London, in 1668.  Of its author, the Puritan clergyman John Flavel (c.1627-1691), the Reverend David Young, being quoted from an introductory essay to one publication of this work penned in 1830, is more fit to speak--

"Flavel, however, was very far from being a mere Evangelical, in the sense imposed on that term by the flippancy of modern sarcasm.  It is true he considered the sovereignty of grace, and the entire moral inability of man, as doctrines absolutely fundamental to accurate views of the Christian system; but, like all who are enlightenedly evangelical, he was also a Christian moralist of the very highest order, unfolding the principles of true morality, in the sublime of their heavenly origin, and enforcing obedience to its precepts without abatement or compromise, as the best of all evidence of genuine religion. . . . The two things, perhaps, for which Flavel was most remarkable, are mature and extensive experience of Christianity as a matter of personal exercise, and a strong propensity to Christian good-doing, excited by a particular sweetness and benevolence of disposition.  The first of these, combined with the vigour and soundness of his understanding, made him eminently skillful in analyzing the religion of the heart. . . . If we except the peerless 'Edwards on Religious Affections,' a work which is tacitly excluded from all our ordinary comparisons, we know not another writer whose accuracy in detecting false experience, and rescuing the true from dubious alliance, is more to be relied upon than that of Flavel. . . . 'The Saint Indeed,' and 'The Touchstone of Sincerity,' are perhaps the best of Flavel's writings, so far as the religion of the heart is concerned; and they are both so plain and practical, that a child may easily understand them, while the man of intellect and acquirement will find them well entitled to his most serious perusal. . . . We do think [Saint Indeed] better fitted than many more elaborate performances, for arresting the frivolous and profane, and inclining even their hearts to the pure and peacable wisdom which cometh from above.  Its judicious selection of matter, its uniform brevity of parts, its dignified simplicity, its plain dealing, but above all, its latent power of gentle and hallowed persuasion, are the likeliest of all human means for enticing the thoughtless to think of religion as a very solemn reality."

Friday, February 28, 2014

Matthew Mead - The Almost Christian Discovered

"Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."  Those words were spoken by Agrippa, after hearing Paul's testimony of his conversion and after Paul's witnessing to him the gospel (Acts xxvi.28).  Paul responded, "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds" (Acts xxvi.31).

The Almost Christian Discovered consists of seven sermons that were originally preached by Puritan minister Matthew Mead (c.1630-1699) at St. Sepulchre's, London, in 1661.  The first American publishing was in 1815.  Mead's work is not particularly comforting, nor is his aim that of providing undue comfort.  It is, however, a strong dose of needed spiritual medicine which implores the Christian professor to examine himself.  Mead's intended audience are those professors who do not exhibit a saving faith and who, though enlightened, are in no better condition spiritually than the confessed unbeliever Agrippa.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Loraine Boettner - The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

This Reformed classic by Loraine Boettner (1901-1990) provides both the Scriptural basis and the historical background for Calvinism.  It serves as a solid primer for those who are unfamiliar with Calvinistic belief.  Boettner also includes a short biography on Calvin, and he summarizes the progression of Calvinism in Europe and in America.  This is a highly recommended read for all, both Reformed and non-Reformed.  This ebook translation was carefully made from the 1932 edition of Boettner's work, for which the copyright was not renewed; it is fully annotated and contains an active table of contents for your e-reader device.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Horatius Bonar - The Rent Veil

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) was a Scottish theologian, poet, and writer of hymns.  In The Rent Veil, Dr. Bonar provides us with a wonderful treatment of the Atonement.  This edition contains the original footnotes.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Horatius Bonar - God's Way of Peace

In God's Way of Peace, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) examines the various excuses of the anxious, almost-Christian in failing to come to Christ.  These excuses incorporate bad theology, love of sin, and an improper view of faith and repentance as prerequisite self-work.  Bonar discusses at length law and grace, as well as the often misunderstood and misapplied doctrine of Divine Election.  This work is a highly recommended read!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Our E-book Ministry

I'm of the opinion that the Church should have access to scripturally sound, edifying Christian literature and that one need not be kept from having a modest Christian library because of cost. The ministry of TCC e-book blog involves the provision of quality Christian literature in accurate and accessible formats for FREE. Many ebooks released today, quite honestly, are hack-jobs prepared for passively earned profit (i.e., royalties from online sales). If any of you use e-readers, you've probably had the experience of purchasing a book only to find that it's riddled with errors so glaring that a chimpanzee could have corrected some of them with a one-pass editing. None of the books on TCC e-book blog were released without extensive checking of the source documents, and painstaking formatting and editing. This often involved referencing and old, out-of-print edition to ensure that certain passages were correct, that the language forms were appropriate, and to verify errors in the optical character recognition from the source text. What we should have, then, are a collection of books that exceed the quality and accuracy of many of the same titles sold by different publishers online.

That doesn't mean that these books can't be without error. If you're prone to read them, please alert me to any concern for error, no matter how small. If the concern reveals an actual error, it will be corrected, and the e-books will be updated. As a reward for your help, I'll even give you an updated version of the book, also for free! :)

If you haven't already, please join our e-book blog (using the email entry on the main page of the ebook blog and the Google connect options to the right) and direct your friends, family, fellow church members, etc. to this valuable and free resource.

J.C. Ryle - Holiness

After an 18 month hiatus, The Calvinist Cafe's e-book blog is back in business! We're celebrating our re-launch with a book that has been long overdue on the blog.  J.C. Ryle's Holiness is an undisputed classic of Christian literature.  If you haven't read it, well now is the time; if you have, then this convenient e-book edition affords you the portability and opportunity to read it again.  This is the seemingly harder-to-find unabridged, fully annotated and illustrated version.  The archaic English has been maintained, although Ryle is always readable.  No attempts have been made to modernize the text.  This work has been carefully edited and formatted; however, if you should locate any errors in the e-book translation, please make them known so that they may be corrected.