Friday, 23 September 2011

Farewell Sermons SDG

Solid Ground Books are currently advertising this volume of Farewell Sermons here. They say

Addresses from Some of the Most Eminent Nonconformist Ministers of the Great Ejection of 1662
Richard Baxter, Thomas Manton, Thomas Watson, Thomas Brooks, Joseph Caryl, William Jenkyn, William Bates and Eleven More

SOLID GROUND has an Opportunity to Publish a New Edition of "FAREWELL SERMONS: Addresses from Some of the Most Eminent Nonconformist Ministers of the Great Ejection of 1662
The following paragraphs from the Original Preface will explain the power in this volume:
"Most of the sermons contained in this collection were delivered on the twenty-fourth of August, in the year 1662. On that day the act requiring a perfect conformity to the book of Common Prayer, and to the rites and ceremonies of the church took place: the effect of which enactment was the silencing of nearly two thousand five hundred ministers, the death of three thousand nonconformists, and the ruin of sixty thousand families. Such was the result of the restoration of Charles the Second of infamous memory.
To ascertain the spirit which actuated the ejected ministers, it is sufficient to refer to the following selection of their farewell sermons, which were delivered at the very moment they were agonizing under the fangs of persecution, but which discover nothing but a combination of christian graces. Bishop Burnet admits that 'many of them were distinguished by their abilities and their zeal '; and the celebrated Locke has remarked, 'Bartholomew-day was fatal to our church and religion, by throwing out a very great number of worthy, learned, pious and orthodox divines.'"
C H Spurgeon said "Those great preachers whose names we remember, were men who counted nothing their own: they were driven out from their benefices, because they could not conform to the Established Church, and they gave up all they had willingly to the Lord. They were hunted from place to place, they wandered here and there to preach the gospel to a few. Those were foul times; but they promised they would walk the road fair or foul, and they did walk it knee-deep in mud; and they would have walked it if it had been kinee-deep in blood too. But now we are all little men, there is scarce a man alive now upon this earth."
John Bunyan, who spent 12 years in Bedford jail for his Nonconformity, said, "I fought till my sword did cleave to my right hand; and then they were joined together, as if a sword grew out of my arm; and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage."
Iain Murray wrote, "John Stoughton has described the Sunday upon which most of the Farewell Sermons were preached: 'No Sunday in England ever resembled exactly that which fell on the 17th of August, 1662, one week before the feast of St Bartholomew. There have been "mourning, lamentation, and woe," in particular parish churches when death, persecution, or some other cause has broken pastoral ties, and severed from loving congregations their spiritual guides; but for many hundreds of ministers on the same day to be uttering farewells is an unparalleled circumstance. In after years, Puritan fathers and mothers related to their children the story of assembled crowds, of aisles, standing-places and stairs, filled to suffocation, of people clinging to open windows like swarms of bees, of overflowing throngs in churchyards and streets, of deep silence or stifled sobs, as the flock gazed on the shepherd - "sorrowing most of all that they should see his face no more." ' It is well for us to bear such a background in mind as we read the following pages. The atmosphere of that day was electric and charged with emotion; the popular discontent was great and strong guards stood ready in London, but these sermons seem far removed from all that. There is a calmness, and unction and a lack of invective. Great though their sorrow was for their flocks and for their nation, they had a message to preach which was more than equal to the strain of the crisis. An eternal God, an Ever-Living Saviour and a glorious hope of heaven, carried them through this heaviest trial."
Don Kistler, founder of Northampton Press, said the following about this volume: "This is a precious volume, because it is the last sermon many of these Puritan pastors preached to their congregations before they were forced out of their pulpits. Yet you will not find any bitterness or acrimony in their sermons. Instead, they do what they had done every other Lord's Day: They preached the glories of Christ.
First published in 2 volumes in the 1600's, then retypeset in 1816 in a single volume, and then published again in 1992, this wonderful collection of Puritan sermons is now available once again. Who knows when it might be available after this edition is gone? Do not miss this opportunity to have this marvelous work. You will be the richer for it. Also, this will likely be your only chance to read sermons by some of the lesser-known, but not lesser-important men represented here, such as Lazarus Seaman, Thomas Lye, George Evanke, and Thomas Jacomb. Solid Ground is to be commended for choosing to reprint this work. Now commend them yourself by purchasing it!"
Ray Rhodes, founder of Nourished in the Word Ministries just added: "If writing makes a man more precise in his communication then writing under persecution further clarifies the message. Some of history's richest sermons have been preached and books written when the author was under either the threat or the actual fires of suffering. The authors of these "Farewell Sermons" are some of the brightest lights in all of Puritan history. Each word, sentence, and paragraph hits the target. Words cannot be wasted when life hangs in the balance. Do you want your character strengthend and your faith deepened? Read these sermons that have been washed by the tears of those who were persecuted for righteousness sake."
Robert Paul Martin, author of 'A Guide to the Puritans' wrote - "Simply one of the finest volumes ever published. The farewell sermons of great Puritan preachers. What more could we ask?"

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