Part 3: The People of a Puritan Library
So far we’ve talked vaguely about some group of people named ‘The Puritans.’ Today we name names.
Like I said, this list does not include Puritan commentaries. You should consider getting Matthew Henry’s commentary on the bible. It is very useful and mature in its biblical application. And of course (Reformer) John Calvin’s commentaries are likewise valuable. Both are available in print for a reasonable price and online for free.
I have used the following 14 Puritans in a number of situations but mostly in expositions. These men are faithful and trustworthy friends. I have been pushed deeper into scripture as these men faithfully expound and apply the bible. Many of their sermon illustrations have been reworded for my hearers. I have shared hundreds of quaint and beautiful quotations from these men. And I have personally been fed and refreshed as each of these men exalt in the glory of Jesus Christ, teach me to conquer (mortify) sin, and steer my affections away from the temporary and towards the eternal.
The Shepherd’s Scrapbook is proud to offer this list of Puritans (ordered by each author’s usefulness and availability. See pictures of these sets). …
1. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (63 sermon vols.; CD-Rom). Not a Puritan (obviously) but he is the great synthesizer of the best of the Puritan literature (see the Treasury of David for example).
2. Jonathan Edwards (2 vol. works; printed)
3. John Bunyan (3 vol. works; printed)
4. Thomas Boston (12 vol. works; printed)
5. Thomas Manton (22 vol. works; printed)
6. John Owen (16 vol. works; but especially vols. 1,2 and 6; printed)
7. John Flavel (6 vol. works; printed)
8. Richard Sibbes (7 vol. works; printed)
9. Jeremiah Burroughs (misc. books; printed)
10. Thomas Brooks (6 vol. works; printed)
11. Thomas Goodwin (12 vol. works; printed)
12. John Newton (6 vol. works; printed)
13. David Clarkson (3 vol. works; printed)
14. Edward Reynolds (vols. 1,4,5,6 of 6 vol. works; printed)
(Note: Spurgeon’s sermons work better in electronic format because of their sheer size and cost in print format.)
At the close of this series on building a Puritan Library, I will be reviewing each set in order to highlight the strengths. Plus, I will share a few tricks necessary to exhaust each of these incredible resources.
The following Puritans are very helpful. However, these men are either poorly indexed or hard to find (or both). These include the works of William Ames, William Bates, Stephen Charnock, William Perkins, Samuel Rutherford and Thomas Watson.
The bottom line
The bottom line is this: God’s grace is magnificent. He alone allows the funding for these Puritans to be reprinted. He gives publishers the burden to print them today (although these efforts bring very little, if any, profit). He gives men like Robert Martin the generosity to share his Puritan index so we can all benefit from his work.
Before we consider the costs of such a library and the tricks to using one effectively, we should take time this weekend to thank God. His Spirit makes these ancient resources available so the Word can go out into the world today with the earnestness worthy of the Gospel.
Next time … Part 4: Why our effective use of the Puritans begins in the bible