Friday, January 29, 2016

A Blast from the Not so Distant Past: eBook Recommendations after reading Vol. 1 of the Sword and the Trowel Magazine

     Spurgeon edited a magazine called “The Sword and the Trowel” (S&T). It’s publication began in 1865, and in it contains biographical insights into the life of Spurgeon, the happenings and activities which were done in the church (Metropolitan Tabernacle), the orphanage, and the college. There were regular reports about various ministries such as missions, prayer meetings, colportage work, etc. Of course, each month highlighted a sermon, and one or two Gospel tracts or presentation, a scathing reply to sarcastic publicity from ignorant, perhaps even, devilish papers and rumors. But the one aspect of the magazine that I really enjoyed was the review section. The S&T highlighted useful books, and also took time to expose books and tracts that did not meet their standards or gained their approval. The reviews are short but insightful. The S&T edition that I was able to read through is Volume 1 (Years 1865, 1866, and 1867). I would highly recommend any Sprugeon enthusiast to take the time and read the S&T magazine. It has so many interesting stories, prose, poetry, articles, reports, and reviews that is sure to captivate your heart.

     I said all that to say this: After reading vol. 1, I have selected some titles that I thought were interesting books or articles that the S&T magazine recommended for their readers in their review section. I looked up the titles on Google Books, and lo and behold, they are, in fact, available as free downloads via Google Books (thank you, Google, and huge, huge, score for Google Books, here). What a pleasant surprise! What a blessing! This is amazing. Well, onto my small, and obscure, but delightful, and helpful selections. This listing is made in simple alphabetical format. This is just a random listing. If you haven’t already, you should, download Google Books, and check out these titles:

1. Daemonologia Sacra, or A Treatise of Satan’s Temptation by Richard Gilpin. [1867] – essentially a study on the character and power of Satan.

2. Eight Acrostics on the Bible by George T. Congreve. [1866] – good materials to help teach children in a Sunday school setting concerning the Bible. Many good and simple, yet thought provoking illustrations. Good source for children’s ministry.

3. The Proper Names of the Bible; Their Orthography, Pronunciation, and Signification by Joseph Farrar. [1855] – Highly interesting. I wish at certain points Mr. Farrar would have explained certain conclusions, but unfortunately, he just gave us the product without concerning us with the process by which he came to his definition and findings.

4. Sure of Heaven, A Book for the Doubting and Anxious by Thomas Mills. [1868] – A book that deals with matters of eternal security of the believer, and the assurance of salvation.

5. The Teacher’s Model and the Model Teacher; or Thoughts on the Educational Aspects of our Lord’s Teaching by William H. Groser. [1867] – The book title is axiomatic. But I don't believe the word axiomatic is axiomatic, so, as my dad would say, look it up.

     I have personally downloaded these titles to my Google reader, and I’ll need to whittle away at these books when I get a chance. Well, I’ll make sure to find the time to whittle away at it. Happy book hunting.