William King Tweedie, 568 pages
Banner of Truth
This two-volume set is one of the great treasures of Scottish Christian literature. In quick succession, we meet such justly famous and revered figures as John Welsh, David Dickson, William Guthrie, and James Fraser of Brea, but also the lesser known and long forgotten, like the land-laborer of Carrick, John Stevenson. Here are the stories and reflections of men and women who, in times of great darkness, testing, and suffering, tasted what the author of Hebrews calls 'the powers of the age to come'. The 17th century was a dynamic period in Scottish church history, and yet many of its rich records lay hidden in privately owned manuscripts for two hundred years. It was only with the evangelical awakening of the 1840s that close attention was given to their publication, and a Society, formed for that purpose in Edinburgh, took the name of the historian, Robert Wodrow (1679-1734). On the 26 volumes thus published subsequent authors have depended heavily, and particularly so with respect to the two volumes originally entitled Select Biographies. In an era when Puritan literature is again being rediscovered their reprint is timely, providing as it does the opportunity to go back to first-hand sources. Here, for the most part, men and women live in their own words, or in the witness of their contemporaries. The 19th-century editor, William Tweedie, himself an evangelical leader, thought it worthwhile to be the editor of this rare material, and all who have possessed them endorse his judgment. - Publisher.