Tuesday 29 May 2012

The Works of James Henley Thornwell

James Henley Thornwell was born in 1812 and he was a great spiritual leader among Southern Presbyterians in the southern part of the USA. Douglas Kelly in his book Preachers with Power: Four Stalwarts of the South (Banner of Truth, 1992) describes Thornwell's ministry, especially his preaching, as 'logic on fire'. Thornwell died in 1862 and due to his being on the losing side during the American Civil War he is little remembered. His works were printed by the Banner of Truth in Four Collected Volumes in 1974. Sadly this hard back edition has long been unavailable. It would be good if a publisher could reproduce Thornwell's works for the benefit of the church and it is a reminder that we need good reformed publishing in every generation. The perpetual danger is that the writings of excellent men soon become lost. This was true in the time span between the death of Charles Haddon Spurgeon and the end of the Second World War in England. Spurgeon had an extensive theological library but within 60 years, it was virtually impossible to get hold of reformed theological books anywhere in England. How fast decline can happen!

I am about to get hold of volume 2 and volume 4 of Thornwell's collected writings and I cannot remember a time when I was so eager to get a book in my hand. Do you read good books? Do you pray for the Lord to put good books in your hand? Do you read books with excellent theological content? Perhaps there will be some more blogs on Thornwell in the coming time.

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