$35 for two 600p quality hard bound classical Reformed works

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Great deal on the magnum opuses (opi?) on the regulative principle of worship and Christian Sabbath.
I have about 12 copies of Bownd on the Sabbath left and significantly more than that of Gillespie, so if you have neither this is a good buy, USA only $35 postage paid. Details below. Link here. Bownd is no longer available except in this two pack from me. Both titles are available singly at Reformation Heritage Books.

George Gillespie, Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies.
2013. 544pp. Retail price $43.50. Smyth Sewn
hardbound, dust jacket, color frontispiece. Foreword,
Historical Introduction, Overview & Analysis, Bibliography,
Indices: Section, Edition Errata, Author, Subject, Scripture,
OED first usage.

This extensively revised edition will mark the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of the author. The Dispute contains over a thousand citations from nearly two hundred authors and over three hundred works, which have all been carefully traced and confirmed for this new edition, greatly expanding the footnotes over those in the 1993 edition. With all these sources more clearly exposed for the modern reader, one may better appreciate why this 24 year old astounded his contemporaries on the eve of the Second Reformation, and why the Dispute merited a place for Gillespie at the Westminster Assembly of Divines, where he helped shape Presbyterian doctrine for centuries to come.​

Gillespie marshals material from leading Reformers and Protestant works to defend biblical worship principles, from all the important writers of the time defending the English popish ceremonies, from classical literature, church fathers, scholastics, linguists, as well as from the leading Roman Catholic writers, commentators, anti Catholic and anti Protestant polemicists, and other works of the period. Even if one rejects the Puritan point of view on worship matters, this volume offers valuable insight into the important literature on all sides at this important period in church history.​

This new critical edition retains Roy Middleton’s helpful Historical Introduction which explains the setting and why there was a need for such a book. This new edition adds an Overview & Summary, which analyzes Gillespie literary style, surveys the literature cited and gives helpful summaries of the different sections of the Dispute. The text has been collated again against the different editions, and as noted all the thousand+ references checked and traced (some turning into mini research project all in themselves), all the Latin has been rechecked and the translations provided for the 1993 edition confirmed, tweaked, or corrected. There are extensive indices of various sorts and a complete bibliography.

Gillespie’s Dispute truly remains a tour de force and one of the most important works on Reformed worship principles. Also, it is rare that a Christian work also factors as an important work in a nation’s history; and the Dispute certainly is a famous work in Scottish history as well as Covenanter and general Presbyterian history. This new critical edition seeks to do justice to such an important book and present it in a form useful for this and future generations to come.


W.D.J. McKay, Hughes O. Old, Terry Johnson, W. Robert Godfrey

A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies by George Gillespie.

Why should a seventeenth century polemical study of ‘popish ceremonies’ be of any interest to readers in the twenty-first century, unless as a historical curiosity? The style of such works is complex and off-putting and the issues discussed apparently relics of a bygone day. To draw such conclusions would be a serious mistake. We live in a day when the biblical doctrine of the church is largely ignored, and the resulting ecclesiastical chaos is only too obvious. Though written more than three and a half centuries ago, Gillespie’s book gets right to the heart of the matter. Discussions of the right of the church to ordain ceremonies not prescribed in the Bible, the power of civil rulers to involve themselves in church affairs, the true nature of liberty of conscience—these issues and many more receive thorough examination. Adding to as well as subtracting from the requirements of Scripture is shown to be unacceptable. The perplexing issue of how to address ‘things indifferent’ is considered at length. Careful thought is given to the place of imitating the example of Christ and the apostles in ecclesiastical matters. All these and more are of pressing contemporary relevance. The style of the book of course offers challenges to modern readers, but Chris Coldwell has done an excellent job of minimising these difficulties in his painstaking editorial work. Gillespie’s treatise merits the careful attention of all who are seriously interested in hearing what the Word of God has to say in relation to the life and worship of Christ’s church: so gird up your loins and prepare to engage with a master theologian of abiding value. Rev. Prof. W.D.J. McKay, Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, author of An Ecclesiastical Republic: Church Government in the Writings of George Gillespie.

Early in my ministry I had occasion to discover the riches of Puritan devotional literature. In the beginning of the seventeenth century in England, in Scotland, and in America, there was a real blossoming of Christian learning which, sad to say, was largely neglected by the time I had gotten to seminary. Happily much of this is now at the beginning of the twenty-first century beginning to reappear.

George Gillespie’s work is especially important because it gives us a glimpse of the thought of a Scot who attended the Westminster Assembly. He is notable for his opposition to the religious ceremonies that the Stuart dynasty tried to impose on the Church of Scotland. Gillespie’s opposition to Erastianism was particularly forceful, as was his opposition to the so-called adiaphora, or “doubtful things.” The Stuarts did manage to impose Erastianism on the Church of England, as well as many of the adiaphora, but never on the Church of Scotland.

George Gillespie died young, never having reached his fortieth year, and yet he is recognized as one of the most articulate Puritans of his age. Hughes Oliphant Old, John H. Leith Professor of Reformed Theology and Worship and Dean of the Institute For Reformed Worship of Erskine Theological Seminary, and author of many books including the multivolume The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church.

Whether one’s interest is historical studies or liturgical theology one cannot but be thankful for the work of Chris Coldwell in producing this new critical edition of the Scottish theologian George Gillespie’s English Popish Ceremonies, first published in 1637. The text is a revision of the 1993 edition which was also published by Naphtali Press. Gillespie’s copious citations of the church fathers, medieval theologians, Reformers, Roman Catholic apologists and contemporary writers have been traced and documented, the bibliography updated, the translation of the Latin proofed and adjusted. Remarkably, Gillespie wrote this monument of Reformed scholarship when he was but 24 years of age. Its publication was the key to his invitation to serve as a Scottish delegate to the Westminster Assembly, of whom he was its youngest member, not yet 30 years of age. Never did worship ‘according to Scripture’ receive a more comprehensive treatment; never did the regulative principle receive a stronger defense; never were Reformed liturgical theology and apologetics expressed more convincingly than in the hands of the man often called ‘Great Mister Gillespie’ in his own day. Terry Johnson, Senior Pastor, Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Ga., and author/compiler of many books including the Trinity Psalter, Leading in Worship, and The Case for Traditional Protestantism, Reformed Worship.

Gillespie’s famous book is a vitally important work in the history of the Scottish Reformation, but it is much more than simply that. It has abiding and profound value for all who are committed to knowing, applying, and following the Word of God on the proper worship of the church. With great insight and passion Gillespie pursues the freedom of the church from political interference and from ecclesiastical tyranny as well as the freedom of the individual Christian conscience from the burden of tradition. He rejoiced that the Church of Scotland had gotten “rid of all such rotten relics, riven [torn] rags, and rotten remainders of Popery” and feared that they were now returning by political fiat. He warned, “there is not a more deceitful and dangerous temptation than in yielding to the beginnings of evil.” This splendid edition makes Gillespie’s demanding work more accessible to the modern reader and encourages careful reading of this vastly rewarding study. W. Robert Godfrey, President and Professor of Church History, Westminster Seminary California, and author of many books and articles, including, An Unexpected Journey: Discovering Reformed Christianity, John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor and (with James Montgomery Boice) Pleasing God in Our Worship.

Nicholas Bownd, Sabbathum Veteris Et Novi Testamenti: or, The True Doctrine of the Sabbath (Naphtali Press and Reformation Heritage Books, 2015) 592pp. Hard bound, smyth sewn, dust jacket. Edited with introduction and analysis by Chris Coldwell. Retail $30.

“For its scope, detail, and erudition, this work on the Sabbath is unparalleled in the Puritan tradition–indeed, perhaps even in the Christian tradition.” Mark Jones, author with Joel Beeke, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life.

No book had more influence in confirming a Sabbatarian “heart” to Puritanism than that of Nicholas Bownd (d.1613). The Doctrine of the Sabbath was the first scholarly treatment defending the concept of the Christian Sabbath or Lord’s Day, later embodied in the Westminster Standards. Not reprinted since 1606, this influential work is presented afresh in a new critical edition.

For most of his ministry, Nicholas Bownd (1551?–1613) was the pastor of a country church in rural England. Judging from the sermons he published, his ministry exhibited the practical divinity taught by his stepfather, Richard Greenham, which focused on the means of grace. The crucial ‘mean of the means’ whereby all these means of grace were made available to the people of God was the weekly gatherings on the Christian Sabbath or Lord’s Day. In 1595, Bownd published True Doctrine of the Sabbath, which derived from sermons preached about 1586. This book embroiled him in a singular controversy with a troublesome neighbor, which resulted in the first Sabbatarian controversy in England, and also led to a vindicating expanded edition in 1606. For the last two years of his life he ministered at St. Andrew in Norwich, the highest call a man of his puritan convictions could have attained in those days.

Commendations by Mark Jones, James T. Dennison, Richard B. Gaffin and Joel Beeke.

“It is astonishing that the Puritan Nicholas Bownd’s famous work on the Sabbath, which greatly influenced later Puritanism and the Westminster Assembly, and by extension, Western Christendom for centuries, has not been printed in a critical edition with modern typeface long ago. Not reprinted since 1606, this classic work emphasizes the fourth commandment’s morally binding character, the divine institution of the entire Sabbath as the Lord’s Day set apart to worship God, and the cessation of non-religious activities that distract from worship and acts of mercy. I am so grateful that it is back in print, and pray that it will do much good to restore the value and enhance the joy of the Lord’s Day for many believers around the world.”

—Joel R. Beeke, co-author of Meet the Puritans and A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, and president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“After four centuries of rest, Nicholas Bownd’s famous book on the Sabbath has re-Bownded. Attractively printed, this work is a critical edition of the 1595 version and the expanded 1606 edition. Coldwell has painstakingly collated and meticulously annotated the two so as to allow Bownd’s classic Puritan doctrine of the Lord’s Day Sabbath to be published afresh. Lovers of the Scriptures as interpreted by the Westminster Standards will rejoice. May all glory redound to the Eschatological Lord of Sabbath rest, as it did four centuries ago.”

–James T. Dennison, Jr., author of The Market Day of the Soul: The Puritan Doctrine of the Sabbath in England, 1532-1700; and Academic Dean and Professor of Church History and Biblical Theology, Northwest Theological Seminary, Lynnwood, Washington.

“Those with an interest in developments leading up to the formulation of the Sabbath doctrine taught in the Westminster standards will benefit from this careful documentation and analysis of the views of Nicholas Bownd.”

–Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., author of Calvin and the Sabbath; Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary.

Nicholas Bownd’s work, The True Doctrine of the Sabbath, occupies a hugely significant place among Puritan works on polemical and practical divinity. For its scope, detail, and erudition, this work on the Sabbath is unparalleled in the Puritan tradition—indeed, perhaps even in the Christian tradition. Particularly illuminating are Bownd’s “spiritual exercises,” which clearly had an influence upon the later Puritan attitudes regarding the practical implications of Sabbath-keeping and worship. As an added bonus to the content of this book, the editorial work on this book is first-class, and makes for far more enjoyable and easier reading than a simple re-print.

–Rev. Dr. Mark Jones, Minister at Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church (PCA).

From the Foreword

With all the Puritan and Presbyterian books expounding upon the fourth commandment which have been published or reprinted in the last four hundred years, it may be reasonably questioned why it is important to bring yet another work on the nature of the Lord’s Day into print again, particularly when few Christians today either believe, understand or appreciate the true doctrine of the Christian Sabbath. The answer is simple enough. Nicholas Bownd’s books were the first scholarly, lengthy treatment articulating the Puritan Sabbatarian position, and he can fairly be said to have set the mold for the standard argument. The basic tenets he defended are enshrined in that last great set of Reformed symbols, the Westminster Standards. So while he certainly did not invent the doctrine, Bownd can in a sense be called the father of the later Puritan works expounding the fourth commandment. Consequently, his work is of significant historical importance and a new edition is at the very least warranted to aid the study of it. And personally, if for no other reason, I believe a good modern edition of this great work is appropriate out of simple gratitude for the author’s labors in the face of the difficulties of the times and the rather singular persecution he faced.

This project to bring Nicholas Bownd’s True Doctrine of the Sabbath to print in a modern version dates back over twenty years. The source was a poor University Microfilms, Inc. (UMI) photocopy of an equally poor microfilmed example of Bownd’s 1606 revised edition. This required considerable proof reading, and the original having all the problems of a late sixteenth century text made for a tedious job of editing. It was easier to keep shifting focus to other less difficult projects. However, as it turned out in the providence of God, the project needed this delay in order for new research to come to light, revealing more than had previously been in print about Nicholas Bownd. In addition, the editor’s “tool kit” required expanding in order to handle such an old text with the attending necessary research, which other projects afforded over the intervening years. Finally, when the push to get this project on a track to completion was undertaken in the last year or so, a final hurdle presented itself. The discovery of the letter Thomas Rogers wrote to Bownd in 1598 cast all in new light, requiring a late course change and a complete revision of the approach to the text of the book.

For the last nineteen years the intent was to bring Bownd’s 1606 edition to print. However, it became clear that Bownd had made at least one revision based upon a criticism Rogers had made in a 1599 sermon against Sabbatarianism. Using phrases from the surviving notes of that sermon, a few quick searches revealed that while never naming him at any point, all of the main criticisms Rogers made were addressed in the revision. In addition, the description of the 1598 letter, which had never been transcribed, indicated it contained references to Bownd’s 1595 edition. So even before obtaining a copy and transcribing the letter, it was clear that the 1606 text had to be carefully collated with the 1595 edition in order to discover changes directly attributable to Rogers’ criticisms. With a revised critical text noting the additions (herein denoted by large {braces} in the text and in the margins), it became clear that many of the 1606 revisions were made in order to address criticisms made in both Rogers’ 1599 sermon and 1598 letter. This discovery led to a considerable investigation of the dispute between Bownd and Rogers (which is known as the first Sabbatarian controversy in English literature), which resulted in a lengthy but hopefully informative introduction to this volume, now finally completed after all these years.

The text, keyed in the margins to the 1606 edition, has been revised, as far as possible without marring the author’s work, to reflect contemporary spelling, punctuation, and usage. Chapter divisions have been added. Words or insertions supplied by the editor are in [square brackets]. While a few less clear antiquated words or spellings are replaced with the modern equivalents after the first usage (e.g. “entreating [in treating]” etc.), generally changes to clearly archaic spellings are done “silently.” Scripture quotations are italicized, as well as Latin words and some emphasis. While the original use of italics for all manner of emphasis created many difficulties (see the Analysis), I have attempted to untangle and trace all of Bownd’s references. An annotated bibliography is provided noting the library collections available to Bownd, as well as author, subject and Scripture indices….

Contents (there is also a lengthy table of chapters and subtopics in addition to bibliography, scripture, author and subject index).

Contents of The True Doctrine of the Sabbath ix

Introduction xix

Results of the Elizabethan Settlement xxii

The Bownds and Richard Greenham xxvii

Richard Greenham xxix

Nicholas Bownd xxxii

The Ministry of Nicholas Bownd xxxiv

The Market Day of the Soul xxxv

The Works of Nicholas Bownd xxxvi

Conformity and Presbyterianism xl

Bownd’s Advocacy/Rejection of Presbyterianism xliv

Thomas Rogers xlvii

The Works of Thomas Rogers xlviii

Thomas Rogers, Proponent of Conformity liii

Thomas Rogers and the Bury Exercise lvii

Thomas Rogers versus Nicholas Bownd lxi

Assessing Rogers’ Claims, Whitgift’s and Popham’s Suppression lxvi

Rogers’ 1598 Letter to Bownd lxix

Time table of events lxxvii

Objections to the Propagandist Theory lxxxi

Nicholas Bownd Proves Rogers’ Letter is Genuine lxxxiv

Conclusion lxxxv

Analysis lxxxix

Prefatory Epistles, 1595–1606

Dedication (1595) 3

To the Reader (1595) 4

Book One (1606): Dedication 6

To the Studious and Diligent Reader 9

Commendation by Alexander Bownd 12

Andrew Willet to the Reader 16

Book Two (1606): Dedication 22

William Jones to the Author 26

Commendation by Walter Allen 32

Book One: The Ancient Institution and Continuance of the Sabbath 35

Book Two: The Sanctification of the Sabbath 285

Bibliography 449

Author Index 466

Scripture Index 470

Subject Index 474

Commendations 482​
If looking for things to do while sheltering in place, I have 6 of these sets left available for purchase at this super low price for two quality volumes (quality made, quality stuff).
Any progress on the collaboration with RHB on volume 1 of Durham's Revelation ?
Yes. I sent in all the files and word is the book maker is essential business so it should head to the press once RHB's contact gets everything to the Rep. Won't be a huge but a good size printing of 1000 plus or minus 10%, so likely 1100 (been years since I didn't see the maximum over run). I am working on an appendix of additional translations for Jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici and that essentially will complete it, which will leave the Dickson on Lamentations to complete which lacks a proof read and introduction, and then the inaugural series year of Naphtali Press Special Editions will have successfully launched. I'm very happy RHB was interested and picked up this series.
Yes. I sent in all the files and word is the book maker is essential business so it should head to the press once RHB's contact gets everything to the Rep. Won't be a huge but a good size printing of 1000 plus or minus 10%, so likely 1100 (been years since I didn't see the maximum over run). I am working on an appendix of additional translations for Jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici and that essentially will complete it, which will leave the Dickson on Lamentations to complete which lacks a proof read and introduction, and then the inaugural series year of Naphtali Press Special Editions will have successfully launched. I'm very happy RHB was interested and picked up this series.
Glad to hear it. I did the pre-order and hope to live long enough to read it :)
It's not as big a savings but some who have or didn't want the Bownd for some reason are taking advantage of the Gillespie at $26 postage paid (USA addresses only). I have plenty of G's EPC as opposed to just a few of the Bownd left.
I have 3 sets left of Bownd/Gillespie for $35 postage paid, USA only. Not going to do better than that like new in shrinkwrap.
I need to pick up Gillespie. It is one volume of yours that I am ashamed to say I do not own. I also need to order some more for RHB. Look out for an email tomorrow.
I need to pick up Gillespie. It is one volume of yours that I am ashamed to say I do not own. I also need to order some more for RHB. Look out for an email tomorrow.
Thanks! I have a good supply still. But after my Bownd are gone (leaving me two examples) RHB has the remaining copies available.
Just 2 of this set of Bownd and Gillespie left for $35 postage paid, USA only. No long listed at the NP store. Use this LINK to snag one of the last two of this offer. The link is to paypal; you can bypass using an account to use credit card only at a link lower left I think at the jump.
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