Bownd's True Doctrine of the Sabbath.

Discussion in 'The Lord's Day or Christian Sabbath' started by NaphtaliPress, Apr 15, 2019.

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  1. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

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    Four years ago today I received an advance copy of Nicholas Bownd's True Doctrine of the Sabbath from fresh off the press. This is an important book and RHB printed a lot of copies (2200 copies of which NP took 600*). RHB currently has it on sale for only $14 (+postage), for a 600p fine hardbound book in distinctive dust jacket. This was 20 years in the making; help RHB make it not 20 years in the selling! :doh::) {{*NP has a few cases left and you can get a copy with Gillespie's English Popish Ceremonies for $35 postage paid.}}
    “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.
    “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
    “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).​
  2. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Bownd's book has been a huge blessing to me. This is the book I recommend any time someone asks for a book on the Sabbath. I was actually just considering revisiting it. I think I will after I finish with Robert Rollock's Select Works.

    Thanks for the effort you put into your publications!
  3. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you. The book is admittedly antique but surprisingly readible (compare with Rutherford from just 40 years later, it is much easier In my humble opinion), and will later works may be more succinct where Bownd is wordy or address some questions in greater detail that Bownd does not, I agree it remains a useful work even maybe as a first introduction to the subject. Also different from many later works, the book is very pastoral and practical, which is not surprising given its origins and Bownd's commitment to puritan pastoral theology. This is one of the only reviews of the work I've seen:
  4. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I already have it, but I almost want to buy it again!
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