Collected Sermons of James Durham progressing

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NaphtaliPress

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The Collected Sermons of James Durham (Naphtali Press and Reformation Heritage Books) are on track for a late summer release. We had hoped for Spring, but the final proofing is taking a wee bit longer than estimated (133 sermons in a 2 vol. collection, 960pp and 840pp respectively). Volume 1 is done and waiting on the read for volume 2. These sermons have never appeared before in a uniform collection and some have not been republished in centuries. Volume 1 contains all the ‘shorter’ collections; volume 2 contains a completely revised edition of Durham’s 72 sermons on Isaiah 53, which NP first published in 2001. Attached in jpeg is the content of volume 1. Look for RHB to announce; given the size of this project they will be handling all the sales and distribution.
Durham-CollectedSermonsContents-2.jpg Durham-CollectedSermonsContents-3.jpg
 

NaphtaliPress

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Well, he did preach 72 sermons on the 12 verses of Isaiah 53. In manuscript there are 44 sermons on Song of Solomon 2, a quarter of that on 3, I forget 4, and 62 sermons on chapter 5. These will be detailed in an entry for Antiquary for the 2017 issue of The Confessional Presbyterian journal (the SoS sermons had previously been 'mis-described' and that there are 137 sermons known on 2-5 was not previously described).
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
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I am very pleased about this. As can be seen from the quantity of sermons on a single verse, Durham was unusually gifted at delving deeply into God's word. Under his tutelage, one realizes how truly inexhaustible this treasury is.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Durham's gifts aside, it's breathtaking to think of where the people were to begin with in order to be edified by sermons like these. We can guess a good number of folks could follow them or they would not have tolerated this kind of material for generations let alone have craved it.
 

NaphtaliPress

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Actually, Durham was not too sure his ministry was well received. He knew he didn't have the utterance like others around him and was always afraid he'd walk into an empty church, or if not that, that once he started they'd all get up and run out on him. Shortly before TB confined him to his home, he told his wife he thought his ministry was done in Glasgow; he couldn't "get a text" to preach to the people. As far as his audience; he preached like this because one did in those days; but how well the folks received it at the time?? Some did appreciate him; but if you see the abundance of chastisements for unbelief in his sermons you gather he thought the church was full of the unconverted.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Actually, Durham was not too sure his ministry was well received. He knew he didn't have the utterance like others around him and was always afraid he'd walk into an empty church, or if not that, that once he started they'd all get up and run out on him. Shortly before TB confined him to his home, he told his wife he thought his ministry was done in Glasgow; he couldn't "get a text" to preach to the people. As far as his audience; he preached like this because one did in those days; but how well the folks received it at the time?? Some did appreciate him; but if you see the abundance of chastisements for unbelief in his sermons you gather he thought the church was full of the unconverted.

Wasn't Durham a bit unsure in other respects, like his own salvation? Somebody mentioned that awhile back.
 

NaphtaliPress

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He had doubts on his deathbed but overcame them; see the bios on him for the words/details. He was only 36; so figure about ten years of ministry he was 26 when his started, after studies under Dickson at Glasgow for 3 or 4 years. He was a laird; just under nobility status; father and grandfather were clerks Exchequer for the King and all that factored into the GA's choosing him to be chaplain to Charles II (what Baillie called Durham's grievous burden). Any way, it is said after those years at Glasgow U, he was already accomplished enough to have been a professor at any university in Europe.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
From John Howie's Scots Worthies (1835 ed.), p. 180:

When on his death-bed, he was under considerable darkness about his state, and said to Mr John Carstairs' brother, "For all that I have preached or written, there is but one scripture I can remember or dare grip unto; tell me if I dare lay the weight of my salvation upon it: whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out?" Mr Carstairs answered, "You may depend upon it, though you had a thousand salvations at hazard." When he was drawing towards his departure, in a great conflict and agony, though finding some difficulty in his passage, yet he sensibly, through the strength of God's grace, triumphantly overcame, and cried, in a rapture of holy joy, some little time before he committed his soul to God, "Is not the Lord good? Is he not infinitely good? See how he smiles! I do say it, and I do proclaim it." He died on Friday the 25th of June 1658, in the thirty-sixth year of his age.
 
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