The Closers

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Puritanboard Librarian
Just tryin' to think of a flashly title to draw some feedback...:D

Some classic Reformed writings were completed by friends, colleagues and interested persons after the authors' demise. Their names are sometimes forgotten but they are worth remembering. I'll give some examples below. Any others?

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible

Matthew Henry died after completing the section on Acts. Romans - Revelation was completed by his friends and colleagues as noted below:

Romans - Mr. [afterwards Dr.] John Evans (see also here).
1 Corinthians - Mr. Simon Browne.
2 Corinthians - Mr. Daniel Mayo.
Galatians - Mr. Joshua Bayes.
Ephesians - Mr. Samuel Rosewell.
Philippians - } Mr. [afterwards Dr.] William Harris.
1 Thessalonians - } Mr. Daniel Mayo.
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy - } Mr. Benjamin Andrews Atkinson.
2 Timothy
Titus - } Mr. Jeremiah Smith.
Hebrews - Mr. William Tong.
James - Dr. S. Wright.
1 Peter - Mr. Zec. Merrill.
2 Peter - Mr. Joseph Hill.
1, 2, and 3 John - Mr. John Reynolds, of Shrewsbury.
Jude - Mr. John Billingsley.
Revelation - Mr. William Tong.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Bible

Matthew Poole died (the same day as William Gurnall, btw) upon completing his English Annotations through Isaiah 58. The rest of the Annotations were completed by friends and colleagues.

Isaiah 59-60 -- Mr. John Jackson
Isaiah 61-66, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Gospels, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Revelation -- Dr. John Collinges
Ezekiel, Minor Prophets -- Mr. Henry Hurst
Daniel -- Mr. William Cooper
Acts -- Mr. Peter Vinke
Romans -- Mr. Richard Mayo
Ephesians, James, 1 and 2 Peter -- Mr. Edward Veale
1 and 2 Thessalonians -- Mr. Matthew Barker
Philippians, Colossians -- Mr. Richard Adams
Hebrews -- Mr. Obadiah Hughes
1, 2 and 3 John -- Mr. John Howe

William Gouge's Commentary on Hebrews

William Gouge died before completing his commentary on Hebrews. His son, Thomas Gouge, completed the last chapter of Hebrews.

William Perkins' Commentary on Galatians

William Perkins died after completing his exposition of the fifth chapter of Galatians. The sixth chapter was completed by Ralph Cudworth, father of the famous Cambridge Platonist by the same name.


Puritanboard Librarian
Jeremiah Burroughs died before completing his exposition of Hosea, but it was completed by his close friends, Thomas Hall and Edward Reynolds.


Puritanboard Librarian
So can anyone elaborate for me the extent to which David Pareus completed the commentary of Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism after Ursinus' death?


Puritanboard Librarian
I know that Thomas Hooker assisted William Ames to some extent in writing A Fresh Suit Against Human Ceremonies in God's Worship and wrote a preface for the work after Ames died, but does anyone know to what extent, if any, Hooker helped to complete the work itself after Ames' death?

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (1896), Vol. VI, p. 497 (re: Thomas Hooker):

After the death of the latter [William Ames] he [Thomas Hooker] completed the book which Mr. Ames had begun, "A Fresh Suit Against Human Ceremonies in God's Worship" (2 vols.).


Puritanboard Librarian
Fisher's Catechism was the product of James Fisher, Ebenezer Erskine and Ralph Erskine. Ralph died (November 6, 1752) prior to the publication of the first edition (February 1753) and Ebenezer died soon thereafter (June 2, 1754) while James (d. September 28, 1775) continued to expand the work (apparently writing the whole second part of the exposition as well as contributing to the first part, according to one source) as he notes in the advertisement to the third edition:


THE words of the Shorter Catechism, being devised with the greatest judgment, and with a peculiar view, both for establishing scripture-truth, and likewise for refuting contrary errors, they are therefore, in this edition, particularly taken notice of; and to distinguish them, they are put in Italics, that the reader may the more easily discern how they are explained in this treatise.

As the Confession of Faith and Larger Catechism are granted to be the best interpreters of the Shorter, the latter is carefully explained by the former, and several of the following questions and answers framed from these standards, as will easily appear by the quotations taken from them, and the references made unto them.

In this edition, almost every answer is confirmed by the scriptures; many are added, where they were formerly wanting, and several exchanged, for those that are thought more apposite. In the former impressions, the scripture-proofs were, mostly, subjoined to the end of the answer; but now, each scripture is immediately annexed to that part of the answer it is designed to confirm, that it may be consulted with greater certainty, and less trouble, by those who incline to bring every position here advanced, to the unerring rule and standard of the Word. Some of the longer answers are divided into two or more, for sake of the memory; and some additional questions are interspersed through the whole, for illustration. A short Index is likewise annexed, of the most material things in both Parts.

I have employed my spare time for several months, in studying to make this Edition as correct and useful to the public as I could; and now I leave it in the hands of the God of Truth, that he may use it for the purposes of his own glory, in edifying the body of Christ, till they all come, in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

GLASGOW, Jan. 14, 1765


Puritanboard Librarian
In 1657-58, Matthew Poole initiated a Design for the Recording of illustrious Providences. It had the support of Richard Baxter and other ministers. But the tumultuous events of the Restoration era prevented it from going forward.

In 1670, Poole's notes came into the hands (via John Davenport) of Increase Mather, who published in 1684 his Remarkable Providences, An Essay For the Recording of Illustrious Providences, the preface of which states:

About six and twenty years ago, a Design for the Recording of illustrious Providences was under serious consideration among some eminent Ministers in England and in Ireland. [5] That motion was principally set on foot by the Learned Mr. Matthew Pool, whose Synopsis Criticorum, and other Books by him emitted, have made him famous in the World. [6] But before any thing was brought to effect, the [Page 9] Persons to have been imployed, had their thoughts diverted another way. Nevertheless, there was a MSS. (the Composer whereof is to me unknown) then written, wherein the Subjects proper for this Record, and some Rules for the better managing a design of this nature, are described. In that MSS. I find notable Stories related and attested, which elsewhere I never met with.

In 1697, the work inspired by Matthew Poole, Increase Mather and also Philip Henry, was carried forward again by the publication of William Turner's (he was a tutor of Matthew Henry) A Compleat History of the Most Remarkable Providences, published by John Dunston, who worked with both Mather and Turner.

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
I thought that it was a list of 5000 quotes on 'closing with Christ' (the Puritan equivolent to accepting Jesus.)

Guess I was wrong.


Puritanboard Librarian
J.H. Merle D’Aubigné died after completing the five-volume set History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century and began work on another series, which was a continuation of the former: History of the Reformation in Europe During the Time of Calvin. He lived to complete 5 volumes of the latter series, but the last three were completed by his editor and son-in-law, Adolphe Duchemin, following D'Aubigne's notes.


Puritanboard Librarian
Abraham Hellenbroek's catechism entitled A Specimen of Divine Truths was expanded after his death to include an introduction to students on how to profit from catechism class, a chapter on the counsel of peace, and a compendium of the principal doctrinal errors of those outside the Reformed Faith. The expanded edition is sometimes referred to the "big Hellenbroek." I don't know the identity of the editor(s) involved.

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Some classic Reformed writings were completed by friends, colleagues and interested persons after the authors' demise. Their names are sometimes forgotten but they are worth remembering. I'll give some examples below. Any others?

I've always wondered who were the closers for Deuteronomy and the books of Samuel. :lol:


Puritanboard Librarian
Sebastian Benefield wrote a commentary on Amos 1-3, the last portion of which was published in 1629, before he died in 1630. Thomas Hall supplemented this with a commentary on Amos 4-9.

-----Added 12/6/2008 at 04:52:27 EST-----

Previous post on Sebastian Benefield / Thomas Hall's commentary on Amos was posted on November 25, 2008. Today's post on Chemnitz / Gerhard's commentary on the harmony of the Gospels is posted on December 6, 2008.

Martin Chemnitz began a commentary on the harmony of the Gospels which was completed by Johann Gerhard (3 vol., 1626-1627).

-----Added 12/14/2008 at 09:25:47 EST-----

Today's post is posted on December 14, 2008.

Clement Marot published metrical versions of 52 Psalms. The Huguenot Psalter was completed after Marot's death by Theodore Beza.


Puritan Board Senior
New on the PB

Andrew's Annotated Bibliography.

I have a bookmark folder just for your threads.
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