The Watchers on the Longships by James F Cobb; published by Crimond House Publications; available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £7.99.
This is an excellent story with many incidents being strictly founded on fact. It is set in 18th century Cornwall during the times of the Wesley brothers and also at a time when murderous smugglers and wreckers were prominent on the Cornish coast.
The story is based around a small God-fearing family and a faithful parson. The godly wife and mother dies leaving her young daughter to keep house while her husband and son suffer much at the hands of the wreckers.
The young parson is anxious to see a lighthouse built to protect the ships off the Cornish coast and inevitably destroy the wreckers business. During this time the familys son is press-ganged into naval service as a direct result of the wreckers evil plans.
This is a story which helps us to appreciate the severe persecution Christians came under during these times and yet displays their ability in the strength of God to be able to stand fast for the faith and be true heroes for God.
It makes a very challenging and interesting read; a story which you would not want to miss.
Worlds Guide to Understanding the Bible by AT Pierson; published by AMG publishers; available from John Ritchie Ltd; price £10.99.
"It is superficial acquaintance with the Holy Scripture that makes erroneous interpretations so easy and perilous", states the author. From his own deep study of the Word he has written this book to encourage Bible study and help the student to find consistent and sound interpretations. There are short but carefully thought out chapters on fifty relevant topics.
The brevity of the chapters is itself a help in using the book, for each is self-contained and their advice can be followed a stage at a time. There is such a wealth of detail throughout that it is best explored in this way; in fact chapters can be revisited to profit for they open up many suggestive lines of study, some of which could lend themselves to becoming preaching notes.
Grammatical, numerical, structural, and historical aspects of Bible study are dealt with in an interesting manner, as are matters to do with different ages, covenants, and dispensations. Comparisons and contrasts, analytical and synthetic methods are described with good examples given. Studies are focused on words and their exact meanings, leading phrases and refrains, parallelism of Old Testament and New Testament, types, prophecies, and parables. Advice is given about not taking too seriously verse and chapter divisions, also italicised words and punctuation marks supplied by translators - the meaning of a phrase and its interpretation are always clear from the context paragraph and from the dispensation when it was written.
The book is an updated edition of the authors Knowing the Scriptures (a title the present reviewer likes better than the current one!) published in 1910. The language is still dated, however, and a few archaic words and phrases remain. Also the presentation is somewhat spoiled at places by too frequent typographical errors (some affecting the sense), too heavy use of initial capitals within sentences, by non-systematic numbering of items in lists, and by arbitrary and unordered inclusion of some items. There is some repetition of material between different chapters, but it could be argued that it helps these to be self contained.
This book from the pen of a man of a hundred years ago who loved God and His Word has much to commend it to todays student. It is a well bound hard-back to stand up to repeated usage, which most of its owners will give it.