City of the Seven Hills H. Grattan Guinness; published 2010 by Crimond House Publications and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 298 pages; price £10.99. (9780954992224)
Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910) was a grandson of brewery founder Arthur Guinness. Responding to the call of the gospel, H. Grattan Guinness gave up his inheritance to follow the Saviour and preach the gospel.
He made it his ambition "to live preaching and to die preaching" and was greatly used of God in the 1859 revival. He was also a prolific author.
City of the Seven Hills adopts the form of an epic poem which runs from page 15 to page 193. Its subject is the history of Rome. The poem is divided into two sections. Part 1: Rome Pagan; Part 2: Rome Papal. This second part is divided into the following - Section 1: Historic; Section 2: Contemporary; Section 3: Conclusion.
The author penned the first lines of his work while standing among the ashes of the martyrs, when the Quemadero, or burning place of the Inquisition, was opened at Madrid. In the Preface he writes, "I have waded through many volumes of martyrology in various languages; and the records have produced on my convictions the profoundest impression".
The verses on "The Advent" which extend to seven pages are Christ-exalting. Contrasting the haughty Caesar with the lowly Saviour, the poet writes:
The earth its treasure at his feet hath spread -
But Jesus hath not where to lay His head.
Beneath the stars, beneath the midnight dew,
The lonely desert was the home He knew.
There are numerous photographs and engravings, including three images entitled, "Victims of the inquisition found in the convent of Santo Domingo, Mexico, 1861". These in particular vividly depict the horrific sufferings endured by godly believers in that country.
The book concludes with an extensive 100-page Appendix of forty-five relevant and informative articles including: "Babylon the Great"; "Mariolatry" and "Sufferings of the Huguenots".
Behold Your King by J M Flanigan; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 158 pages; price £6.99.(9781904064114)
Behold your King was first published in its original form as a series of articles in the Assembly Testimony magazine between 1995 and 1999. With some revisions and slight changes these articles have now been brought together as a book which is attractively presented and easily read.
In these Meditations Mr Flanigan directs our attention to the fragrant character of the Saviour. As he does so he portrays those aspects of the person of Christ which Matthew sets before us in his "Gospel of the King".
The fulfilment by the Lord Jesus of type and prophecy, His coming as Messiah and Servant, and His majesty as King are but some of the features highlighted as each chapter of the Gospel is lovingly considered, and that which can never grow dim is discussed.
The relevance of the teaching of the Master for us today is also emphasised, bringing lessons, challenges, and encouragement to the reader.
As its sub-title indicates, this book is not intended to be a "commentary", but those who are serious students of the Word of God will still find in it that which will encourage a deeper consideration of things concerning Himself. Saints who are of a meditative frame of mind will discover much that they can feed upon, while "babes in Christ" are sure to find signposts leading them into a sweeter appreciation of the Lord.
Many of the chapters include or conclude with a few relevant lines from a hymn or poem, thus emphasising the praise and worship which should arise from hearts occupied with the person of our Lord Jesus.
This volume will draw the heart of the believer closer to the Lord.