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What the Bible Teaches: Jeremiah and Lamentations by John Riddle; published by, and available from, John Ritchie Ltd; 558 pages. Price £19.99. (9781907731662)

The online Oxford Dictionary defines a jeremiad as "a long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes." And it is this negative reputation which sadly puts people off reading one of the most moving, exciting, and challenging of Jewish writers. But such an unappetising description is, in reality, true neither of the Old Testament prophecy, nor of this latest exposition in the ongoing Ritchie series. In around 550 pages, we are introduced to the prophet and his times, the terrible burden of preaching imminent judgment on his own people, yet the ever-present hope of a day, glimpsed in frequent foreview, when all Israel will be saved, and the Messiah will rule in equity. Unusually for a prophet, Jeremiah tells us much about himself. Isaiah hid behind his message, but Jeremiah, equally humble and devoted, exposed his heart: one of the lessons of his book is the high cost of serving God. In a lucid paragraph-by-paragraph exposition, the author explains the prophet's meaning in relation to future Israel, along with its practical lessons for Christians. On the key chapter 31 (describing the new covenant), the author takes the view that, although this covenant is one day to be established specifically with Israel and Judah, believers of the church dispensation are currently in the good of its spiritual blessings.

Writing on Lamentations (another title that doesn't exactly lure readers!), Mr Riddle helpfully captions the five elegiac poems which constitute the book: chapter 1 is The Lonely Widow, chapter 2 The Angry God, chapter 3 The Confident Prophet, chapter 4 The City Streets, and chapter 5 The Earnest Appeal. This provides a pathway through one of the most moving of Old Testament dirges. Again, amidst the scenes of Jerusalem's grief are glimmerings of coming glory: at the very heart of this book is the assurance that "the Lord will not cast off for ever" (3.31). Don't be one of the all-too-many saints ignorant of Jeremiah's storehouse of encouragement; invest in Mr Riddle's first-rate exposition, and your heart will be warmed while your mind is stimulated.

D Newell

Found Faithful by William Gilmore; published by, and available from, John Ritchie Ltd; 120 pages. Price £7.99. (9781907731945)

The name William Gilmore may not be familiar to many younger readers of Believer's Magazine. A worthy servant of the Lord, he was called home in 1958. This paperback was compiled by Jim Hutchinson and is now re-published by John Ritchie Ltd, as part of their Classic Reprint Series.

The Publisher's note indicates that the seven chapters are in the main, if not wholly, addresses delivered by William Gilmore. They are a delight to read. The much-revered William Hoste notes in the Foreword that this book needs no commendation from him. However, 55 years after his service, most readers would need some commendation of the contents of Found Faithful, which I am pleased to provide.

The selection of topics the compiler has drawn from the author's studies is well-balanced, and will be helpful to readers of all ages. The reader encounters a number of Bible characters: Paul (as he describes himself, and his own experience of the grace of God in Philippians 3), some of David's mighty men, as well as Daniel, Gideon and Elijah. In the chapter on 2 Timothy, we briefly meet Timothy himself, but also a number of pairs of men that Paul could not commend – Phygellus and Hermogenes, Hymenæus and Philetus, Jannes and Jambres – against whom Timothy was warned.

Clearly, William Gilmore's ability to engage with his audience was notable in his day, and Found Faithful now provides engagement with a second cohort of readers. His language will present no obstacles, and his unique ability to find memorable headings will focus attention on key elements of the message he believed God had given him to deliver. This is particularly marked in 'The Model Christian', Paul's autobiographical outline of living for Christ, and in 'Devotedness to Christ', based on 2 Samuel 15 and 23.

Overall, the teaching presented in seven chapters is relevant to our time, as well as being Christ-exalting.

T Wilson


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