Author: Charles Hodge
Publisher: Banner of Truth
Purchase from: Amazon (£12.94)
The aim of this book is to promote holiness, and the author’s view is that ‘the exhibition of the truth is the best means of promoting holiness’ (p.5). Thus he sets out in the first chapter to demonstrate that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God and the only source of infallible truth. It is worth having this chapter on hand to consult in these days when the ‘everyman’ denies the authority and reliability of the Bible.
Hodge has three chapters covering sin as universal and aggravated, yet excused by sinners who cannot, however, escape real conviction of sin. The core truths of justification, faith, and repentance follow in the next three chapters, and then two chapters on the necessary commitments of the godly to the public profession of faith, by way of church attendance and sacraments, and holy living.
I think I found around 100 splendid, compact, and edifying statements that I would love to memorise and reflect upon. One must suffice here: ‘Whatever our ecclesiastical connexions may be, whatever our privileges or professions, if we are not holy in heart and life; if we are not habitually governed by a regard to the will of God; if we do not delight in communion with him, and desire conformity to his image; if we are not led by the Spirit, and do not exhibit the love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance which that Spirit always produces – then we are not religious men, nor are we in a state of salvation.’ (pp.253–254).