Have you read the biographical sketches authored by Thomas Peck?

From time to time we aim to highlight not only sets of volumes containing the works of a particular author, but also to guide the reader to particular writings of interest within a set. In the case of Thomas Ephraim Peck (1822-1893), the three volumes originally titled Miscellanies of Thomas E. Peck. One can glean something of the contents of each by reviewing the title page of the separate volumes, but today we focus our attention on the biographical sketches contained in the first volume. 

The three biographical sketches cover the lives of Martin Luther (German Reformer), Blaise Pascal (French Jansenist), and Stuart Robinson (Southern Presbyterian). The first two are the fruits of lectures given in 1871-1872, the latter is a memorial of a man that Peck knew personally and worked with, which appeared in an 1882 volume of the Southern Presbyterian Review.

These sketches evidence scholarly historical research and spiritual appreciation of the men highlighted. Regarding the German "Samson," Peck acknowledges his errors and human flaws, yet tells Luther's story as admirer of the man whom God placed at the right time and place. Peck recognizes that Pascal was fighting a battle over the Biblical understanding of grace from within the Roman Catholic Church, but pays tribute to his genius, eloquence and "golden words" on behalf of the truth. In his memorial of Robinson, an Irish-American Presbyterian minister, he tells of the life and writings of a man he considered his friend, with humility leaving out the fact that with him he served as co-editor of the Presbyterian Critic and Monthly Review.

These sketches are not long, but are full of spiritual insight, historical perspective, and personal appreciation. Take time to read these tributes to three remarkable men by a gifted Presbyterian historian.