J.W. Alexander: A Man Will Be as His Books

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“Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.” — Charles H. Spurgeon

A friend recently pointed this writer to a quote from James Waddel Alexander’s Thoughts on Preaching: Being Contributions to Homiletics.

It must be the habit of the preacher to be continually opening new veins, and deeply considering subjects allied to those on which he is to preach. This habit is greatly aided by judicious reading on theological topics. A man will be as his books. But of all means, none is so effectual as the perpetual study of the Scriptures. Let a man be interested in them day and night, continually labouring in this mine, and, whether he write or not, he will be effectually secured against self-repetition. There is such profundity, comprehensiveness and variety in the Word of God, that it is a library of itself. There is such a freshness in its mode of presenting truth, that he who is perpetually conversant with it can scarcely be dull (pp. 18-19).

The Book of Books — that is, the Bible — is the treasury of wisdom. All other books are to be measured by their consistency with the Scriptures. That being the case, the careful choice of good books is a great aid to the minister or elder or, indeed, to any Christian reader. At Log College Press, we select the titles that we republish with care as well.

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Are you an elder? Read Witherspoon. Are you in seminary? Read Plumer. Are you a pastor? Read Rice & Grimké. Are you pastoring in a small town? Read Grafton. Are you getting older? Read Alexander. Are you interested in the Synod of Dort? Read Miller. There is profound, edifying and encouraging literature here for everyone. And a special deal for ordering all seven titles.

If you agree with Alexander that “a man will be as his books,” or that a person is a reflection of the books in which they spend their time, then consider these adding these titles to your library. These are volumes in which spiritual wisdom is practically applied and in which church history is made plain. It is our prayer that they will contribute to the church today, as they have in times past, and be a blessing to your soul.