Category Archives: Mayflower Classics

Mayflower Classics: Isaac Watts Remembered (the official Isaac Watts biography)

Mayflower Classics: Isaac Watts Remembered - Isaac Watts biography
Our price: £1.00, by David Fountain
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

Isaac Watts Remembered is the official biography of this famous hymn-writer, commissioned by the City of Southampton (his home city) to mark the 300th anniversary of his birth.

His official biographer for this book is David Fountain, also a non-conformist pastor in the city.

Isaac Watts Remembered is a warm and revealing story of the life of a Godly man who has been described as the father of English hymnody.

“Isaac Watts was not an innovator but a reformer and anxious to take people back to the New Testament,” said biographer David Fountain after finishing the book.

“His hymns are closer to Scripture than those of any other hymn-writer. I believe he influenced the worship of God more than anyone in history.”

Isaac Watts wrote 700 classic hymns (as well as famous poems such as The Sluggard) and a top 20 selection of his psalms and hymns are included in the biography.

This Isaac Watts biography also mentions the contribution of Watts to education at a time when little had been written for children.

His Divine and Moral Songs for the use of Children were highly valued and it is estimated that, in total over the years, seven million copies have been sold. This had a terrific influence on Sunday Schools in particular.

Illustrated by sketches, historical drawings and photos of landmarks today, Isaac Watts Remembered takes the reader back to his early years.

The book follows days in prison during the days of religious intolerance, as well as his education, time at college and his dedication as a preacher, evangelist and hymn-writer.

Readers are also given an insight into Watts the man. You can read about the love of his life, his close friend, Elizabeth Singer, as well as his trials, conflicts and ill health.

Relationships with his peers in the Christian world, such as George Whitfield, are also examined.

Note: We also have a great companion book to go with this title. See Hymns And Spiritual Songs by Isaac Watts which has a selection of 50 of his hymns and songs.

Mayflower Classics: Isaac Watts Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Isaac Watts Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Our price: £1.00, by Isaac Watts
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

This compact book features a selection of 50 lesser-known Isaac Watts hymns from his own collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs.

Many hymns included are little known and yet are excellent summaries of Christian experience and doctrine, ideal for meditating upon.

The book of Isaac Watts hymns was published in 1998 to mark the 250th anniversary of the death of Watts.

Preface by Vernon Higham

It gives me great pleasure to commend this selection of the lesser-known hymns of Isaac Watts. He stands as one of the first and also ranks as one of the finest hymn writers.

It is quite apparent that his desire was to draw attention to God and to do this in a spiritual and devoutly natural way. In his hymns he succeeds in doing this and indeed our hearts and souls are inspired and gladdened in the singing of them.

We live in times when there has been a terrible change in the worship of God. Instead of our worship, and particularly our hymns, being God-centred they have become man-centred, This change has led us on a downward path, deceiving many into thinking that it is necessary to compromise in order to attract. Are we forgetting the sovereignty of God, and that His arm is not shortened that it cannot save?

It is necessary in every aspect of our Christian faith and our living to have God and His glory in view. A good work is a lasting work and a good spiritual hymn is a benediction for generations in the Christian Church. What a joy it would be to see the restoration of the worship of God.

It was Joseph Hart who wrote:
True religion’s more than notion,
Something must be known and felt.

How wonderful it would be to have that balance of intellectual understanding of the doctrines of grace and experimental and experiential knowledge of the grace of the doctrines.

Isaac Watts’ greatest hymn is also his most well known and points to our Saviour and our God:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Let us return to survey the truths of the Gospel and the person of our great God, and we would never wander from these good and tried ways.

From the Introduction to this collection of Isaac Watts hymns …

Isaac Watts was born on the 17th July, 1674, and died on the 25th November, 1748. 1998, therefore, marked the 250th anniversary of his death. Southampton has remembered the great hymn-writer several times, particularly in 1974 on the 300th anniversary of his birth.

The City has a particular interest in Isaac Watts because he was not only born in the town but composed his first hymn for one of the Dissenting Meeting Houses there in 1694.

The story goes that one day, after returning from the meeting, Isaac complained about the general poverty of the Psalmody, which he said was entirely wanting in the dignity and beauty that should characterise every part of Christian service. “Try then”, said his father, “whether you can produce something better”.

Watts responded and wrote his first hymn, which became the first in Book 1 of his “Hymns and Spiritual Songs” and is the first of this collection. In 1707, he published ”Hymns and Spiritual Songs” in three books: 1 – “Collected from the Scriptures”; 2 – “Composed on Divine Subjects”; 3 – “Prepared for the Lord’s Supper”.

This was in response to his brother Enoch’s suggestion that he should commit his hymns to print. It was followed later, in 1719, by his “The Psalms of David Imitated”.

The full account of his life and times and hymn writing is given in “Isaac Watts Remembered“, by David Fountain. This was written at the request of the Entertainments and Publicity Department of Southampton City Council in 1974 as part of the celebrations of his birth, and has a Foreword by the late Lord Maybray-King, former Speaker of the House of Commons.

The third edition was published to coincide with the 250th anniversary of his death, and is still obtainable from bookshops, or from Mayflower Christian Books, who also publish this edition of his hymns.

The following hymns have been selected from his “Hymns and Spiritual Songs” (1707). These particular ones have been chosen because of their excellence and the fact that few are in print today. Twenty-five have been taken from Book 1 and twenty-five from Book 2.

The object of this publication of Isaac Watts hymns is not simply to celebrate the anniversary of the death of the great hymn-writer but to draw attention to the quality of worship 250 years ago.

These Isaac Watts hymns reflect the experience of God that was so real in those days, and contrast markedly with so much that is man-centred and approaching entertainment in contemporary worship.

Readers who are familiar with Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” will remember how much attention was given in those days to the place of Heaven in the minds of God’s people. This emphasis on the life to come is particularly strong in Watts’ hymns. The living experience of the Christian in his relationship to his Saviour is clearly uppermost.

These Isaac Watts hymns can be of great benefit not only in the singing of them, but in meditation. A tune has been recommended for each one.

It is the desire of the publishers that the readers, like so many in the past, will be assisted in their approach to our great and glorious God by the use of these Isaac Watts hymns, written so long ago but rich in true spiritual worship.

Mayflower Classics: In the Grip of the Druids

In the Grip of the Druids

Our price: £1.00, by Beth Coombe Harris
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

This is a gripping story giving a picture of life in the 2nd century under the druids in a world of child sacrifice and dominance by the priests.

It also shows how Christianity and the Gospel brought true liberation to many in Roman Briton. The book is ideal for readers aged 10+.

More about In the Grip of the Druids

Venissa was a carefree girl who lived in 150AD, when ancient Britain was largely inhabited by Celts. The untouched beauty of the Devon countryside, the simple way pf life, was spoiled by the fear instilled by the Druids – medicine men, scribes and spiritual tyrants of the day.

Pagan rites and ritual, human sacrifice, and cruelty made Venissa and Alaric question the only religion that they had ever known. But one day, a stranger came into the village to change all that. His message was one of freedom from the chains that bound their hearts.

He told them of the love of God and the forgiveness of sins. How could this be?

Many welcomed this new “religion” with eager arms, but not all were pleased about the story-teller and his message – nor were they willing to release their grip of power without revenge.

Although the story is fiction and was written over 50 years ago, it is as fresh and exciting as if it were written yesterday. It is based on careful research and true Biblical experience.

Nearly 2,000 years ago the gospel came to Britain with great power, as it did to every part of the Roman Empire. The experience of men and women, young and old, has not changed. The power of sin, and the greater power of the gospel, are still the same today.

In the Grip of the DruidsForeword from the Publishers

When Beth Coombe Harris wrote “In the Grip of the Druids” over 50 years ago, there was not the same ‘great interest in the Druids that exists today. Currently, there is a growing fascination with the ideas and behaviour of our pre-Christian Celtic ancestors, especially in view of ‘New Age’ thinking.

The practice of human sacrifice is an integral part of our story. And it is possible that this issue may be challenged. However, the publishers are satisfied that material available justifies this aspect of the story.

We are particularly grateful to the late Stephen Jack, M.A., of Catshill, near Bromsgrove, for his thorough investigation of the religion and practice of the Druids. He was able to establish clearly the validity of the views and practices of the Druids as set forth by Beth Coombe Harris.

Having read the relevant authorities, and having made contact with the British Museum, Stephen Jack has furnished the publishers with all the material they needed to vindicate this aspect of the story. “The Lindow man – the Body in the Bog“, published by the British Museum in 1986, by Stead, Bourke and Brothwell, is particularly helpful.

Dr. I.M. Stead is Deputy Keeper of the Department of Prehistoric and Romano/British Antiquities, British Museum; Don Brothwell is Reader in Zoo Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, London; and J.R Bourke is in the Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Nottingham. They have all concluded that the famous ‘bog-man’ was not mugged but the subject of a ritual killing.

Stephen Jack also referred to other authorities at length, to the complete satisfaction of the publishers.

Beth Coombe Harris’ accuracy in the matter of human sacrifice, as well as background detail, is particularly well seen in her description of the horrific ”wicker man” in Chapter 24. Here, she describes the cage shaped like a human figure in which prisoners were sacrificed by being burnt alive. This appalling practice is well documented.

Some may object to the presentation of history by means of a fictitious story line, here in In the Grip of the Druids. This is not without precedent, and can be used to bring home the reality of events long-forgotten.

Others may object to the use of fiction to convey Christian truth. We need to remember the example of Scripture where fiction is used by means of parables.

Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” is seldom criticised because it was an allegory. The description of Hopeful’s conversion in his discussion with Christian is purely fictitious but it is so Biblical in the concept of the whole experience that it comes across with reality and force. Some Christian fiction is so ‘romantic’ that it raises justifiable objections, but Beth Coombe Harris takes her story through human and Christian experience in such a way that it is credible.

It is a sad fact that there is so little ‘easy’ reading that is not superficial in a spiritual sense. We should not always have to choose ‘heavy’ reading in order to be edified. Great efforts are made by the media to entertain us, and so it is easy for the Christian to neglect weighty matters because they are couched in heavy forms.

It is good to have a text that is both easy to read and profitable. We are grateful to Paul Lewis, Pastor of Welcome Hall Evangelical Church, Catshill, for his Foreword to In the Grip of the Druids.

In this historical novel Beth Coombe Harris uses her careful research and knowledge of Christian experience to bring to life the undoubted triumph of the Gospel over paganism nearly 2,000 years ago.

A book like this can be an encouragement to us in these days when pagan darkness is reasserting itself. We pray that this may be so.

Mayflower Classics: John Wycliffe biography – The Dawn Of The Reformation

John Wycliffe biographyOur price: £1.00, by David Fountain
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

Well illustrated and in easy, modern prose, this John Wycliffe biography traces the life and work of this preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher. It takes a close look at his important influence on the 16th century Reformation in England.

The book highlights John Wycliffe’s experience of Christ, obedience to Scripture and refusal to seek the plaudits of the world. A closing chapter, his word to us, draws from his life lessons that will help us in our present situation. This is a very helpful John Wycliffe biography if you’re interested in church history, the Protestant Reformation and lessons for us today from a greatly-used Christian.

About this John Wycliffe biography
From the Foreword by David Samuel …

I am very pleased to write a foreword to David Fountain’s book on John Wycliffe, for we owe him a debt of gratitude for writing such an excellent account of that great Reformer’s life and teaching in such a readable manner, and all within the compass of the understanding of the average person who may wish to know about these important matters.

The contribution that John Wycliffe made to the Reformation in England and to the special character of English Protestantism was immense, and the author brings this out in the most effective and helpful way.

Wycliffe has not received as much attention as the other later Reformers, yet in some respects it can be argued that he was the greatest of them all. He has been termed ‘the morning star’ of the Reformation, which is a beautiful description of him, but he can with greater justice be called ‘the rising sun’ of the Reformation, for what he had to teach was integral to that great movement” of the sixteenth century.

That, however, gives rise to a question in my mind: Is the sun which rose upon our nation with Wycliffe now setting? When we consider the widespread ignorance which now prevails regarding the Bible and the general trend in the Protestant churches to neglect their doctrines and their heritage, it may seem so, and there are those who undoubtedly welcome the fading of the light. But that is all the more reason for us to seek to revive interest in this great man and to make more widely known the truth about him and the blessings to our nation which resulted from his life and work.

This book will, I am sure, contribute in a large measure to this and will encourage us to remember these important things:

  • First, that the truth of God is the same. The message of salvation that Wycliffe discovered in Scripture is the same as that which the Reformers later discovered, and which has been held by Bible-men throughout the ages. We must ourselves be gripped and held by that truth today, in an age that is credulous, restless and conditioned by change.
  • Secondly, the opposition of the world is the same. An outstanding trait of Wycliffe’s character was obedience to God’s Word. He went on faithfully whether men were with him or not. We would do well also to place no trust in the fickle allegiance of men, but to continue in obedience and fidelity to the truth which God has revealed to us in his Word.
  • Thirdly, the errors that arise in the church are the same. They keep recurring with astonishing regularity, yet always appear new and exciting to those who are led astray by them. The popular religion of Wycliffe’s day and the willingness of church leaders to pander to it are not so very different from our own time.

This book will do much to strengthen the cause of true religion and preserve among us the light that began to shine again upon our nation with that great man of God, John Wycliffe, over 600 years ago.

About this John Wycliffe biography
From the Author’s Preface …

I cannot recall exactly when I first became interested in John Wycliffe, but it must have been before I went to Oxford to read history. The late Professor K.B. MacFarlane, fellow of Merton College (an authority on Wycliffe), was giving a series of lectures on Wycliffe and the Lollards.

Such was my interest, even before hearing him, that I attended these, although they were not on my course. I still have the lecture notes, written 30 years ago!

Since that time I have collected quite a number of volumes on the subject. I was especially pleased to obtain Vaughan’s two volumes on the life of Wycliffe, as they are almost unobtainable and extremely useful.

In 1968 I was asked to deliver a lecture on Wycliffe at the Conference of “Puritan and Reformed Studies” at Westminster Chapel.

This gave me an opportunity to go into the subject in depth, and visit the British Museum. Since then I have collected more material, and have been waiting for the 600th anniversary of his death. There have been very many books written about him, though most of them during the nineteenth or early twentieth century. I have sought to glean from them what I felt was of most value and interest.

I have not gone into the many different ways of spelling his name, or which of the many paintings of him is most likely to be accurate. Neither have I dealt with social events of his day that strictly speaking have no bearing on the theme. A bibliography of those books that I have found most helpful appears at the end of the book.

There are many things that could be said about John Wycliffe – a man who has had more biographies written of him than any other medieval person. As pastor of a local church I have endeavoured to deal with matters that are not only interesting and edifying, but of particular relevance today.

It has not been an easy task to avoid the danger of being too academic and boring the reader, or being too popular and losing credibility. I have quoted a great deal from Wycliffe because he speaks so well for himself, and from others because some of my assertions may take the reader by surprise and I have felt the need for the support of those whose scholarship is beyond question.

John Wycliffe was truly a great man by any standard. God has given England few such men. I trust the reader will come to the same conclusion and be profoundly grateful for this man.

– David Fountain

Mayflower Classics: John Wycliffe biography – The Dawn Of The Reformation

Our price: £1.00, by David Fountain
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

Mayflower Classics: Spiritual Food – by Wong Ming-Dao

Spiritual Food - by Wong Ming-Dao

Our price: £1.00, by Wong Ming-Dao (Arthur Reynolds translator)
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

With deep insights, this book has 20 messages characterised by the gift of the author to see through wrongly motivated, human behaviour in churches.

Wong Ming-Dao was imprisoned in China for 23 years by the Communists for his faith.

This Godly pastor understood people’s personal needs and the human heart so he could bring challenging applications. The articles are searching and sifting, but are also full of positive counsel and encouragement for real pilgrims.

Wong Ming-Dao knew what it was to suffer and yet triumph with Christ. He is a great example of Christian obedience and faithfulness.

This book makes for truly attractive devotional reading and is highly recommended.

Written about this Wong Ming-Dao book by those involved in its publication …

Why was the Lord’s servant, Mr Wong Ming-Dao, so greatly in demand as a preacher and teacher? Certainly the content of his preaching was not universally popular. It was a straightforward setting forth of the truths and implications of the Gospel, albeit in a style of his own.

Yet not only was he held in great respect by the church with which he was associated in Peking, but also his visits would be remembered with gratitude by churches in all parts of China. I have in mind particularly, of course, the days when he was able to move around freely and to minister widely to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Two features stand out. On the one hand was the forthright and faithful nature of the message; on the other band was the uncompromising and courageous nature of the man. He was undoubtedly a preacher with backbone. ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?’

Something of the make-up of the man can be seen in his autobiographical writings already published (‘A Stone made Smooth’: Mayflower Christian Books). He paints his own picture without concealing the ‘warts’. Certainly not all readers would find themselves in agreement with all of Wong Ming-Dao’s policies. But surely no one can doubt that here is a man of God, with the unction of the Holy Spirit, who stands out not only among the outstanding Christian lenders of China but also among the outstanding Christian leaders of the world.

The messages for the most part were given not only prior to the 23 years that Wong Ming-Dao spent in prison but during the earlier years of his ministry. Their effectiveness is not hampered by considerations of time or space since they are firmly based on the authoritative and unchangeable Word of God.

Of what do Mr Wong’s messages consist? There are two strains that particularly stand out. Just as you find in the letter of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians, that one part is made up largely of doctrine and the other part largely of conduct and behaviour, so you will perceive in the writings of Wong Ming-Dao that on the one hand he makes a powerful stand for the Faith accompanied by warnings against false teaching) and that on the other hand he presents a strong case for maintaining a high standard of Christian living.

Most of the articles translated are taken from copies The Spiritual Food Quarterly that I kept when my wife and I – as members of the China Inland Mission – were recalled from China in 1951. We have the author’s permission to use the articles in this way.

In our view the messages of Wong Ming-Dao are singularly appropriate today.

The reason why we are not here using the official spelling ‘Wang’ is that television advertisements are influencing people to pronounce WANG to rhyme with pang. This is not surprising, perhaps, since we also have bang and gang and hang and so on, which give it a certain consistency. So we have followed those who have adopted WONG. I have been told that one spelling is associated with ‘Mandarin’ and one with Cantonese. But that is not the consideration here.

Be that as it may, it is the message and not the name that matters. And in reading these messages we cannot be other than enlightened, stimulated and strengthened – nourished, in fact, with ‘spiritual food’, to help us in our pilgrimage. Nor do we forget that a substantial element in our paying careful attention to what our brother writes is our knowledge of the man behind the message, and of all that he and his wife have endured.

If those of us who read these messages are inspired, as we read, to pray more diligently than we have in the past for our brothers and sisters in China, we shall have even more reason to offer our thanks to God that He has made possible the publication of these translations.

Mayflower Classics: Faith Or Force (the Puritans)

 

Faith Or Force (the Puritans)Our price: £1.00, by Kenneth Dix
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

Can it ever be right for Christians to persecute other Christians? What did the Puritans say should be the response to those who deviated from them in doctrine?

Do we need a more balanced and informed view of the Puritans and their teaching on Christian liberty?

This startling booklet will be an eye-opener to many who read it for the first time. It covers the issues of Baptists and Toleration during the period of the Civil Wars in England.

On behalf of the publishers (Mayflower Christian Books) David Fountain wrote the following in 2000 …

I shall never forget my introduction to the Puritans. In 1950 I attended the first Puritan Conference. It was like entering another world. These men were engaged in spiritual warfare I knew little about. The battle they were engaged in was tremendous and I was shaken and challenged.

Those early conferences were so remarkable that those of us there will never forget them. The presence of God was felt as we were conscious that we were being clearly guided into depths of doctrine and experience about which we had hitherto known little.

The contrast between their day and ours was stark. The Chairman, Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones, always made sure that vital applications were made. That was his genius, by God’s grace. After some 50 years, we have been able to learn a great deal about the Puritans, not only from conferences, but from the great number of reprints of their works.

There is a world-wide interest in these great men of God. We have a great heritage. At the same time, since God’s people are fallible, there is serious error of which they were guilty but little is known of this. This has seldom been touched upon, and is only occasionally dealt with. Even now, it is still being almost ignored. It came as a shock to me, therefore, to discover how intolerant they were.

This little volume will surprise most who read it. It is very important, however, that we recognise that it is historically accurate and contains a warning to us lest we imagine our great forefathers in the faith were infallible. It will help us to see God’s providence in the 1662 ejectment. It completely removed from God’s people any hope of imposing an unbiblical theocracy upon the nation. It also led to a period of church-building which we do well to look at more closely.

It is generally recognised that Geneva was a theocracy in Calvin’s time, and Servetus was put to death for heresy. In Luther’s Germany and Zwingli’ s Zurich, Christians were being put to death by Christians, because they were Anabaptists. It is also known, but not to the ‘same degree, that the Puritans set up a theocracy in New England.

This, however, can seem a long way from England, and certainly from the thinking and aspirations of the Puritans. They did not have the opportunity to put into effect their views of a theocracy, but got close to it. They even managed to pass a Blasphemy Bill in 1646, empowering the “punishing of a particular heretic ”with death”; but this was never carried out. Thanks to Oliver Cromwell and others, they lost the opportunity of imposing Christianity with the sword, but they tried hard to achieve this.

In Galatians 4, we read in verses 1-7 that the bondage of the Children of Israel during the time of the Old Testament theocracy was all in God’s plan. The use of compulsion and FORCE was absolutely necessary and correct, just as it is right to compel children to do certain things until they are grown up. We read in Hebrews 9: 10 of certain rituals being “imposed … until the time of reformation”. The use of FORCE was in the Divine economy during the Old Testament era.

Once the Spirit came into our hearts there was no need of external compulsion. Paul, warning the Galatians of going back to the Old Testament, said “After that FAITH is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:25). He also pointed out that those who were still in bondage persecuted those who were free (Gal. 4:29).

Alas, our Puritan forefathers followed the same ecclesiology that Constantine introduced, and were prepared to persecute their brethren. It is not enough to say that everyone was muddled on this point at that time. They had the New Testament and the example of the Baptists, as well as Cromwell and the Separatists to a lesser degree.

It is very easy when studying history to get an unbalanced picture. The Puritans need to be presented in a more honest way. This will also say to us that, whilst there is much to learn from them, we do not learn everything from them. We should also recognise that, whilst the Westminster Confession is valuable, it is not infallible.

In 1971, I wrote for a magazine an article entitled, “The Puritan Conference – Twenty Years in Review”. In this article I expressed my concern that the local church had been neglected in the subjects dealt with. In twenty years not one single paper dealt specifically with the local church or local churches. One paper dealt with the subject of discipline and the Puritan congregation, another with the first Congregational church, but the conference never got to grips with church life. I can only now see the reason for this. The Puritans had an unbiblical view of the church.

They were also engaged in the hopeless task of reforming the Church of England and were, therefore, not free to establish churches according to New Testament doctrine. This was left to those who had separated from the Established Church, whom they joined when they were put out in 1662. This was done magnificently by them, and more attention needs to be given to the post-1662 period.

We have looked at the Puritans for 50 years and still have more to learn from them, but their shortcomings may be an incentive to us to look at the period that followed them when far more was done than people realise, particularly in the building of churches.

Kenneth Dix has done us a real service. If any question what he is saying, or want to look further into the subject, let them read the book by W.K. Jordan he refers to in his notes. This is particularly enlightening.

It is important for us to get the great men of the past in perspective. The Baptists could see things more clearly than those who are generally regarded as being superior to them. In the battle to recover the New Testament church, the Baptists have played a vital role.

David Fountain (Winter 2000)

Mayflower Classics: A Light Shines In Poland (reformation in Poland)

A Light Shines In Poland (reformation in Poland)

Our price: £0.95, by RK Mazierski
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

This is the true story of a Roman Catholic priest (Roman Mazierski) and of the grace of God in delivering him from the darkness of Rome in Poland.

His prolonged and intense struggle to come to faith in Christ alone is vividly described.

Roman Mazierski also gives us an absorbing account of the progress of the Reformation in Poland, that nearly made it a Protestant country.

The testimony of Rev. Mazierski was published originally by the Protestant Alliance. It was with their kind permission this edition came into being.

Mr. Mazierski, (1899-1959) gives to us an insight into the paganism of Polish Roman Catholicism early in 20th century. Roman Catholicism varies from country to country, and we should realise this.

Reformation in Poland

The second longest serving Pope in history, John Paul II, was from Mr Mazierski’s Poland. As a result there has been much interest in that country in the recent past. It will also be of great interest to know that there was a time when the Reformation had a deep influence on the country, and Gospel light spread far and wide, since it is generally believed that Poland has always been a Roman Catholic country.

Mr. Mazierski was anxious to make known the facts concerning the earlier history of his country, and we include as the second part of this booklet extracts from his own History of the Reformation in Poland.

Mr. Mazierski realised that separation from Rome was essential, though extremely costly. It is important to stress this at a time when claims are made of great movements of ‘renewal’ within that apostate body. The Holy Spirit leads His people into the light, out of the darkness.

From Rev. Mazierski’s introduction …

Questions I am always asked:
“How did it happen that you have turned to the Lord and become a Protestant, after having been a Roman Catholic priest for many years? Did you read any Protestant books? Did you approach a Protestant pastor to seek his guidance? Or was it that you went to a Protestant meeting during which you became converted ?”

Protestant people ask me such questions very often, and I must give them always the same answer: “No, I never did any of those things before my conversion, simply because they are forbidden to the members of the RC Church to which I always tried to be very loyal and sincere.”

“So, how did it happen that you turned to the Lord?” they insist. I say quite frankly, I did not turn to Him, it was the Lord who turned to me, and in His infinite mercy liberated me from the spiritual captivity in which I was kept since the early days of my childhood.

Mayflower Classics: After The Puritans

After The PuritansOur price: £2.50, by KWH Howard
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

This book sheds light on what happened in those years between the Puritans (1662) and the Methodists (1737), using as an example of God’s blessing amidst hardship and suffering the story of Axminster Independent Church.

Some historians consider the time following the Puritans to be the finest spiritual period in our history. And yet few people are aware of this.

This has usually been portrayed as a time of spiritual stagnation and decline among Nonconformity as well as the Church of England. This is far from the case among Dissenters (except with the Presbyterians, and then only during the latter part of the period). Older historians and recent research testify to the real blessing during this time.

After the Puritans … this story of Axminster Independent Church gives us a wonderful insight.

Reading what happened after the Puritans is like entering another world. The Lord’s people at Axminster (1660-1698) suffered enormously and faced great danger. However the way they met secretly and were preserved and blessed with the presence of the Lord is outstanding. They wanted to record God’s kindness to them – to benefit future generations.

Their determination to meet together, come what may, shows how highly they valued true Biblical worship. The great attraction to them was the presence of Christ. They knew that His dwelling place on earth was in the local church. The sufferings they faced and the blessings they enjoyed are recorded for us. They were truly devoted to the Lord and to each other.

Here, in After the Puritans, we have a detailed ‘role model’ for a local church. And while other churches declined spiritually, the Axminister congregation kept on the right path. This was also true of the Independents and Baptists, in the West Country as a whole, while the Presbyterians were later engulfed in Unitarianism. The spiritual building was well founded since it lasted at least a century after the period described in this account.

The believers at Axminster Independent Church recorded their story because they believed it was Scriptural to tell of the Lord’s dealings with them. They called the account “Ecclesiastica” or “Book of Remembrance” and quoted Numbers 33:2: “And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the Lord”.

Psalm 102:18 says: “It shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord”.

In this book they say: “The works of God are all worthy to be remembered but especially His work in building and preserving His churches. His Providences towards them are His masterpieces which deserved to be observed most seriously and to be had in everlasting remembrance. Hereby not only the present but the future generations may be excited to praise the Lord when they shall see a series of His mercies in a register”.

When the book was first published in 1874 it was introduced in the following way: “There are certain respects in which this Axminster Ecclesiastica is one of the most interesting, relating to the origin and history of the Free Churches in England that has ever been printed.”

Mayflower Classics: Let Conscience Speak

Let Conscience Speak

Our price: £0.50, by David Fountain
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

Why do people react in the way they do to the gospel? What is the conscience and what is its role? How can we have a healthy conscience? How can we train it and respect it?

First published in 1973, this booklet, ‘Let Conscience Speak’, is timeless in the great help it gives in understanding ourselves and others. Let Conscience Speak is invaluable for evangelism and Christian growth.

About Let Conscience Speak – from the Foreword – by Dr Peter Masters

I am privileged to introduce this lucid treatment of ‘Conscience’ to readers because it is unique. There is no similar study of this subject available to the public today.

The absence of such literature reminds me of the exclamation of the man born blind, “Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened my eyes.” I am quoting out of context – but is this not just how it is with us? The Lord has touched our consciences and led us to Calvary. Then He has begun the work of sanctification using this precious spiritual faculty. Yet, for all that, we know next to nothing about the working of the conscience.

To my shame I confess that I witnessed for some time as a Christian worker – trying to act as a physician of souls – before I learned anything about this vitally important spiritual organ. How can we counsel and teach for the Lord without understanding the ‘faculties of the soul’? We behave too often like unqualified surgeons let loose in the operating theatre.

The value of this study is that it will give to all who are seeking fruitfulness in service a clear grasp of the role of conscience. It explains, for example, the different ways in which the conscience will react to the preaching of the Gospel. Once we understand these reactions we immediately become better qualified to counsel those who come under the sound of the Gospel.

Not only is this essential for all who desire to be ‘soul winners’, but it is vital also for those who seek to be ‘shepherds’ among the Lord’s people. Do we understand the moods, attitudes and reactions which often create problems in our midst? Do we understand the legalist, the spiritual adolescent, and so on? The faculty of conscience, its function and its health must be studied if we are to make headway as Christian people.

We are greatly indebted to Pastor Fountain for making his study pastoral and practical. He could so easily have chosen to write up an academic and theological “classic” on this material.

I hope that thousands of Christian workers will instead benefit from this presentation of it.

Peter Masters
Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon’s), Elephant and Castle, London, SE1.
(April, 1973)

From the closing chapter of Let Conscience Speak

As we conclude this booklet the final word must be simply this: consider the Scriptures that have been used and see for yourself whether or not they have been handled in a Biblical way.

Do not accept the writer’s word; Scripture alone is our guide. Then apply these words to the understanding of your own conscience. Give conscience work to do in telling you about itself and your attitude towards it.

Give conscience the material to work on that you might know its nature and function, then listen very carefully to whether it condemns you in your attitude towards it, and respond to whatever recommendation it may make, that you may be more careful in future to give it the respect it deserves.

We shall one day stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, whose eyes are “as a flame of fire”. He is the Judge of all, and we shall see ourselves then in the clear light of His holiness and justice, and He has given us a judge which will prepare us for that day. Let us praise Him for this precious gift, and use it fully for His glory.

Mayflower Classics: Lord Radstock And The Russian Awakening

Lord Radstock And The Russian Awakening

Our price: £1.00, by David Fountain
Published by Mayflower Christian Books

This is the remarkable account of Lord Radstock, an English nobleman (from Mayfield Park in Southampton), who was used of God to bring spiritual awakening to Russia in the 1800s.

This is highlighted by the narrative is Lord Radstock’s conversion in the Crimea, the example of Christian sacrifice and obedience, his burden for personal evangelism and his closeness to Christ.

Well illustrated and written in easy prose, it is of interest to all, from teenagers up – and tells us much about Lord Radstock, an outstanding Christian.

From the Foreword by William Waldegrave

One of the most remarkable transformations in the spiritual life of any nation of which we have record is that which took place in England during the course of the 19th century. A society rough, disorderly, often gin soaked and violent at the poorer levels; equally often morally corrupt, venal and ruthless in its richer manifestations, became by the end of the century one in which a quite astonishing change could be observed.

Terrible blemishes of poverty and of excess doubtless remained: but an extraordinary flowering of self-discipline and moral zeal had, broadly, turned the least law abiding of the great nations into a society famed for civil order, and had done it on the basis of a flowering of Christian belief and morality perhaps unparalleled in modern times.

Central to this rebirth (the benefits of which are only now, a century later sadly beginning to ebb away) was the extraordinary power of the evangelical revival, manifesting itself not only in a reaffirmation of Christianity at home and abroad, but in practical work for the poor, in campaigns against alcohol and prostitution, for prison reform, housing for the poor, and many other admirable causes.

My family mirrors this transformation in microcosm. In its Radstock branch, it produced a whole family which embodied the practical force of the evangelical upsurge of energy, with Granville Waldegrave, 3rd Baron Radstock, as its most remarkable member.

In the senior branch, from which I am descended, Regency ‘black sheep’ worthy to be the villains of Dickens or Thackeray, were succeeded in mid-century by decent and public spirited men and women strongly tinged with evangelical fervour.

I therefore think this biography, in recounting the story of a remarkable Christian, tells also an important part of the story of our nation, and indeed of the evangelical Englishmen who carried Christianity far and wide beyond our shores.

About Lord Radstock: From the author (David Fountain) at the time of publication …

For many years I have wanted to write a life of the late Lord Radstock (the 3rd Baron), whose estate I can see from my study. I learned a great deal about him from the late Mrs. Eva McGregor, who knew him personally and looked after his grandchildren at Mayfield House.

She was an invaluable source of information. I had the further privilege of receiving Lord Radstock’s own Bible (which is illustrated in the book), one of his chairs (which is in my study), together with other mementos.

Another very useful source of information is Mrs. Jean Weller. Her husband was Lord Radstock’s valet. He shared with her important details about his Lordship, which she remembered.

Lady Hersey Goring, wife of Lord Radstock’s grandson, John, who died during the Second World War, was able to supply me with obituary notices, photographs and letters. These letters included some from the Queens of Sweden and Denmark, which are included in the book. This was tremendously helpful.

While I was proceeding with the book in the Autumn of ’87, I discovered that the Radstock estate was sold to the Southampton Corporation on the death of the 4th Baron in 1937, and in 1938 it became a public park. This was opened on the 23rd June of that year by the Mayor. I was amazed that, in God’s providence, the book should be out just in time for the Jubilee of the opening of Mayfield Park to the public.

I have wanted to write about Lord Radstock, not only because he lived so near my home but because he was such a remarkable man. Very few know much about him and, of those who do, scarcely any have been aware of the extraordinary effect of his evangelistic work in Russia.

Some years ago I was told in a letter about a book written by Professor Edmund Heier, “Religious Schism in the Russian Aristocracy 1860-1900 – Radstockism and Pashkovism” (published by Martinus Nijhoff).

I simply put the letter away in the drawer that I kept for the information I was accumulating about Lord Radstock, until I had time to undertake the work. When I eventually obtained this book I was absolutely astonished.

Professor Heier has produced an amazing record of Lord Radstock’s achievements and the religious awakening in Russia. The documentation is so thorough that none would doubt the authenticity and reliability of his thesis. I want to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Heier, who has kindly allowed me to make use of his work. Copies of the publication are available from “Mayflower Christian Books”.

Sadly, Mayfield House has gone, but photographs remain. This book contains the best of them, but also a brief record of the man who lived there, with his family. His life shines out as example of the godliness and dedication to the cause of Christ. How we need such examples in these days as Lord Radstock.