Forgotten Christian Classics: The Life and Diary of David Brainerd and Praying Hyde

Here are two books that were quite influential for quite a while. They speak, from the lives of two missionaries, of the extraordinary spiritual fruitfulness that God gives in response to prayer (John 15:7). Yet I would say that the names of Praying Hyde and David Brainerd are practically unknown to most modern evangelical congregations.

Here are the links to the Google books releases of these books. The book Praying Hyde is also available as a .PDF, which can easily be downloaded and read.

Praying Hyde by Francis McGaw

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards

CBN also had a short feature on Praying Hyde: Profiles In Prayer: Praying John Hyde By Richard Klein. Wikipedia also has short articles on both: John Nelson Hyde and David Brainerd. These would be more for background information in preparation for reading the longer works.

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Forgotten Christian Classics: Pilgrim’s Progress

The Christian Classics Ethereal Library has a nice version of The Pilgrim’s Progress available free online. There are also some links to print editions of the book. The online version has a number of links inline which connect John Bunyan’s metaphors to the actual passages of scripture which inspired them. This shows even more how much the Bible entered into the heart and life of this godly man.

It’s been said that the two books which were found in most homes in the USA during the 1800’s were the Bible and The Pilgrim’s Progress. Of all the classic books by Christian authors that I’ve read, it has probably the most amount of material that is truly common to all Christian theological persuasions. There is very little for any evangelical Christian of any theological stripe to disagree with at any level. There is a huge amount of insight and understanding of Christian experience throughout, and a great deal of significance for pastoral ministry in the characters which Bunyan sketched.

In an era when many believers neglect the classics for the latest Christian best seller, the video teaching or the popular radio preacher, Bunyan has probably more to say to a larger audience of believers than any contemporary author. Sadly, there are probably more evangelical believers who know more about the Paul Bunyan legends and the Pilgrims from Plymouth, Massachusetts than who know about John Bunyan and The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Classic from C. H. Spurgeon: Lectures to His Students

One of the problems that I have with the proliferation of contemporary teaching videos is the neglect of classic texts on the ministry of preaching and teaching, theology and Biblical scholarship. One rarely hears names mentioned in passing anymore like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Spurgeon, Finney and many, many others. And yet, the vast majority of their works are now available freely through the Internet.

One of my favorites is from C.H. Spurgeon. His lectures to his students in pastoral ministry is worth reading and regular review by anyone in pastoral ministry. One chapter a day, taking it in just as the original students took it in, would be well worth it. Here’s where it can be found. Enjoy!

Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon