Wednesday 15 August 2007

Archbishop Ussher

Do you spell it Usher or Ussher? In any case I'm sure you know who I mean. Archbishop of Armagh in c17th, but most famous of all for dating the Creation at 4004BC. Also the stranger who replied "eleven" when catechised by Samuel Rutherford as to how many divine Commandments there are. His identity being discovered, he was constrained to preach the next day and did so from 'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.'
He also produced a valuable little piece on the deity-humanity of Christ, which was published by Zoar Publications in the Apples of Gold series of reprints, called 'Immanuel.' This has already been widely circulated but is still almost exclusively obtainable from us, and we still have a good number in stock. Price £1 plus £1 postage.
As can be seen on our website Ussher's major written work was his 'Body of Divinity.' This has been long out of print, but now is available again. I have seen that paperback versions are being sold, but really this is the sort of book that you consult for a lifetime, as well as being sizeable, so the hardback is best. It has been nicely produced with a dustjacket. Dr Crawford Gribben, who wrote 'James Ussher and the Irish Puritans' an Evangelical Press paperback which we stock, has prepared this edition and given an introduction to it. One notable and very useful feature of this particular body of divinity is that Ussher wrote it in a question and answer style throughout. This makes it more accessible for lesser mortals and anticipates many of the questions which all of us have on doctrine from time to time. Gribben goes as far as to claim for this book that it had the single most influence upon the Westminster Assembly, as it was well established and regarded by then and known to all the members of it. That's a big claim indeed. If your Articles of faith are based on the Westminster Confession then perhaps you need this book, or else you need to tell your pastor that he does and where to get it!

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