Thursday 15 July 2010

William Gadsby

William Gadsby is still alive and well today. Reports of his death have been much exaggerated (apologies to Mark Twain). His hymns, full of gospel doctrine, are used today in hymnbooks outside of his own selection. Gospel Mission Books also maintain his 'Select Works' in print. Cost £6.95. This is a reprint of Volume 2 of his full Works, not easy to get hold of secondhand, and includes miscellaneous material. There are some trenchant pieces, eg. 'An Everlasting Task for Arminians,' and 'The Nature and Design of the Marriage Union.' Very gracious sermons, eg. 'The Glory of God's Grace,' and 'The Publican's Prayer.' But also there is 'A Few Thoughts on Sunday Schools,' which although 170 years old, is still relevant. His references to general education are now (thankfully) obsolete, in the UK anyway. But he is good on the basic purpose of them and the principles by which the teachers should be led. In connection with this he produced his Catechism, intended for children, but which is also helpful for adults. Indeed today many might think it too hard to use! However it gives real doctrinal backbone, particularly to the gospel through which we are to be saved, and by which we are to live. We have found it useful for teaching our own children. It can be had separately as a booklet for as little as 75p, or £1.50 if you prefer a much smarter Gospel Standard publication.

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