Hardback, 456 pages, Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON. L3K 6A6, Canada. Price £19.50; ISBN 978-1-882701-53-7.
First published in 1931, E. H. BROADBENT’s The Pilgrim Church was warmly received by many in assembly fellowship, not only because of the painstaking research which had gone into the book, but also because of its perspective on Church History. Many earlier works had been written largely from the point of view of the established churches: in such histories, those groups described by Andrew Miller in his Church History as ‘the silver line of faith’ had received scant recognition, often being written off as ‘heretics’ or ‘sectaries’. This author approached church history from an altogether different stance. He was able to show that throughout the Church Age there had always been those who had sought to order their personal lives and corporate testimony according to the pattern laid down in the New Testament. At the time of its publication one reviewer wrote that this work ‘had brought a new and happy realisation that to be associated with those who love to live by the word of God and order their corporate life and worship by the pattern found in the New Testament did not mean participation in a movement of mushroom growth, having no history before the nineteenth century, but privileged us to walk in the steps of a goodly host of God’s pilgrim saints who, since apostolic days, have loved and followed divine patterns’.
This book then has a message for saints today. It will set our own labours in a wider perspective and give encouragement to all who seek to maintain a faithful local testimony. To obtain the fullest benefit from this will require the reader to expend time both for reflection and for further study. Such time will be amply rewarded. To quote again from another who was concerned to encourage young people in particular to access this volume, ‘It will strengthen their grasp of scriptural church principles, and add to their power to serve their generation in the line of God’s will and word’. Could more be said to commend this valuable book?
[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, UK, for this review]