Puritan Thumb-Drive

So this would really scratch my OCD itch… For quite some time I have had the idea of taking all the best PDFs I can find of the authors represented on these pages and putting them into an organized format, interlinked from a bookmarked PDF file which serves as a directory.  This would allow us to have at our fingertips the works of the Puritans on a tablet or phone, with no internet connection or downloading.  A real bonus would be to include the Scripture and topical indices as well.  Running background OCR will allow searching for text phrases, to some degree.  Certain tablets will allow highlighting, underlining, and other note-taking as well.

I am thinking that this could be updated each year as the library of files was improved and expanded.  I know several others have done similar things like this in the past.  The difference is, this is going to be FREE (less the cost of the memory card).  If you’d like to get involved in this project, drop me a line and I’ll keep you in mind when I start on this in earnest.  I doubt this will come to fruition soon, unless there are a lot of helpers.  But someday!

I know someone will ask this, so I’ll give you the current stats:

  • 5,601 files (however this also includes text files, epubs, mobi files, and PDFs I am not allowed to share)
  • 34.5 gigabytes

Website Improvements

In addition to editing, over the past few months I have been busy at work each day, nibbling away at a number of improvements to the website that I hope will make it more useful to you.  For example:

  1. I am going through each of the PDF files and trimming out blank and worthless pages, making sure that background OCR has been performed on each file (so you can search for text phrases), and creating bookmarks and hyperlinks where feasible, to make navigating these files a little easier.
  2. Each of the larger “Works” volumes is being broken down into component parts, so you don’t have to download the whole volume to get just the one sermon you want.
  3. Works that are keyed to a specific text of Scripture are being cataloged in the Scripture Index (see the navigation bar above).  Try this out—it is very useful, and already stocked with thousands of texts!
  4. A Topical Index, which is on hold right now, presently containing only a very small fraction of the works included on this website.
  5. I am in the process of enabling comments for each page, so that we may dialogue on specific aspects of each Puritan author’s life and/or works.
  6. I am experimenting with adding “Like” buttons to each work on the site, so that you can quickly see which works are most popular when trying to decide what to read from an author you might not be familiar with. My sandbox for this is the John Flavel page. I anticipate that several fun things can be done with the data mined from this…
  7. I have been downloading and scrubbing texts from EEBO’s web page, where appropriate.  See my prior post on text scrubbing (a computerized process of cleaning up the texts so they are a little more readable).
  8. I have been trying to incorporate texts from J.I. Packer’s online texts, where appropriate.

It will probably take a few years to get all of these things completely done, but check back frequently—the site should become better and better with each visit.  If you have any suggestions, or see any broken links or errors, please let me know!

The Doubting Believer – Now Available!

“Am I really a Christian?” At one time or another, all believers encounter periods of doubt regarding the genuineness of their faith. In this book, Puritan pastor Obadiah Sedgwick explores the kinds of doubt that commonly arise in the context of true saving faith, gently guiding the reader through fourteen circumstances likely to produce uncertainty. Using the Bible as a road map, the author helps us navigate away from the rocky shoals of doubt into the safe harbor of assurance.

Obadiah Sedgwick (c.1600–1658) was a Presbyterian pastor and member of the Westminster Assembly. Originally published in 1641, this classic treatise has been carefully prepared to benefit a new generation of Christian readers. Archaic language has been gently modernized, and helpful footnotes have been added to aid the reader. Hundreds of Scripture references are embedded in the text (using the English Standard Version®). This edition includes a foreword by Dr. Don Kistler, a biographical preface, and review questions designed to facilitate group discussion or personal reflection.

For more information, see the book description and buy links here.

Interactive Map of London, c.1561

agas-map-sample

The Agas Map of London, c.1561

This morning as I was preparing a biographical preface for Obadiah Sedgwick, I was reading about one of the churches he served in, and in doing some research on the internet, found this wonderful interactive map of the city of London, circa 1561.  Called the Agas Map, it is an exquisitely detailed drawing which has been overlaid with information that helps the user quickly pinpoint major landmarks (including churches) in the city.  Very helpful and worth bookmarking.  You can find it here or by clicking the picture above.

The Wiles of Satan – Now Available!

Cover Art (1200x1600)Like it or not, every Christian is engaged in a fierce and high-stakes battle with Satan. In this enlightening book, Puritan pastor William Spurstowe succinctly illustrates from 2 Corinthians 2:11 his premise: that “Satan is full of devices, and studies arts of circumvention, by which he unweariedly seeks the irrecoverable ruin of the souls of men.”

Spurstowe explains how Satan’s long experience and single-minded determination make him such a formidable adversary. He then proceeds to methodically expose, explain, and disarm nearly two dozen common traps that Satan has used to ensnare every generation of the unwary. Finally, he prescribes ten helpful remedies or antidotes that can be used to counter even the most tempestuous temptation.

William Spurstowe (1605–1666) was a Presbyterian pastor and member of the Westminster Assembly; he served the Parliament of Richard Cromwell. Originally published in 1666, this classic treatise has been carefully prepared to benefit a new generation of Christian readers. Archaic language has been gently modernized, and dozens of helpful footnotes have been added to aid the reader. This edition includes a biographical preface, Scripture index (Scripture index is only in the paperback edition), and review questions designed to guide group discussion or personal reflection.

Digital: Kindle — Nook — Kobo — Google Play — Apple iBookstore — Lulu
Also available in paperback.