Book Reviews

Here are some reviews of our books which have recently appeared in various publications.


"Sovereign Grace - Past and Present" Edited by Ian Potts

Published by Grace and Truth Online Publications, price £12.00 or $21.50 in the U.S. 416pp paperback, ISBN 978 1 84728 097 8

"This is a most interesting collection of sermons and writings, and, as the title indicates, "from past and present."

We do not know of any similar publication that consists of sermons preached by so many different eminent, godly preachers from a former generation. These are Tiptaft, Crisp, Huntington, Gadsby, Philpot, Kershaw, M'Cheyne, Bourne, Ashdown, Covell, Vinall and Warburton (in that order). What a collection of burning and shining lights! Surely "a feast of fat things"!

The second half of the book consists of present day free grace preachers. Not all the chapters are sermons; some are shorter articles. Most of the preachers are from the U.S.A. and unknown to us. They appear to be very strong and sound on the glorious doctrines of the gospel, but not with the same emphasis on gracious experience as the ministers from the past.

The book is beautifully produced and sold at a most reasonable price. Our readers will remember that recently we reviewed Grace and Truth Online's first publication: Christ the Sun of Righteousness and Huntington's Fountain of Life."

Gospel Standard Magazine, September 2006

"Sovereign Grace - Past and Present demonstrates how God's electing purpose in Christ has been understood, valued and professed by Christian believers for generations.

Ian Potts has gathered sermons and articles from old writers such as Tobias Crisp and William Gadsby and modern gospel preachers such as Don Fortner and Henry Mahan, to bring us a chain of witness linked together over the years by the unchanging gospel of free and sovereign grace in Christ. Free grace is not a novelty, as this book clearly shows, and God has promised never to leave Himself without a witness.

We are delighted that Mr Potts is producing such material, making old writers available to a new audience and, by his knowledge of current trends in modern evangelicalism, introducing modern writers whose eligibility for inclusion is that they maintain and profess the same old gospel truths that marked out their predecessors."

New Focus Magazine, October/November 2006

"The Fountain of Life" by William Huntington

(Collected Writings of William Huntington S.S.)
Published by Grace and Truth Online Publications, price £10.50 or $16.99 in the U.S. 340pp paperback, ISBN 1 4116 5856 6

"Lovers of Huntington will welcome this well-produced book, in clear print, of some of his works."

Gospel Standard Magazine, April 2006

"The writings of William Huntington have long been valued by free grace believers with good reason. However, getting hold of volumes of his works has not always been easy. My own six volumes were bought over fifteen years ago and I know that people have been searching for sets in recent years.

Now, Ian Potts has done a valuable service in making some of Huntington's most significant essays available in paperback form, including an overview of Huntington's conversion and ministry by Dr George M. Ella. The book is important because it allows readers the opportunity to access some of the very best Huntington material for themselves. This happy prospect is, we believe, the best way to lay to rest the unfounded criticism that has been levelled in recent years at Huntington's clear gospel emphasis.

In six chapters we are provided with The Dimensions of Eternal Love, The Destruction of Death by the Fountain of Life, The Eternal Setting of the Sun, The Saint’s Seed-time and Harvest, An Innocent Game for Babes in Grace and The Broken Cistern & The Springing Well."

New Focus Magazine, October/November 2006

"It is always a matter of great encouragement to us to be able to inform our readers of those things which are of great benefit to the Church of God.

Mr Ian Potts of Honiton, Devon (who is unknown to us) has for some time maintained an internet Web-page with the title of "Grace and Truth Online." On this web-page he has made available articles and Christian literature which exalts in the free grace of God. He has now taken advantage of modern printing technology of producing "books on demand" and entered the realm of Christian publishing. He has published two books. The first is Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. This book comprises of articles which he has written and which have been included in other journals and on his web-page. He sets forth the Lord Jesus Christ as being the only Saviour of sinners, and as being the sum and substance of all the Scriptures. Mr Potts says, "May God the Holy Spirit be pleased to use the chapters of this book to point the reader towards Christ, the Saviour, the 'Sun of Righteousness'."

The second book published by Mr Potts is of particular interest to us as it is a volume of William Huntington's writings. For many years Huntington's works were out of print. They could only be obtained via the secondhand book market, but now there appears to be a much greater interest in and desire to obtain Huntington's writings. Some of Huntington's works were made available in the early twentieth century by Messrs Farncombe and Sons but nothing appeared in print by him until the Sovereign Grace Union republished in 1966 Huntington's Kingdom of Heaven Taken by Prayer. Such was the influence of that republication that a few Christian people (including this writer) desired to know more of Huntington. Books were obtained about and by Huntington, they were eagerly read and a desire to republish more of Huntington's works were implanted in the heart. Contemplations on the God of Israel by Huntington was given to this writer many years ago and, after reading it back in the early 1970's, he has had a desire since then to see this particular book back in print. (It has been out of print since the Farncombe edition of 1940). But we digress!

Recent years have seen an interest in Huntington's Works being revived. There has been the birth of the Huntingtonian Press. The Gospel Standard Baptist Trust Publications republished the 6 volumes edition of Huntington's Select Works (some of which are still available). Gospel Mission of Choteau, Montana, USA have published a number of volumes by Huntington in paperback format and now, Mr Potts of Grace and Truth Online Publications has published a volume of choice works by William Huntington: The Fountain of Life. As we said at the beginning of these editorial remarks, it is a matter of great encouragement to report such things.

The book The Fountain of Life comprises six of Huntington's smaller works. They are:

The Dimensions of Eternal Love - This is a sermon on the text Ephesians 3:18,19

The Destruction of Death by the Fountain of Life - This is an exposition of Proverbs 13:14 in a letter addressed to his congregation at Providence Chapel, London. It appears to owe its origins to Huntington having read the Scougal's tract The Life of God in the Soul of Man.

The Saint's Seed-time and Harvest - This is a lengthy letter addressed to his brethren in the ministry, Jenkins at Lewes and Brook at Brighton.

An Innocent Game for Babes in Christ - A sermon preached at Providence Chapel, London delivered from Isaiah 11:8.

The Broken Cistern & The Springing Well - This was a tract addressed to John Ryland Snr. In reply to one written by Ryland himself.

(Ian Potts: Actually, this review fails to mention that the book also includes 'The Eternal Setting of the Sun'.)

The book concludes with two appendices by Dr George Ella.

Whilst in recent years there have been a number of voices raised against the ministry of William Huntington, it is refreshing to read the publisher's comments that "it is the publisher's hope that by reprinting these works in a modern paperback format, in a smaller, more affordable volume than previously available, that the writings of the Lord's servant William Huntington might become more widely known and appreciated amongst God's people." We agree! This volume is available from The Christian Bookshop, Queen Street, Ossett, West Yorkshire, Price £10.95. (Actually £10.50 - Ian Potts)"

Editorial Comments
'The Sinner Saved' Magazine, No. 14. Autumn 2006
Editor: J E North

"Christ, the Sun of Righteousness" by Ian Potts

Published by Grace and Truth Online Publications, price £6.95 or $10.99 in the U.S. 150pp paperback, ISBN 1 4116 5133 2

"The central premise of Ian Potts’ book is that Christ is to be found everywhere in the Word of God. Throughout scripture, in the Genesis creation account, in the wandering’s of the Children of Israel, from the lips of the prophets and in the teaching of the New Testament apostles, Christ is evidently the focus of attention.

The eight chapters were originally independent essays written by Mr Potts and posted on his website Several of them have previously been published as articles in this magazine. In addition, there are two appendices, one dealing with the gifts of the Spirit and the other demonstrating the particular nature of God’s grace towards men and women. Distinguishing grace is shown first in His setting His love upon the elect and second by the free gift of faith. Because each chapter stands alone all of them can be read on its own with profit, some in just a few minutes as the chapter lengths vary a little.

One characteristic of the book is the generous supply of parallels, connections, types and analogies that the author makes between messages in prophecy and incidents in Old Testament history and the redemptive work of Christ. These provide opportunities for greater contemplation of the saving work of the Lord Jesus especially when the linkage made is not immediately obvious. Thereby the Lord is shown forth, just as He explained on the road to Emmaus. ‘Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself’ (Luke 24:27). Thus in the Book’s title Jesus Christ is Malachi’s ‘Sun of righteousness’ who rises with healing in His wings (Malachi 2:2)

Nevertheless, the allusions are not strained. For example, the destruction by Joshua and the advancing Israelite army of Ai, the small walled city close to Jericho, may not instantly lend itself to interpretation based on the Lord’s death. Yet the author, like a good pastor, applies his text to discover the work of Christ, and discerns much in Joshua’s complete destruction of Ai and the execution of its king that typifies the completeness of Christ’s victory over sin.

If there are applications that do not immediately reveal themselves some gentle reflection and contemplation will pay rich dividends. The insights gleaned remind us that the glory of the Lord Jesus is to be found concealed in the smallest details of scripture as well as in the broad brush strokes of redemptive history.

I am happy to recommend this book for personal reading and meditation. It will handsomely reward time invested in it. However, it has other uses too. The book may readily be employed evangelistically as a gift, perhaps to a friend who may have a casual acquaintance with the Bible but who has not really understood how the Lord Jesus Christ’s saving work pervades all the Word.

As a closing recommendation I would mention that throughout the book grace is unambiguously presented as the free gift of God. The scripture references and applications clearly demonstrate the particular dimensions of grace and the effectual, sovereign choice of God in salvation. Many books today, even from Reformed publishers and evangelical authors, are couched in terminology so loose and general with respect to salvation, that a reader would not discern the distinctive nature of election and sovereign grace unless he was already initiated into that ‘deeper truth’. I am happy to say this book is not one of them."

Peter Meney
New Focus
Dec/Jan 2006

See "New Focus" magazine, Dec/Jan 2006.