For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children (Psa 78:5, NASB).
Church Leader Biographies & Downloads
On this page you'll find dozens of documents from Protestant leaders and others over the last 2,000 years. All are in the public domain and you may do as you wish with them. If you would like these files on your site or PC, help yourself. Please do not link directly to these files from your site, as that is bandwidth theft, which a Christian would not do. PLEASE feel free to link to the site or page though :-). Most of these files will need to be unzipped to view. Click here to get WinZip or contact us and we'll send what you request via email if possible (depending on the size of the file). A great deal of this work was compiled by others, and, if it was originally included, their contact information was left in the documents as they deserve the credit for their work.
JOHN FOXE (1516-1587)
John Foxe, best known now for the book "Foxe's Book of Martyrs,"was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1516. Earning his Bachelor's Degree in 1537 and his Master's in 1543, he began teaching at Oxford as a "lecturer of logic." Pressured into quitting that position after only two years because of his evangelical beliefs, he was employed as a tutor in the household of Thomas Lucy. While there, and afterwards, he wrote several plays and books, and married Agnes Randall. Foxe lived in London until 1554, when he left due to the ascension of Queen Mary (Bloody Mary) to the throne. Becoming a "Marian Exile" had a profound effect on Foxe. After traveling throughout Europe for a time, he returned to England in 1559, and began work on a book entitled "Actes and Monuments," which later became known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs. The original work was much larger than what is now available, and has been somewhat abridged and added to since its original printing. Foxe has been criticized for his data collection, but the book still remains a great resource for those who would study the reformation and why it took place.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714)
Matthew Henry was an English nonconformist clergyman born at Broad Oak, England. His father Philip, also a clergyman, had just been ejected from the Church because of the 1662 Act of Uniformity, which required the use of certain rites and ceremonies in church services. Matthew went to college to become a lawyer, but soon gave up his legal studies for theology, and in 1687 became minister of a Presbyterian congregation in Chester, England, where he stayed until 1712. Henry's exposition of the Old and New Testaments (1708-1710) is a commentary of a practical and devotional rather than of a critical kind, covering the entire Old Testament, as well as the Gospels and Acts of the New Testament. After his death the work was finished by a number of ministers, and edited by G. Burder and John Hughes in 1811. Of no value as criticism, its unfailing good sense, discriminating thought, high moral tone, simple piety, and its practical application, combined with the flow of its racy English style, made it one of the best works of its type. His other writings include Life of Mr. Philip Henry, The Communicant's Companion, Directions for Daily Communion with God, A Method for Prayer, A Scriptual Catechism, and numerous sermons.
Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown
Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible
JAMIESON, FAUSSET, & BROWN
Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown served as Pastors in England, and were familiar with the needs of the common believer. Their ministerial experience and extensive scholarly knowledge of the Bible were combined to make an easy-to-understand yet spiritually challenging book entitled "Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible." This work was published in 1871, and was praised by the likes of Charles Spurgeon and other theologians.
FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS (ca 37 A.D. - ca 100 A.D.)
Josephus was a Jewish first century historian who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. His writings are important in that they give insight into first-century Judaism. He fought the Romans in the Jewish rebellion of 66-73 as a military commander. When Roman forces invaded Galilee in July of 67, he surrendered and provided information to the Romans about the revolt. He eventually helped as a negotiator in the seige of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In 71 he came to Rome with Titus, future emperor of the empire, and there wrote all of his known works. He was an enigma, in that he cooperated with the Romans after his capture, therefore called a traitor by many, yet at the same time acted as an apologist for the Jewish people to the Roman world. In his own eyes he was always a loyal and law-observant Jew. He consistently presented the Jewish people as civilized, devout, and philosophical. His works are the best source of the first Jewish-Roman War, and gives vital insight to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish life in the first century.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546)
Martin Luther dealt the symbolic blow that began the Reformation when he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. That document contained an attack on papal abuses and the sale of indulgences by church officials. Luther himself saw the Reformation as something far more important than a revolt against ecclesiastical abuses. He believed it was a fight for the gospel. Luther even stated that he would have happily yielded every point of dispute to the Pope, if only the Pope had affirmed the gospel. At the heart of the gospel, in Luther's estimation, was the doctrine of justification by faith - the teaching that Christ's own righteousness is imputed to those who believe, and on that ground alone, they are accepted by God. Luther's translation of the Bible into German wasn't the first translation, but it did have the greatest impact up to that time. There are a great deal of Luther's writings and sermons still available, with these being only those with the most impact.
PHILIP SCHAFF (1819-1893)
Philip Schaff was a Swiss-born, German-educated theologian and historian of Christianity, who moved to the United States after completing his education. Once there, he began to teach as Professor of Church History and Biblical Literature in the German Reformed Theological Seminary of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, then the only seminary of that church in America. The seminary was closed for a time during the American Civil War, and he moved to New York City to become secretary of the Sabbath Committee, then a professor at the Union Theological Seminary until his death. He wrote biographies, catechisms, hymnals for children, lectures, essays, and much more, but his "History of the Christian Church" was his greatest achievement.
Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was England's best-known preacher for the last half of the nineteenth century. Saved in 1850 in a Primitive Methodist church he turned into because of a snow storm, by 1852 he was Pastor of a small Baptist church in Cambridgeshire. In 1854, only four years after his conversion, he was called to Pastor the famous New Park Street Chapel in London. Easily the most popular preacher of his day, the congregation quickly outgrew its building and moved twice, and in the Surrey Music Hall he would frequently preach to audiences of over 10,000 - all in the days before electronic amplification. Spurgeon was a Baptist and a Calvinist, and while highly regarded among the Presbyterians, he differed with them on the subject of infant baptism, and alienated many evangelicals when he preached against infant baptism in 1862. In addition to his church he promoted two major projects: The Pastor's College in London (renamed Spurgeon's College in 1923), and the Stockwell Orphanage which opened in 1867 and closed permanently after being bombed in the Second World War. Spurgeon's sermons were printed and circulated each week, and a large number of them still exist. Below is a small sample, including the "Treasury of David" series about the Psalms. This was a work of love on his part and has been widely read ever since.
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