I like biographical books that tell us not only the facts of a person’s life, but devotes time to their thought as well. Devoted to the Service of the Temple: Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins, is a book that does that with, in reverse. The main thrust of this book is the thought of Hercules Collins, with only a short biographical introduction.
The editors, Michael A. G. Haykin and Steve Weaver, in their burden for producing historic Baptist texts, have read and re-read Collins works in order to provide us a fitting introduction to one of Baptist History’s long lost heroes. Dr. Haykin’s biographical introduction of Hercules Collins gives us a sense of the caliber of the man who wrote the words in the following chapters. Hercules Collins remained faithful to God through persecutions, imprisonments, war, and the apostasies of the day. He was a Pastor among Pastors, often called upon to lend his mind, theology, and pastoral gifts to the Baptist Churches of England.
After the biographical introduction, the editors have provided selections from Collins writings. These selections are many and varied. Topics ranging from Imprisonment to Sermon Preparation to the tension between God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility to Spiritual Liberty are addressed.
Finally, there is an Appendix to the book which lends itself to the gravity of the life and thought of Hercules Collins presented. The Appendix is a selection from Hercules Collins’ funeral sermon, preached by John Piggott. In it Piggott tells us of Collins’ faithfulness as a Gospel minister. He was, “…agreeable to the sentiments of the Reformed Churches in all fundamental articles of faith…not shocked by the fury of the persecutors…one that had a solid acquaintance with divine things…a man that did constantly promote religious discourse…given to much meditation and prayer, and hardly a man was more grievously tempted of the Devil…fallen in battle, but he died more than a conqueror; and having fought the good fight, and finished his course, and kept the faith, he quitted the body, that he might receive an unfading crown of glory.”
Buy the book HERE.