On earth peace, good will toward men…

Man’s maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast;
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey;
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood;
that Strength might grow weak;
that the Healer might be wounded;
that Life might die.

Augustine of Hippo (Sermons 191.1)

…that Life might die…

Man’s maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast;
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey;
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood;
that Strength might grow weak;
that the Healer might be wounded;
that Life might die.

Augustine of Hippo (Sermons 191.1)

"Friendship must be cemented by piety."

Friendship must be cemented by piety. A wicked man cannot be a true friend; and, if you befriend their wickedness, you show that you are wicked yourselves. Pretend not to love them, if you favor their sins, and seek not their salvation. By favoring their sins, you will show your enmity to God; and then how can you love your brother? If you be their best friends, help them against their worst enemies. And think not all sharpness inconsistent with love: parents correct their children, and God himself chastens every son whom he receiveth.’ Augustine saith, Better it is to love even with the accompaniment of severity, than to mislead by (excess of) lenity.’

-Richard Baxter in The Reformed Pastor

Tuesday Thomas Watson…

Our hearts must go along with our confessions. The hypocrite confesses sin but loves it, like a thief who confesses to stolen goods, yet loves stealing. How many confess pride and covetousness with their lips but roll them as honey under their tongue. Augustine said before his conversion he confessed sin and begged power against it, but his heart whispered within him, ‘not yet, Lord’. He was afraid to leave his sin too soon. A good Christian is more honest. His heart keeps pace with his tongue. He is convinced of the sins he confesses, and abhors the sins he is convinced of.

-Thomas Watson in The Doctrine of Repentance

Some good $0.99 ebooks on Amazon…

…although many of the below can be had for free in html or pdf format at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, an excellent resource.

Augustine: City of God and Christian Doctrine

Baxter: The Reformed Pastor

Baxter: Saints’ Everlasting Rest

Berkhof: Summary of Christian Doctrine

Chesterton: The Complete Father Brown Mysteries Collection

Chesterton: Orthodoxy (annotated)

Edwards: The Freedom of the Will

Edwards: The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

Edwards: Religious Affections

Hodge: Systematic Theology Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3

Kuyper: Lectures on Calvinism

Lewis: The Abolition of Man

Luther: Bondage of the Will

Machen: Christianity and Liberalism

Owen: Sermons

Rutherford: Lex Rex

Ryle: Holiness

Spurgeon: The Beatitudes

Warfield: Augustine and the Pelagian Controversy

Watson: Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Watson: The Doctrine of Repentance

Watson: The Godly Man’s Picture

Good books for nothing…

51x+ZB+3PLL._SL160_Looking around on the Amazon website for free stuff this morning, came across these free Kindle books. Not the best editions of these works out there…but at least you’ll have the text. If you don’t have a Kindle machine, you can use the Kindle app on many other devices…

Augustine: Confessions

Bunyan: The Pilgrim’s Progress

Bunyan: The Works of John Bunyan

Chesterton: What’s Wrong with the World?

Chesterton: Orthodoxy

Edwards: Selected Sermons of Jonathan Edwards

Fox’s Book of Martyrs

Josephus: The Wars of the Jews; or the History of the Destruction of Jerusalem

Knox: First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women

Luther: Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther

Milton: Paradise Lost

Ryle: Practical Religion Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians

Ryle: Sketch of the Life and Labors of George Whitefield

 

One of my favorites: Augustine on the Incarnation…

Man’s maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast;
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey;
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood;
that Strength might grow weak;
that the Healer might be wounded;
that Life might die.

Augustine of Hippo (Sermons 191.1)

Must-Read Books

I can’t remember why I put together this list, but I stumbled across it in my files this morning. Outside of the Scriptures, these are the books that have fed my soul for many years. Certainly there are others I would add, but I still recommend all of the below as must-reads for Christians.

Lloyd-Jones_V2_FightOfFaith-150x235

 

 

 

 

 

 

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years 1899-1939 & The Fight of Faith 1939-1981 by Iain Murray

ReformedPastor-156x235

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter (free here)

WhatIsAnEvangelical-153x235

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is an Evangelical? by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Beatitudes-Watson--149x235

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson (free here)

RevivalRevivalism-154x235

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revival & Revivalism by Iain Murray

Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

What’s Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton (free here)

Confessions by Augustine (free here)


The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

The Works of Jonathan Edwards (free here)

Composer Frank Martin: "He was before everything a Christian."

Frank Martin (1890-1974) was the youngest of ten children born to a Calvinist pastor’s family in Geneva, Switzerland. When he was 12 years old, he attended a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (the lesser passion, I like to call it; Bach’s St. John Passion is superior) and, from that point, had Bach as his unofficial composition teacher. Of course, when the 1930s rolled around, he dabbled in Schoenberg’s serialism, but he escaped with his tonality intact.

Among his works are many settings of biblical texts: The Cantata for Christmas Time, Golgotha (biblical texts plus some texts of Augustine), Mystery of the Nativity (a Christmas oratorio), Three Christmas Songs. Looking at his works list, there is also a cantata called, Genevan Psalms. I have not heard this work, but it appears he borrowed from the Marot/Bourgeois/Goudimel Genevan Psalter. After a quick search, it doesn’t seem that there is a recording of this work available.

Here’s the question, though: Why did the son of a Calvinist pastor living in Geneva also do a number of settings of the Roman Catholic Latin texts? There is the Requiem for soloists, choir, organ, and orchestra. There is the Maria-Triptychon (settings of the Ave Maria, Magnificat, and Stabat Mater). There is also the Mass for Double Choir A Cappella (more on this later). So, did Frank abandon entirely the faith of his father (if faith was alive there at all) and become an enlightened artiste, opting to see those sacred texts in a merely aesthetic light? Or did he retrograde to Rome? Or was he a genuine Calvinist who set a few Latin texts?

So, I emailed his widow, asking about his faith in Christ and his Calvinistic heritage. And, amazingly, I got a response from Maria Martin, though perhaps not a full answer to the thrust of my questions. Her encouraging note:

Dear Mr. Dionne,

Frank Martin’s faith was first of all based on Christ who has showed true love on earth. His easter oratorio, Golgotha, was inspired by the Rembrandt’s etching The three crosses and based on the tekst of Calvin’s French bible and St. Augustine’s Meditations. Golgotha ends with a hymn to the victory of light over darkness  through Christ. This was the basis of Frank Martin’s faith.

He has composed a Mass on the Roman Catholic Latin tekst as well as a Requiem on the tekst of the Catholic Mass for the death. He was before everything a Christian.

I hope this text provides you with an anwer to your question.

With best wishes and kind regards,

yours,

Maria Martin.

I responded with some follow-up questions, and should I get another email from Mrs. Martin, I will update this post.

UPDATE: I did get a response to my follow-up questions…

Dear Mr. Dionne,

Mrs. Martin has asked me to let you know that her husband remained a protestant all his life.
Kind regards
Ferry Jongbloed
Keeper Frank Martin House

The real reason I wanted to write this post, after all of that, was only to share with you a remarkable work of his–another of his Latin pieces. The Mass for Double Choir A Cappella is extraordinarily beautiful and has long been one of my favorite choral pieces. Visit this link to hear and see my favorite movement, the Agnus Dei.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Dona nobis pacem.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Grant us peace.

Augustine on Christ's Incarnation

Man’s maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast;
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey;
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood;
that Strength might grow weak;
that the Healer might be wounded;
that Life might die.

Augustine of Hippo (Sermons 191.1)