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Pastor Phil Gibson Reviews and Recommends
the Puritan Hard Drive
Some time ago my wife and I served as missionaries in Thailand for several years. Whilst there I discovered the doctrines of grace through reading Arthur Pink's "Sovereignty of God". I later came across https://www.swrb.com and ordered several books from them on a number of occasions, including:
Thomas Watson's "Taking Heaven by storm"
Thomas Boston's "Crook in the lot"
Thomas Goodwin on Ephesians
Thomas Manton's commentary on Jude
Richard Baxter's "Directory"
MP3 set of John Howie's Scots Worthies (Free!)
These were some of my early treasures -- my heart burned within me as I discovered truths from hundreds of years ago. Then, SWRB graciously sent me a whole set of Puritan & Reformation CDs -- what a treasure trove they were! We were quite far from any other Western missionaries and I often joked with people that all my best friends were now dead -- they died several hundred years ago! They were my counsellors, advisors and mentors in those days.
We returned to the UK a few years ago and I took over the pastorate of a church. I gently tried to communicate and teach the truths that had become so precious to me and that we had proven in our daily lives on the mission field. Some grasped it, sadly some didn't. They felt the legalistic foundations of the reasons for holiness were being taken away and, after a few years, I was dismissed as pastor.
I have now been unemployed for just over 2 years and times have been hard -- but those doctrines have been such a foundation for these times as well. The truths I learnt then and new truths and books I have read from those CDs have greatly enriched me and my family. This isn't just sermon material but foundations for the nitty gritty of life when life is tough for you and you aren't just looking at a commentary to bolster your sermon for the coming Sunday!
I just wanted to say such a big THANK YOU for the work you do at SWRB, you will never know how many lives, families and churches have been enriched because of your publications. Time after time I have gone back to my forefathers in the faith. Doctrines that weren't tapped out on laptops in a cosy office but in the midst of social upheaval, civil war, plague, suffering and imprisonment.
John Owen has inspired me just by his life -- he went through so much yet his works just ooze Jesus and sweetness for him. I'm humbled, blessed, challenged and encouraged by doctrine that magnifies God and leaves me in awe of Him. Thank you for plugging away and publishing these works.
Thanks to the very kind generosity of someone I've recently acquired my own Puritan Hard Drive -- Wow! I'm impressed! Not just by the wealth of material on it but by the ease of use. If you can use Windows file Explorer or look for something on a USB memory stick then you can use the Puritan Hard Drive; it really is that simple. The software makes looking up authors, books and subjects so simple. You can also copy the files to read on a smart phone or tablet.
To anyone thinking of buying their own Puritan Hard Drive -- I'd say "GET IT!"
The material I've read so far has literally changed my life.
Thomas Brooks' "An ark for all God's Noahs" (Vol. 2 of Brooks' Works) must be one of the best books I have ever read; I've gone back to it time and time again over these last 2 years. I don't say this glibly but this is the kind of teaching you NEED in this age. Not just a sticking plaster for your wounds but to go under the scalpel of some master surgeons who will help cut out the cancer of sin and man-centredness in your life, teaching that will ground you in the sovereignty of God and humble you with proclamations of everlasting mercy. If I only stuck to reading the material on the Puritan Hard Drive there would be enough to last me decades.
P.S. I was offered a job yesterday! Guess what I'll be doing in my lunch break -- listening to the treasury of free MP3's and digging deep into God's riches on the Puritan Hard Drive!
- Phil Gibson, South Wales, UK (Pastor, Missionary, etc.)