A Commentary upon the Book of the Revelation: Lectures on Chapters 1–3 (Durham)

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Reformation Heritage Books

This first of three projected volumes comprises a third of the lectures and fully half of the theological essays. The text covers chapter one in nine lectures (the most on any chapter) and the letters to the seven churches in Asia. The theological lectures contained cover such subjects as the doctrine of the Trinity, a call to the ministry and qualifications for the ministry, church government and church discipline, repentance, the difference in common and saving grace, and preaching and application in preaching. The text has been collated with a 1653 manuscript and an appendix contains texts and full lectures that are significantly different than the published edition of 1658. 


Table of Contents:
To the Judicious & Christian Reader by John Carstairs
To the Reader by Robert Baillie
A Brief View of the Series of the Whole Book of the Revelation 
Chapter One
Lecture 1: Revelation 1:1–4
Excursus 1: Concerning the Holy Trinity and Object of Worship
Lecture 2: Revelation 1:4–6
Lecture 3: Revelation 1:7–9
Lecture 4: Revelation 1:10
Lecture 5: Revelation 1:10–11
Lecture 6: Revelation 1:12–15
Lecture 7: Revelation 1:15–16
Lecture 8: Revelation 1:17–18
Lecture 9: Revelation 1:19–20
Excursus 2: Concerning a Calling to the Ministry, and clearness therein
Excursus 3: Concerning Writing
Excursus 4: Of Reading, and Hearing 
Chapter Two
Lecture 1: Revelation 2:1–3
Lecture 2: Revelation 2:4–5
Lecture 3: Revelation 2:6–7
Excursus 5: Concerning Church-government and Discipline, in General
Excursus 6: Concerning a Minister’s Relation to a Particular Congregation
Excursus 7: Concerning the Nature and Difference of Saving and Common Grace
Lecture 4: Revelation 2:8–11
Excursus 8: Concerning the Influence that the Devil has on Some Wicked Men’s Actions, and How He Carries on the Same
Lecture 5: Revelation 2:12–17
Lecture 6: Revelation 2:18–29
Chapter Three
Lecture 1: Revelation 3:1–6
Lecture 2: Revelation 3:7–13
Excursus 9: Concerning Ministerial Qualifications
Lecture 3: Revelation 3:14–22
Excursus 10: Concerning the Identity of Angel, Bishop, and Presbyter
Excursus 11: Concerning the Way of Covenanting with God, and of a Sinner’s Obtaining Justification before Him
Excursus 12: Concerning Repentance
Excursus 13: Some General Observations Concerning Preaching, and Especially Application



“This commentary on Revelation provides what was, as Principal John MacLeod said, ‘in past days, the accepted Protestant view of that book.’ While James Durham’s historicist reading of Revelation is no longer the standard view, that should not deter readers, for, as Spurgeon said, ‘it would not be easy to find a more sensible and instructive work than this old-fashioned exposition. We cannot accept its interpretations of the mysteries, but the mystery of the gospel fills it with sweet savour.’ The finest treasure in this commentary is not, however, Durham’s exegetical work (helpful though this is!). Contained in his commentary are independent treatises which are the purest of theological gold. These extended essays present Reformed thought at its best. As Richard A. Muller has said, this work “offers significant access to seventeenth-century Reformed and Presbyterian thought ... Durham’s work illustrates the relationship of Scripture with doctrine and piety and dogmatics.” — Donald John MacLean, author of James Durham (1622–1658): And the Gospel Offer in its Seventeenth-Century Context.