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The Prayer of a Broken Heart: Expository Discourse on Psalm 51 (Candlish)

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Solid Ground Christian Books

In this precious, but little known book, Robert Candlish (1806-1873) a beloved and gifted Scottish preacher, expounds and applies the great Penetential Psalm of David. As long as we find ourselves alive in this world of sin and misery, and experience the daily battle with the world, the flesh and the devil, this psalm will minister to the child of God. Candlish, although a scholar, approaches this portion of Scripture as a child. His words came from his heart and they thus speak to the heart.

We have included the first couple paragraphs of all four messages below so that you can taste and see for yourself. It is good to the last drop.



Robert Smith Candlish (1806-1873) was called to St George’s, the most prominent pulpit in Edinburgh, in 1833 when he was still in his twenties. He was soon established as a leading figure in the group of evangelicals who would, after the Disruption in 1843, become the Free Church of Scotland. Candlish was deeply committed to the preaching ministry – he declined a chair in the newly formed denominational college, although much later (1862) he would become Principal of New College. He was Moderator of the Free Church Assembly in 1861, and received D.D. degrees from Princeton College (1841) and the University of Edinburgh (1865). His lifework well-illustrated the biblical and Reformation ideal of the pastor-theologian as both his pulpit ministry and his published works show.



Spurgeon said of him, "A man hardly needs anything beyond Candlish. He is devout, candid, prudent and forcible"

Dr. Robert Paul Martin added, "Psalm 51 needs to be familiar ground for every pilgrim to Zion. David's confession of his sin and prayer for divine grace is exemplary in its scope and pointedness. Many are the occasions when we need to pray as he did. Robert Candlish has given us a helpful exposition of this psalm which not only informs our understanding but prods us to imitate David's repentance in those seasons when we should deal honestly with God concerning our sins."

Dr. Mike Renihan said, "Take up and read to improve your soul. As Candlish wrote, 'You will be getting more and more of an insight into God's marvelous grace and love, and proving more and more thoroughly the blessedness of a full, as well as a free, forgiveness; of complete reconciliation; of perfect peace.' You will not be sorry for the investment of your precious time."