Warfield's Dozen (or so)

| Updated: Mon, 29 Feb 2016 | Tagged: devotional.

Benjamin B. Warfield, “Spiritual Culture in the Theological Seminary”, The Princeton Theological Review, 2/5 (1904): 65-87.

It’s that time of year when inaugural lectures are in the air. Here’s an extract of what Benjamin Warfield had to say on one such occasion (20 September, 1903):

[80] The question that is pressing is, Which are “the best practical writers on the subject of religion?” In the multitude clamoring for our attention, some good, many bad and not a few indifferent, the need of guidance in the choice of our practical reading becomes very acute.

[81] It would be useless, however, to draw out a long list of books to be especially recommended. I shall venture to set down the titles of just a round dozen which I look upon as indispensable. … They come from every part of the church and from every age … but they are all veritable devotional classics, and each of them has power in it to move and instruct the heart of whoever would live in the Spirit.

They are:— Augustine’s Confessions; The Imitation of the Christ [= BBW’s own copy]; the Theologia [82] Germanica; Bishop Andrewes’ Private Devotions; Jeremy Taylor’s Life of Christ; Richard Baxter’s The Saints’ Everlasting Rest; Samuel Rutherford’s Letters; John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress; Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici; William Law’s Serious Call [+ alt]; John Newton’s Cardiphonia; Bishop Thomas Wilson’s Sacra Privata.

To these twelve I should add two or three others which have peculiar interest to us as Princetonians, and which I am sure are worthy of association with them—Jonathan Edwards’ Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, Archibald Alexander’s Thoughts on Religious Experience, and Charles Hodge’s Way of Life.

[N.b. editions linked are, so far as possible, those recommended by Warfield in the original article.]