Makers of Puritan History
Henderson – Rutherford – Bunyan – Baxter
Are our civil and religious freedoms under threat? According to some social commentators we are living in very uncertain times in which the freedoms we have long enjoyed are coming under increasing pressure. The liberty we take so much for granted may not be as secure as we think.
When this book was first published there was little or no sign of such danger on the horizon. In 1960 the church may have taken her religious freedom for granted and perhaps had forgotten the price paid by those who had ‘fought for freedom of truth and conscience, freedom for life and worship, freedom both as citizens and Christians’. Today in the West the prospect facing the church may well be one of suffering for the sake of the gospel and of sharing the common experience of our fellow Christians in many other parts of the world.
This prospect makes the story of the four men told in this book all the more fascinating and relevant. In the seventeenth-century two Scottish Covenanters, Alexander Henderson and Samuel Rutherford, and two English Puritans, John Bunyan and Richard Baxter, were at the forefront in the struggle for liberty of conscience and freedom of worship. The story of their suffering and triumph, vividly told by a skilled biographer, enables the reader to visualize clearly both the problems which faced the church during that turbulent period of her history and the principles upon which our spiritual forefathers courageously took their stand.
Of course, it would not be hard to point out their limitations and imperfections, their mistakes and failures; but they were fired by an inner nobility of motive and ideal which lifts them above petty criticism and gives them a lasting title to be known as men who were like Bunyan’s pilgrim, Valiant-for-Truth.
- Alexander Henderson: The Chief of the Covenant
- Samuel Rutherford: The Saint of the Covenant
- John Bunyan: The Immortal Dreamer
- Richard Baxter: A Mere Nonconformist
About the Author
Sir Marcus Lawrence Loane KBE (1911–2009) was Anglican Archbishop of Sydney from 1966 to 1982. He also served as Primate of Australia from 1978 to 1982.
Born in Tasmania, Loane spent nearly all his ministry in the Sydney except for two years during World War II. He served as a front-line chaplain in Papua New Guinea and both his thoughtfulness and physical endurance won the respect of the Kokoda Trail troops and indigenous workers in his pastoral care.
After the war he was appointed Vice-Principal and then Principal of Moore Theological College. In 1958, he was appointed a coadjutor (assistant) bishop in the diocese. In the 1976 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE). He was also appointed Chaplain of the Venerable Order of Saint John on 5 December 1978.
Loane travelled widely in Australia and overseas, imparting his theological, ministerial, historical, and devotional insights to many Christians. His other books are Masters of the English Reformation and Jesus Himself, and Makers of Puritan History. He died in Sydney in 2009, at the age of 97.