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Review: Select Writings of Benjamin Morgan Palmer

Author
Category Book Reviews
Date February 23, 2015

This beautifully produced book consists of 34 short articles written by Pastor Benjamin Morgan Palmer for the Southern Presbyterian magazine between 1869 and 1870. The subjects covered include anecdotes from his pastoral life, a justification for foreign missions, the Beatitudes and Christian paradoxes.

Pastor Palmer writes in the florid, wordy style of the 19th century using some language that is now archaic. However he has an evident love for the Gospel and Gospel truth. Christ is at the centre of what he says and his writing reveals a man of deep spiritual wisdom. His narration of deathbed conversions and his meditations on the Beatitudes are particularly memorable.

The introduction states that “it may be argued that some of his particular social views are unacceptable.” This is certainly true – Pastor Palmer was an enthusiastic supporter of slavery. In 1860 he preached an influential sermon in which he claimed that “the abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic” and that the character of black people “fits them for dependence and servitude”. I leave it to the reader to decide whether this stops you buying and reading a book that has many undoubted qualities.


This review was first published on GoodBookReviews.org.uk. The site has been closed as of March 2019.

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