“He who has no regard for the past has very little respect for the present.”
“When we are endeavouring to perpetuate the memory of these Worthies, and commemorate what the Lord did by and for our forefathers, in the days of old, may we be so happy as to have somewhat to declare of His goodness and wonderful works done for us in our day and generation also.” — John Howie [1735-1793], Scottish biographer and author of Scots Worthies.
“Of all books which can be put into your hands, those which relate the labours and sufferings of good men are the most interesting and instructive. In them you see orthodox principles, christian tempers, and holy duties, in lovely union and in vigorous operation. In them you see religion shining forth in real life, subduing the corruptions of human nature, and inspiring a zeal for every good work. In them you see the reproaches and persecutions which the servants of God have endured; those gracious principles which have supported their minds; and the course they have pursued in their progress to the kingdom of heaven. Such books are well calculated to engage your attention, to affect your feelings, to deepen your best impressions, and to invigorate your noblest resolutions. They are well calculated to fortify you against the allurements of a vain world; to assimilate your characters to those of the excellent of the earth; to conform your lives to the standard of holiness; and to educate your souls for the mansions of glory. — Benjamin Brook, Lives of the Puritans.
“The life, character and opinions of distinguished Divines become, after their decease, the common property of the Christian church. They constitute a valuable part of the successive and accumulating inheritance, in which all of that sacred community have right and interest. So has the church in all ages acted; the special property of the age or circle in which they lived has gradually disappeared; and by the great waster, time, the record has been erased, and the right and claims passed to other and more numerous hands.
It is proper that it should be so. Nurtured, as all the sons of Zion are, in one common school, over whom the Prophet of the church, ministerially, providentially, and efficiently by His Spirit, presides, the attainments of His disciples are furnished not for themselves, nor for those on whom they exert their first and immediate influence, merely in their own individual character, but as disciples of Christ, and as His redeemed. And as these gifts are more or less valuable, more or less eminent, being from their very nature, the endowments flowing from one common Head of authority and influence, bearing alike upon the interest and welfare of one common class or race, and furnished for that very end, wherever the claimants exist and the property is found, the right is exercised and admitted as incapable of contradiction or resistance. Here is a claim before which copy right itself must yield—a tribunal before which it must expire.”—Rev. J. Chrystie, “Dr. J.M. Mason and Scripture Psalmody,” in The Evangelical Guardian, Vol. IV (1846), pp.17-18.