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Biographical Book Reviews - A Spectacle Unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love

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This is the story of Christopher Love and a compilation of correspondence between his wife and himself while Love was in prison.

A Spectacle Unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love
by Don Kistler
Soli Deo Gloria Publications, Morgan, PA: 1994.
193 Pages, Hardback.

Don Kistler, founder and president of Soli Deo Gloria Publications, has compiled and set in order an excellent account of Christopher Love’s life (his favorite puritan). Christopher Love did not approve of Oliver Cromwell’s overthrow of the king. Along with many other “dissenters” Love was frowned upon for holding the position of the “divine right of kings.” God placed the king on the throne, as wicked as the king may have been, and it was not for the people to usurp authority over him, but rather as Paul admonishes us in 1 Timothy 2, to pray for him. It was not that Love assented to the king’s wicked acts – he did not, nor did any other dissenter. But they believe Cromwell had acted rashly, to say the least. Love, and other prominent puritans such as William Jenkyn and Thomas Watson, were arrested because of this dissention. The authorities believed these men had written to the king’s relatives and thus was in some sort of conspiracy to bring the monarchy back. As a result, of all those brought to trial and imprisoned, only Christopher Love was beheaded.

The book covers his preaching, his ministry, and is mostly concerned with the entire plot and imprisonment of Love. Kistler has collected and published many of the letters and correspondences of Christopher Love to others while in prison, including many to His wife which make up a great deal of the book. This is an excellent devotional book, and is well written and documented, including some illustrations which are helpful in piecing together the history of this Welsh preacher. If you love the puritans, godliness, and autobiographies, then I would highly recommend this to you.

Some Quotes:

“My Heavenly Love: I call the so because God hath put heaven into thee before He hath taken thee to heaven.” (Mary Love to her husband.)

“And think you this is an evil time? No, no: this is the very time when grace and true godliness can be distinguished from hypocrisy. Many have followed Christ hitherto for the loaves, and are not turned back for the roughness of the way, and the sore trial and tribulation which others met with who are gone before them.” (Love on his last night with some friends.)

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