Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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Why I Love This Book So Much

On June 24, 1983 I had a little confession to make to my wife. "I bought a new book, honey," I said, as sweetly as possible. My charming, beautiful help-mate turned to me and simply asked, "How much?" (for she was familiar with the ways of compulsive book-buyers). "Sixty-five dollars," I replied, knowing that evasion was useless. "But this is a great book. A unique book. There is no book like this one." "Well," she replied, "If you really need it, then you should have it." Ah, such a wonderful wife. And did I mention she's charming, too?

Samuel Willard's A Compleat Body of Divinity was recommended by a professor in school, and we all were required to read the first sermon, on the Chief End of Man. The professor had photocopied it onto colored paper, and it was a struggle to wade through the old orthography, spelling, and words. The poor quality of the original and the bad paper made it even worse. But what a sermon! This was a great sermon! I was new to the Puritans and this sermon beckoned to me, calling me to another world of Biblical exposition. And to think there was a book with over 250 more of these sermons...

I went to the bookstore, just to see if they had a copy, and sure enough they did, one another student had ordered and never picked up. (Perhaps he didn't have the money?) It was the best $65 I've ever spent.

And she looks more beautiful to me now, as well.

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