Wednesday, May 2, 2012

People You’ve Probably Never Heard of But Should: Charles Bridges

Charles Bridges was born in 1794 to some guy with the last name Bridges and to a woman that he called mother.  He grew up to be an Anglican preacher, as well as a gifted writer and theologian.  He was ordained in 1817 and served the church of Old Newton, Suffolk from 1823 until 1849.  He then served churches in Dorset until he died in 1869. 

He was married to a woman named Harriet.  With her he had two sons (maybe more) and one of them became a physician. 

That’s all I’ve got.  I entangled myself in the world wide webs searching for all things Charles Bridges’ only to come up with these scant biographical blips.  Nearest that I can tell a guy named Ronald wrote a biography on him in 2004.  How he did this from one Wikipedia article is beyond me. 

Why You Should Know Him:

Charles Bridges has written two amazing works that greatly benefit the church.  His commentary on Proverbs was “worth its weight in gold” according to Spurgeon.  If you are curious it probably weighs about 2 pounds.  It is also available for free on the internets.  I have a hard copy of the book and my series on Proverbs for Christian Blogging is deeply indebted to Bridges’ work. 

The other amazing work (and I have to confess I know this second hand) is his book The Christian Ministry.  This is a book that I have had on my list for quite some time but because every edition that I could find of the book was apparently worth its weight in gold ($28.00 the cheapest I could find), I have yet to buy it and read it.  Thankfully the ninjas at Google have made the book available for free as well.  Yours truly is going to start reading through this one very soon. 

Bridges also wrote an Exposition of Psalm 119, a Memoir of Mary Jane Graham, a Manual for the Young, an Exposition of Ecclessiastes, Forty-Eight Scriptural Studies, and we also have some of his Correspondence.  Most of these can be found for free at Google and are well worth your time of at least browsing. 


From his work on The Christian Ministry Bridges writes:

“It is faith that enlivens our work with perpetual cheerfulness. It commits every part of it to God, in the hope, that even mistakes shall be overruled for His glory; and thus relieves us from an oppressive anxiety, often attendant upon a deep sense of our responsibility.

The shortest way to peace will be found in casting ourselves upon God for daily pardon of deficiencies and supplies of grace, without looking too eagerly for present fruit. Hence our course of effort is unvarying, but more tranquil. It is peace—not slumber, rest in the work—not from it.

What I have read so far of Bridges in Proverbs and in the little I have read from The Christian Ministry is deeply encouraging, dripping with wisdom, and saturated with the savor of Christ. 

Further Reading:

These links are available from Bridges’ Wikipedia article

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