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EBOOK A Scribe Well-Trained: Archibald Alexander and the Life of Piety - Profiles in Reformed Spirituality - EBOOK (Garretson, ed.)

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A Scribe Well-Trained acquaints us with the life and writings of Princeton Theological Seminary’s founding professor, Archibald Alexander (1772–1851). In the opening biographical sketch, James M. Garretson introduces us to the things that influenced Alexander and how he sought to cultivate godliness in himself, the men he trained, and people to whom he ministered. Garretson reinforces this through fifty-six short excerpts from across the published writings of Alexander, allowing us to experience firsthand the richness of “Old Princeton” spirituality.


Table of Contents: 

  1. Religious Experience
  2. True Conversion: Characteristics and Fruits
  3. Life Lived in the Presence of God
  4. Coming to Christ
  5. Looking unto Jesus
  6. A Disciple
  7. A Good Tree
  8. The Providence of God
  9. Regeneration
  10. The Gospel No Failure
  11. Love of the Truth
  12. The Relationship between Truth and Piety
  13. How Scripture Is to be Received by the Child of God
  14. The Peace of God
  15. Spiritual Worship
  16. The Mystery and Majesty of God’s Being
  17. The First and Greatest Commandment
  18. The Blessedness of Trusting in God
  19. Genuine Faith Evidenced in Love
  20. Aspects of Christian Love: Complacency and Benevolence
  21. God to be Glorified by Those Bought with a Price
  22. The Privilege of Serving the Lord
  23. The Minister’s Love for Christ
  24. Effective Preaching Is Discriminating and Applicatory
  25. Growth in Grace: Sanctification
  26. Growth in Grace: The Means of Sanctification
  27. Growth in Grace: The Progress of Sanctification
  28. Growth in Grace: Love for God’s Word and Gratitude for His Mercy
  29. Prayer
  30. Prayer a Privilege
  31. Seeking Divine Direction through Incessant Prayer
  32. Directions for Observance of the Sabbath Day
  33. Preparation for Death
  34. Heaven
  35. Our Heavenly State of Glorification
  36. The Dangers of Theorizing about Religious Experience
  37. Piety in Children
  38. Souls are Awakened in Different Ways
  39. Dangers of Religious Testimony
  40. The Benefits of Religious Conversation
  41. The Log College
  42. What the Church Looks Like in the Absence of Piety
  43. How May the Aged Be Assured of Their Salvation?
  44. Growth in Grace: Hindrances
  45. The Various Trials of Believers
  46. Dangers of Worldly Prosperity
  47. Spiritual Warfare
  48. Spiritual Dangers of Lawful Pursuits
  49. Counsels of the Aged to the Young
  50. A Word to the Young
  51. The Necessity of Cultivating Genuine Piety in One’s Youth
  52. A Letter Regarding the Loss of a Child
  53. A Son’s Letter to His Aging Mother
  54. Letter to a Missionary
  55. Letters to a Relative Struggling with Despondency
  56. What I Desire  

Appendix: Impressions of Dr. Archibald Alexander 

Reading Archibald Alexander


Series Description 

Seeking, then, both to honor the past and yet not idolize it, we are issuing these books in the series Profiles in Reformed Spirituality. The design is to introduce the spirituality and piety of the Reformed Profiles in Reformed Spirituality tradition by presenting descriptions of the lives of notable Christians with select passages from their works. This combination of biographical sketches and collected portions from primary sources gives a taste of the subjects’ contributions to our spiritual heritage and some direction as to how the reader can find further edification through their works. It is the hope of the publishers that this series will provide riches for those areas where we are poor and light of day where we are stumbling in the deepening twilight.



James M. Garretson is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and the author of Princeton and Preaching: Archibald Alexander and the Christian Ministry.



“Garretson has favored us with a wonderful study on biblical and Christian piety as displayed through the writings of this early American Presbyterian minister and educator. Those who are interested in an introduction on Christian piety need look no further. Here it is!” — Robert L. Reymond