BIOGRAPHY SKETCH (from "Romans")
However, that which gives an unusual and particularly
endearing value to this commentary is the history that lies behind it. In 1816
Robert Haldane, being about fifty years of age, went to Switzerland and to
Geneva. There, to all outward appearances as if by accident, he came into
contact with a number of students who were studying for the ministry. They were
all blind to spiritual truth, but felt much attracted to Haldane, and to what
he said. He arranged, therefore, that they should come regularly twice a week
to the rooms where he was staying, and there he took them through and expounded
to them Paul's Epistle to the Romans.
One by one they became converted, and their conversion led to a true Revival of religion, not only in Switzerland, but also in France. They included such men as Merle D'Aubigne, the writer of the classic "History of the Reformation;" Frederic Monod who became the founder of the Free Churches in France; Bonifas, who became a theologian of great ability;, Louis Gaussen the author of "Theopneustia," a book on the inspiration of the Scriptures;(Re-printed as "Divine Inspiration of the Bible") and Cesar Malan.
There were also others greatly used of God in the revival. It was at the request of such men that Robert Haldane decided to put into print what he had been telling them. Hence this volume. And one cannot read it without being conscious of the preacher as well as the expositor.
What . . . Dr. Reuben Sailens says of what has become known as "Haldane's Revival" can be applied with equal truth to this commentary: "The three main characteristics of Haldane's Revival, as it has sometimes been called, were these: (1) It gave a prominent emphasis to the necessity of a personal knowledge and experience of grace; (2) It maintained the absolute authority and Divine inspiration of the Bible; (3) It was a return to Calvinistic doctrine against Pelagianism and Arminianism.
Haldane was an orthodox of the first water, but his orthodoxy was blended with love and life.
May God grant that it may produce that same love and life in all who read it.
D. MARTYN LLOYD-JONES
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