The Hope of the Faithful
First published c. 1550, Hope of the Faithful is Myles Coverdale’s translation of a German treatise setting out the traditional doctrine of heaven and hell. Coverdale published it to, as he said, refute the scholars who deny that there is an eternal life and an eternal retribution. Our edition is a facsimile of the 1846 Parker Society reprint, which was in modern spelling.
Also included is an appendix by Ruth Magnusson Davis showing how, since the Reformation, new bible translations weaken or deny the traditional doctrine. Especially, the scholars of the 1894 Revised Version (RV) used the transliterations “Sheol” and “Hades” to change both meaning and teaching. For example, contrary to traditional doctrine, the RV notes say that Isaac, David, and the patriarchs are in Hades, and not in heaven with God. A comparison of bible translations and notes demonstrates how the Matthew Bible upheld the traditional doctrine, but later versions did not.
Coverdale would be pleased to see his work brought to light again for the very purpose he first gave it to us: to refute those who would alter doctrine, and also to clearly teach the mystery of the eternal life that Christ won for us by his death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.
Fruitful Lessons upon the Passion, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension, and of the Sending of the Holy Ghost
This is a facsimile of the small book of Myles Coverdale as reprinted in modern spelling by the Parker Society. Coverdale wrote this treatise circa 1540, soon after the Matthew Bible was published. His English is remarkably modern compared to other writers of his period, and readers will be pleased by how easy he is to understand. When I (Ruth) first discovered this book, I longed for it to be made available again to Christian readers in an attractive, easy-to-read format, and now this hope is realized.
Coverdale proceeds chronologically, expounding the sequence of events set forth in the four Gospels from the Passion of Christ through to Pentecost, in short sections that are perfect for devotional reading. They would also serve well for a series of sermons.
Coverdale’s Fruitful Lessons contain the pure preaching of Christ – “gathered,” as he wrote, “out of the four Evangelists, with a plain exposition of the same.” Poetic, profound, and anchored to the Word of God as it was most purely revealed in the early Reformation, this book reaches up to heaven itself. It lives up to its name and is worthy oft to be read.
Treatise on Death
This little book deals with a topic of daily significance and eternal importance: what death is, and how a Christian ought to prepare for death, conduct himself in the face of death, speak to the sick and dying, and relieve and comfort people whose loved ones are departed out of this world.
Coverdale translated the Treatise on Death from a German work. This facsimile edition is taken from a modern-spelling reprint by the Parker Society in 1846.
A bonus feature is a letter from Lady Jane Grey, which Coverdale appended to the end of his book. In 1553 Jane was proclaimed queen of England, but after only nine days Mary Tudor was named in her place. Mary charged Jane with high treason, and at the mere age of 17 Jane was beheaded. Before her death she wrote a letter in the back of her Greek New Testament to her sister Katherine. The letter evidenced a deep faith and noble character.