Monday, October 17, 2005

William Goode

This is a plea for someone to republish William Goode's The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice.
It would be great to see it in a quality Reformation Heritage Book edition (or Baker co-pub), though this may seem inappropriate for their - manifestly - continental program; an SGCB - or any other small reprinter (maybe Wipf & Stock?) - edition would do; need I mention P & R?

Some background:
Goode, a 19th Century theologian in the Church of England who wrote against the Tractarians among other things, wrote The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice to defend the Protestant position on sola scriptura (the Bible being the only, revealed, sufficient, norm for Christian doctrine and practice), against the unwarranted and both abherent and heretical views of the papists.

Goode also wrote an extremely helpful and enlightening work which was republished in 2000: Charismatic Confusion: The Modern Claims to the Possession of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit Stated and Examined. A title I might (and hope to) review at a later date (I read it when it came out, and have covered a lot of intervening ground since then, and could not do it justice without rereading or at least skimming).

So, in the intrests of defending sola scriptura, and combating the gnostic mindset of modern evangelicalism, I join David King, co-author with William Webster of the remarkable 3 volume Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, in calling for the republication of Goode's The Divine Rule of Faith.

NB: Goode may have been an Erastian (I haven't confirmed this yet), but then we don't have any heroes do we?


Old Tory said...

Amen! I recently secured a copy of the 1st edition of the Divine Rule and am slowly reading through it (I'm already willing to spend the money to get the 2nd edition, just to see what was added after Newman's "coming-out"!). The prose is a bet dense, but the arguments are clear as a bell! It's also led me on to some other sidelights - now I'm busy buying up works by Stillingfleet, whom I'd never heard of before! Also, I previously had a certain level of respect for J. H. Newman (didn't know much about the others), having considered him someone who left the reformed faith only after much soul-searching, or historical research (he is usually touted by Papists as an expert on Patristics), or some other "valid" reason. So far, though, Goode's work has completely shattered any respect I used to have for Newman - he was a Catholic right from the get-go and the BEST that can be said is that he lived a lie for 3 decades. Now I understand Newman's willingness to abandon his previous principles and honest historical facts over the issue of Papal Infallibility (he opposed it, with sound reasons, prior to Vatican I, then accepted it without reservation after it's promulgation). As you read Goode's work, you really get an idea of just had weak and dishonest Catholic arguments can be - afterall, the Tractors represented some of the very best proponents the English RC'ers can provide! (I know, some of them did not convert, but most did.) Another reason to get this out is that I always felt a little defeated not knowing that there were very effective (devastating, really!) contemporary responses to the mid-19th century attack against the Reformation. Lots of books exist about the Oxford Movement, the Tractarians, and Newman, Pusey, etc. But when you cannot readily find ANY book that attempted a counter-attack, it understandably leaves much doubt in your mind. Finding this book, and reading it, has really helped put that whole episode into perspective and reminded me that the Reformed faith has always had ample, capable defenders. With the republishing of Whittaker's book on Scripture (directed at Bellarmine), there's really no reason not to get this one out into modern hands as well. Maybe a fund can get started?

Witsius said...

Thanks for the note!
Stephen Mourning (sp) at
may have information on this project, as I submitted Goode's book as deserving of republication sometime in March, this year.
I sent him a note to get an update, but it doesn't appear to be on the agenda, as yet.
They have to have a copy of the 2nd ed. before they can repub, so if you hear of one, please let them know.

I only have a sketchy impression of the tractarian -> Oxford Movement fiasco - hopefully will get to it sometime.

If you get Goode's tome on charismania, you will be equally impressed. I think Ref. Heritage Books sells it, or you can get it from Tentmaker Publications in the UK (Wales) for about $30 USD.

Pusey - is that he who wrote on Revelation?

Just got Whittaker's a couple of months ago, but haven't had time to read it yet - looking forward to it!

The next subject for republication: Robert Rollock's Works - or, at least, Treatise of God's Effectual Calling!

Send contact info privately, if you wish.

Old Tory said...

Hello again,

As for getting a copy, I got mine from none other than David Lachman (retired Presbyterian Church historian, author of "The Marrow Controversy"). He has apparently got several copies in the past and sold them. He has extensive contacts in Britain, where he does most of his buying, then resells in America. I had a long talk with him and he told me about his stay for graduate work in Scotland (he actually lived in the room above the Banner of Truth offices and was well aquainted with Ian Murray, etc.). Anyway, he routinely puts out feelers in Europe and travels there often to buy books. He'd be a good bet for someone who could find an appropriate copy. Also, he has extensive contacts with book binders and possibly publishers. His website is:

Nice mention of Robert Rollock - hadn't heard of him either. As for Pusey, don't know much about him either - mainly that the "theology" of the Tractators was often referred to as "Puseyism", so he was a big factor in it at least.