Banner of Truth have republished the works of Robert Traill, which they first published in 1975, now with some additional material. Traill (1642-1715) was born in Elie. His father was one of the ministers who welcomed Charles II back from exile but made the mistake of reminding the king of his obligations under the covenant, and suffered for it at the Restoration.

Traill studied at the University of Edinburgh and was mentored by William Guthrie of Fenwick. He was closely connected to the Covenanting movement. He was present at the execution of James Guthrie, and in November 1666 was forced to join his father in exile in the Netherlands, accused of being associated with the Pentland Rising. He returned to Britain in 1669 and became a minister in Kent. In 1677 he was arrested in Scotland for preaching in private homes and at conventicles and was imprisoned for a few months on the Bass Rock. Eventually he returned south, ministering to a Scottish congregation in London until his death at the age of 74.

Readers unfamiliar with Traill will find his preaching in the same mould as Brooks and Watson—warm, instructive and aiming to promote practical godliness. JC Ryle often turned to Traill, describing one particular passage as having “done me good and I think it will do good to others.”

The two volumes include sermons on Hebrews, John and 1Peter as well as theological discussions such as “A Vindication of the Protestant Doctrine of Justification.” A flavour of Traill’s style can be discerned from this quotation from the preface to his sermons on Hebrews 4v16; 'Concerning the throne of grace': “I know no true religion but Christianity; no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ…I know no true ministers of Christ, but such as make it their business, in their calling, to commend Jesus Christ, in his saving fulness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men; no true Christian, but one united to Christ by faith, and abiding in him by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauties of gospel-holiness.”

This set is available from Banner of Truth.

Ian Watson, Hope Church Blackwood & Kirkmuirhill