Commentaries are rarely written with the purpose of bringing conviction of sin or of exhorting the believer to greater godliness. They are normally intended simply to be thorough discussions of the text in question. Sermons, on the other hand, have by their very nature a confrontational or applicational purpose. Yet most pastors, in the preparation of their own sermons, tend to consult only commentaries and related tools and so the rich sermonic work of our fathers in the faith is frequently neglected. Even when we do have their works on our shelves, their labors hide behind broad titles and it is unwieldy trying to locate a sermon on a particular text.
That is what this work is intended to do for you: to spare you some of the time of searching through volume after volume, wondering if any of our great forefathers have previously preached on your intended text. Of course it still remains for you to have access to these volumes, but at least with this assistance, perhaps it will be easier in knowing where to turn in searching out the given matter.
This was the first resource added to the PCA Historical Center’s web site. It’s purpose is to provide a guide to the published sermons of Puritan and Reformed pastors. For instance, to know what sermons have been published on Galatians 2:20, go to the main index page and click the link to the book of Galatians. There you will find a list of published sermons organized according to the sermon text for each sermon. Direct links to the sermons themselves, if available elsewhere on the Internet, are not provided. This would involve too much time policing and fixing broken links for inactive sites.
But thanks to the labors of many faithful Christians, frequently you can find these sermons on the Internet, if you don’t have the necessary volumes in your own library. Here’s an easy way to search for those sermons:
1. Use your mouse to highlight the author’s name and the title of the sermon.
2. Simultaneously depress the “Ctrl” and “C” keys on your keyboard. This will copy the highlighted text.
3. Then go to an Internet search engine like Google and paste the copied text into the search box [“Ctrl” + “V”]
4. Click the Search button to search for the author and title.
5. Carefully examine the search returns and select the appropriate link, assuming the sermon can be found on the Internet.
If you are unable to locate the sermon on the Internet using a search engine, be sure to check the resources at http://www.archive.org or http://www.books.google.com. Finally, when all else fails, check with your library in order to request books by interlibrary loan. You can also use the search engine at http://www.worldcat.org to find libraries that have the books you are looking for.
For an excellent and similar guide to Puritan and Reformed sermons in book form, please consider purchasing Robert Martin’s book, A Guide to the Puritans: A Topical and Textual Index to Writings of the Puritans and Some of Their Successors Recently in Print. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1997. ISBN 0-85151-713-7.
[Note: Our web-based guide was compiled entirely independently of Mr. Martin’s work. He was simply blessed to publish before we could! Soli Deo Gloria!]