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Saints Gone Before

An audio-book podcast in 10-20 minute episodes. Readings will come from Christian texts across the history of the church, from sermons to treatises to hymns to letters and more. Unless otherwise noted, readings are performed by Adam Christman and Jonathan McCormick. All readings are public domain documents. The theme song is "37 Echoes" by Dan-o of Danosongs.com. This is a companion podcast to our show on church history called "An Oral History of the Church"!
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Saints Gone Before
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Oct 29, 2018

With a submission for the approval of the Midnight Society, we call this story “Holy Fortitude, or Remedies Against Fear,” a sermon by Isaac Watts. This sermon is number 31 in The Works of Isaac Watts D.D. in Nine Volumes, volume 1, published by Edward Baines in Leeds, England in 1812. You can search that PDF on archive.org if you’d like to read along. Watts lived in the late 17th through mid 18th centuries in Britain. You may already know him as a hymn writer who penned classics like “Joy to the World,” “O God Our Help in Ages Past,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” as well as about 750 other hymns! Though he was also a theologian and the kind of philosopher who focused on the study of logic (even writing multiple books on the subject), this “Godfather of English Hymnody” preached as pastor of Mark Lane Congregational Chapel. Today’s reading is one of his sermons, based primarily on 1 Corinthians 16:13.

Come back next time for a sermon by Lemuel Haynes.

Suggestions for our next reading? churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Oct 15, 2018

With an appreciated breeze, Saints Gone Before is proud to present part 9 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects. Today’s reading is the final entry in this series. Hannah More lived in the 18th and 19th centuries, living life as a writer, abolitionist, and so much more. We gave a brief biography of Ms. More and this text back in episode 60, but I also recommend Karen Swallow Prior’s biography Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More, published in 2014.

Come back next time for Isaac Watts' sermon, "Holy Fortitude, or Remedies Against Fear"!

Suggestions for our next reading? churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Sep 24, 2018

With a minty freshness, we are proud to present part 8 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects, one I’ve been looking forward to reading with you. It’s the essay On the Importance of Religion to the Female Character. Ms. More lived in the 18th and 19th centuries, living life as a writer, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and evangelical moralist. For more information about Ms. More and this text, you can listen to episode 60 for a very brief overview, or you can read Karen Swallow Prior’s biography Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More from 2014.

Come back next time for our final reading from Hannah More's essay collection!

Suggestions for our next reading? churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Aug 27, 2018

With a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine, I got a love, and I know it’s all mine, oh, oh whoa, we are proud to present part 7 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects, and this one has a long title. It’s the essay Thoughts on the Cultivation of the Heart and Temper in the Education of Daughters. 

Ms. More was a writer, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and evangelical moralist. For more information about Ms. More and this text, you can listen to episode 60.

Come back next time to hear her essay On the Importance of Religion to the Female Character!

Suggestions for our next reading? churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Aug 6, 2018

With a little summer rest behind us, Saints Gone Before are proud to present part 6 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects, the essay On True and False Meekness. Ms. More was a writer, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and evangelical moralist. For more information about Ms. More and this text, you can listen to episode 60.

Come back next time to hear her essay Thoughts on the Cultivation of the Heart and Temper in the Education of Daughters!

Suggestions for our next reading? churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Jun 25, 2018

With the summer wind, come blowin’ in from across the sea, Saints Gone Before is proud to present part 5 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects, the essay on the danger of sentimental or romantic "connexions." Ms. More was a writer, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and evangelical moralist. For more information about Ms. More and this text, you can listen to episode 60.

Come back next time to hear Hannah More's essay On True and False Meekness.

Suggestions for our next reading? churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

May 28, 2018

With the entreaty to never tell us the odds, Saints Gone Before get to present part 4 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects, the essay "On Envy." Ms. More was a writer, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and evangelical moralist. For more information about Ms. More and this text, you can check out episode 60. Get comfy, and try to stay content in your seat, as we read Hannah More’s essay, "On Envy."

Suggestions for our next reading? churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

May 14, 2018

With questions about May showers vis a vis June flowers, Saints Gone Before is proud to present part 3 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects. Ms. More was a writer, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and evangelical moralist. For more information about Ms. More and this text, you can check out episode 60. If you’re listening to this in the car, stay alert to the road for crying out loud! But I hope you’re ready to listen to Hannah More’s essay, “Thoughts on Conversation.”

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Apr 9, 2018

With the good sense to know that cinnamon doesn’t belong in enchiladas, we’re proud to present part 2 of Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects. Ms. More was a writer, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and evangelical moralist. For more information about Ms. More and this text, you can check out our previous episode (no. 60).

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Mar 26, 2018

With a hope that carries us through the dark night of Good Friday, Saints Gone Before starts a new reading today. From our first female author for the show, the text is a compilation known as Essays on Various Subjects, all written by 18th century English writer and philanthropist Hannah More. Ms. More is known not only for her writing in general, but her influence on the influential of English culture in the late 18th and early 19th century. A good friend of William Wilberforce, she worked to end slavery in the United Kingdom. But the reading we’re about to begin deals with a variety of subjects. This collection of essays was designed for young ladies, according to More’s own subtitle on the text; and it gives this individual an added texture of evangelical moralist. We hope you enjoy today’s first episode, the introduction to Hannah More’s Essays on Various Subjects.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Mar 12, 2018

With a severe shortage of chocolate, Saints Gone Before is proud to present part 5 of The First Epistle of Clement, starting with ch. 53 v. 1. Today’s reading completes the text. Joseph B. Lightfoot finished this translation in 1890. For more context on the letter, please listen to the opening for episode 55 of Saints Gone Before.

Check us out in 2 weeks to see what we're reading next!

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Feb 26, 2018

With the knowledge that I don’t have to carry the weight of who I’ve been, Saints Gone Before is reading part 4 of The First Epistle of Clement, starting with ch. 39 v. 1. Joseph B. Lightfoot finished this translation in 1890. For more context on the letter, please listen to the opening for episode 55 of Saints Gone Before.

Our next episode will finish First Clement.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Feb 12, 2018

With a warm winter smile, Saints Gone Before is reading part 3 of The First Epistle of Clement, starting with ch. 24 v. 1 and ending with ch. 38. Joseph B. Lightfoot finished this translation in 1890. For more context on the letter, please listen to the opening for episode 55 of Saints Gone Before.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Jan 15, 2018

With a welcome respite, Saints Gone Before presents part 2 of The First Epistle of Clement, starting with 14:1 and ending at 23:5. Joseph B. Lightfoot finished this translation in 1890. For more context on the letter, please listen to episode 55 of Saints Gone Before, the episode right before this one.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Jan 1, 2018

With a cup of kindness yet, Saints Gone Before is kicking off 2018 with a reading of The First Epistle of Clement, or The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, translated by Joseph B. Lightfoot in 1890. The purpose of the letter was to address the Corinthian church after several elders were charged and removed for what the Corinthians thought was especially grievous sin. Clement thought the disciplinary action they used was not exactly appropriate. This letter was written in the first or second century AD, probably somewhere between the years 80 and 140. Some even date it to the same period in which John wrote The Book of Revelation. This letter is unsigned and, therefore, anonymous, but scholarship is largely agreed that it is likely it was written by Clement of Rome, the bishop of Rome in that period in history. It is one of the earliest Christian documents written outside of the New Testament. Because of what is found within, not only was it well-received in many congregations across the ancient church, it was even considered part of the NT canon in Egypt and Syria, for a time. Stay tuned to the end for two special announcements at the end of the episode.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Dec 25, 2017

With no gift to bring that’s fit to give the King, pa rum pa pum pum, Saints Gone Before offers a special “Saints at Christmas” episode. The titles and authors for each short text is located in the show notes.

“A Creed for Christmas Worship.” It is adapted from Philippians 2:5-11 by Randolph W. Sly in vol. 5 of “The Complete Library of Christian Worship,” ed. Robert E. Webber.

“Ah, Dearest Jesus, Holy Child”, written by Martin Luther in 1535, translated into English by Catherine Winkworth.

“All Praise to Thee, Eternal Lord,” also by Luther (1524), translated anonymously in 1858.

A reading of Luke 2:1-40 from the King James Version (1611).

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Dec 18, 2017

With a rudimentary lathe, Saints Gone Before is proud to present a reading of John Calvin’s “The Institutes of the Christian Religion.” This is the second reading of a short, two-part series consisting of Book Three, Chapter 7, “A Summary of the Christian Life. Of Self Denial.” The translation is by Henry Beveridge in 1845. Calvin’s Institutes have a significant impact on Protestant theology starting with its Latin first edition in 1536. Stay with us until the end of the episode to hear what we’re offering next Monday on Christmas Day, 2017.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Dec 11, 2017

With a conspicuous flange, Saints Gone Before is proud to present a reading of John Calvin’s “The Institutes of the Christian Religion.” This is Book Three, Chapter 7, “A Summary of the Christian Life. Of Self Denial.” The translation is by Henry Beveridge in 1845. Calvin’s Institutes have a significant impact on Protestant theology starting with its Latin first edition in 1536.

This new series is part 1 of 2 for a very short series. Come back next week for the final reading of Calvin on Self-Denial in the Christian life.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Dec 4, 2017

With an inaugural year, Saints Gone Before is proud to present Martin Luther’s “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” part 18. The translation comes by Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheim, First Principles of the Reformation, London: John Murray, 1883. “Babylonian Captivity” is a text in which Luther re-examines the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church in light of his readings of Scripture. Today’s reading features Luther’s thoughts on “Extreme Unction,” and is the final reading in this text, which happens to coincide with the one year anniversary of our launching this podcast. For the name of next week’s reading, please stay tuned through the end of the episode.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Nov 20, 2017

With an iridescent persimmon, Saints Gone Before is proud to present Martin Luther’s “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” part 17. The translation comes by Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheim, First Principles of the Reformation, London: John Murray, 1883. “Babylonian Captivity” is a text in which Luther re-examines the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church in light of his readings of Scripture. Today we're finishing his section on sacraments. Next Monday will be the final reading in this series! That means a different text is only 2 weeks away.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Nov 6, 2017

With a carbonated cliche, Saints Gone Before is proud to present Martin Luther’s “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” part 16. The translation comes by Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheim, First Principles of the Reformation, London: John Murray, 1883. “Babylonian Captivity” is a text in which Luther re-examines the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church in light of his readings of Scripture. Today’s reading begins his discussion of orders. Our episodes featuring “Babylonian Captivity” coincide with the current volume (season) of our other podcast An Oral History of the Church. On “An Oral History of the Church,” we’re wrapping up our discussion on the Lutheran wing of the Reformation in honor of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses. Episodes 1 through 9 are available now. Episode 10 is the final installment, releasing this Friday, Nov. 10th, when we look at the legacy of Martin Luther.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Oct 30, 2017

With a clanging hammer, Saints Gone Before is pleased to present The Ninety-Five Theses of Martin Luther. We’re reading the full text today, including the introductory letter, the theses themselves, and a closing protestation by Luther. The text comes from Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheim, First Principles of the Reformation, London: John Murray, 1883. Historians largely believe he nailed the theses to the door of the church in Wittenburg on October 31st, 1517, unknowingly initiating Reformation Day 500 years ago this month. Others argue it happened in the first two weeks of November. Whenever that event happened, the world is better for this document.

Come back next week when we continue our reading of Martin Luther's "On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church" with part 16, where we pick up Luther's thoughts on the sacrament of Orders.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast@gmail.com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Oct 23, 2017

With an increasingly-loud tummy rumble, Saints Gone Before presents Martin Luther’s “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” part 15. The text comes from Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheim, First Principles of the Reformation, London: John Murray, 1883. “Babylonian Captivity” is a text in which Luther re-examines the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church in light of his readings of Scripture. Today’s reading concludes his look at the sacrament of matrimony.

Next week, on Monday, October 30th, we’ll pause our series of readings from Luther’s Babylonian Captivity in order to present a reading of the full text of Luther’s 95 Theses in honor of the 500th anniversary of their nailing to the door of the church in Wittenburg.

Requests for readings: churchhistorypodcast@gmail.com, or @OralHistoryPod on Twitter, or "An Oral History of the Church" on Facebook.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Oct 16, 2017

With an unflappable owlet-nightjar, Saints Gone Before presents Martin Luther’s “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” part 14. The text comes from Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheim, First Principles of the Reformation, London: John Murray, 1883. “Babylonian Captivity” is a text in which Luther re-examines the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church in light of his readings of Scripture. We continue our readings in his section on matrimony.

On Monday, October 30th, we’ll pause our series of readings from Luther’s Babylonian Captivity in order to present a reading of the full text of Luther’s 95 Theses in honor of the 500th anniversary of their nailing to the door of the church in Wittenburg.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

Oct 9, 2017

With an inimitable flugelhorn, we present to you Martin Luther’s “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church,” part 13. The text comes from Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheim, First Principles of the Reformation, London: John Murray, 1883. “Babylonian Captivity” is a text in which Luther re-examines the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church in light of his readings of Scripture. Today we read his section on the sacrament of confirmation and begin his section on the sacrament of matrimony.

Reader: Adam Christman

Saints Gone Before created by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman

Produced and edited by Adam Christman

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