It is with particular pleasure that I recommend this commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.
I do so for many reasons.
First and foremost is the fact that I have derived such profit and pleasure from it myself. I always find it very difficult to decide as to which is the better commentary on this Epistle, whether that of Charles Hogde or this by Haldane. While Hodge excels in accurate scholarship, there is greater warmth of spirit and more practical application in Haldane. In any case, both stand supreme as commentaries on this mighty Epistle.
However, that which gives an unusual and particularly endearing value to this commentary is the history that lies behind it. In 1816 Robert Haldane, being about fifty years of age, went to Switzerland and to Geneva. There, to all outward appearances as if by accident, he came into contact with a number of students who were studying for the ministry. They were all blind to spiritual truth but felt much attracted to Haldane and to what he said. He arranged, therefore, that they should come regularly twice a week to the rooms where he was staying and there he took them through and expounded to them Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. One by one they were converted, and their conversion led to a true Revival of religion, not only in Switzerland, but also in France. They included such men as Merle D’Aubigne the writer of the classic “History of the Reformation,” Frederic Monod who became the chief founder of the Free Churches in France, Bonifas who became a theologian of great ability, Louis Gaussen the author of “Theopneustia,” a book on the inspiration of the Scriptures and Cesar Malan. There were also others who were greatly used of God in the revival. It was at the request of such men that Robert Haldane decided to put into print what he had been telling them. Hence this volume. And one cannot read it without being conscious of the preacher as well as the expositor.
What a distinguished French minister Dr. Reuben Saillens says of what became known as “Haldane’s Revival” can be applied with equal truth to this commentary: “The three main characteristics of Haldane’s Revival, as it has sometimes been called, were these: (1) it gave a prominent emphasis to the necessity of a personal knowledge and experience of grace; (2) it maintained the absolute authority and Divine inspiration of the Bible; (3) was a return to Calvinistic doctrine against Pelagianism and Arminianism. Haldane was an orthodox of the first water, but his orthodoxy was blended with love and life.”
God grant that it may produce that same “love and life” in all who read it.
D. M.LLOYD-JONES March 1958