New Book of Poetry by Michael A.G. Haykin

By Steve Weaver


Michael A.G. Haykin, director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, has released a new book. That's not news. However, this book differs from the typical historical works for which he is widely known. This new release from Borderstone Press is a collection of poetry written by Dr. Haykin over the past four decades. The collection is beautifully titled, The Sweetness of God: Poetic Reflections on the Grace and Love of the Triune God. The title reflects two specific emphases of Haykin's teaching, which I remember from my time as one of his students. First, the use of the term "sweetness" in church history is a topic that has long fascinated him. Second, the subtitle's explicit reference to "the Triune God" reflects an emphasis in Haykin's teaching on the self-disclosed nature of the God who is eternally three in one. Together, the title combines these two emphases in a way that illustrates Haykin's personal piety and affection for the Triune God revealed in Scripture.

Haykin describes the work as follows: "The poems in this collection were written over a lengthy period of more than thirty-five years, from the mid-1970s to the present day. They seek to express, in ways not accessible to an historian’s prose, my experience of the delights and paradoxes of being a believer in and follower of the Triune God."


Steve Weaver serves as a research assistant to the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and a fellow of the Center. He also serves as senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY. Steve and his wife Gretta have six children between the ages of 3 and 15. You can read more from Steve at his personal website: Thoughts of a Pastor-Historian.

Judson’s Farewell Hymn

By Evan D. Burns

Yesterday, at the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, a mini-conference was held on Adoniram Judson (1788-1850).  In honor of Judson, below is a portion of the farewell hymn written by Mrs. A. M. O. Edmond in 1846 for his final commissioning back to Burma.  Here is part of the hymn sung by the assembly in Boston:[1]

Fare ye well, O friends beloved! Speed ye on your mission high; Give to lands of gloomy error Living truths that never die. Tell, O tell them, Their redemption draweth nigh.

Bear abroad the gospel standard, Till its folds triumphant wave, And the hosts of sin and darkness Find forevermore a grave: Till, victorious, Jesus reigns, who died to save.

Fearless ride the stormy billows, Fearless every danger dare; Onward! in your steadfast purpose, We will follow you with prayer. Glorious mission! ‘Tis the Cross of Christ ye bear.

Though our parting waken sadness, ‘Tis not all the grief of woe; There are tears of Christian gladness Mingling with the drops that flow. ‘Tis for Jesus That we freely bid you go.

 Man of God! once more departing Hence, to preach a Saviour slain, With a full, warm heart we give thee To the glorious work again. Faithful servant, Thou with Christ shall rest and reign.

[1]John Dowling, The Judson Offering, 287-288;  Robert T. Middleditch, Burmah’s Great Missionary, 400-401.


Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons.  They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.

“The nights are wholesome”: Shakespeare on Christmas

By Michael A.G. Haykin

Melito of Sardis and possibly Eusebius of Caesarea in the early Church believed that when Christ was born all wars ceased during his lifetime. This small text from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a variant of that:

Some say that ever ’gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long: And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad; The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike, No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.

(Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1, lines 157–163)

Not affirming I believe this—but it does tell you something about the great Bard’s beliefs. At some point I should share the great debt I owe Shakespeare.

____________________ Michael A.G. Haykin is the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He also serves as Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Haykin and his wife Alison have two grown children, Victoria and Nigel.