One hundred years ago as found in the Christian Worker's Magazine, June, 1916:
The Precious Chain of Books
That God has greatly used Christian literature is a fact of history. There are six books known as the “Precious Chain of Books," by which thousands and tens of thousands of souls have been converted and the work of these books is going on in the world at this time.
Years ago an old Puritan, Doctor Richard Sibbes, wrote a book called the “Bruised Reed,” which fell just at the right time into the hands of Richard Baxter, and brought him under the enlightening power of the Spirit of God; Baxter's ministry became like the sun in his strength, and he wrote a book called “The Call to the Unconverted,” which continued to speak long after Baxter himself had ceased to speak with human tongue. That “Call to the Unconverted" went on preaching until it fell into the hands of Philip Doddridge, and was the means of bringing him to a deeper experience of the things of God.
Afterward, Doddridge wrote a book called “The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul” which, just at a critical period in his history, fell into the hands of William Wilberforce, who wrote a book called “Practical Christianity," which exerted a powerful influence on the higher classes of Englishmen.
Far down in the Isle of Wight, “Practical Christianity" fired the heart of a clergyman, who has attained, in connection with the tract societies, perhaps the widest reputation of all—for who has not heard of Legh Richmond? He wrote the simple annals of a Methodist girl, under the name of "The Dairyman's Daughter,” and it would‘ be interesting to know into how many languages this tract has been translated, and how it has been made of God a power for the spread of the truth.
The same book on “Practical Christianity" went down into a secluded parish in Scotland, found there a young minister who was preaching a gospel he did not understand, and instructed him in the way of God more perfectly, so that he came forth a champion valiant for the truth until all Scotland rang with the eloquence of Thomas Chalmers. Look at it! Not a flaw in the chain—Richard Sibbes, Richard Baxter, Philip Doddridge, William Wilberforce, Legh Richmond and Thomas Chalmers.
—Rev. A. W. Reinhard, in 'The American Messenger.'"
Notice in this version:
Richard Sibbes' book is identified as his famous "Bruised Reed."
- Thomas Chalmers read Wilberforce's "Practical Christianity" instead of the "Dairyman's Daughter."