my bookshelf ~ An Orthodox Catechism

RBAP, Palmdale, CA

This hardy little book, of only 120 pages, was a gift from our Pastor, David Charles. The author, Hercules Collins, was a seventeenth-century English Particular Baptist, who adapted The Heidelberg Catechism for use by those under his care. The Heidelberg teaches Calvinistic Christian doctrine using questions and answers.

Here is the complete title and an image of the 1680 title page:

An Orthodox Catechism ~ Being the Sum of Christian Religion, Contained in the Law and the Gospel, Published For preventing the Canker and Poison of Heresy and Error

Here’s an interesting nineteenth-century summary of Collins’s life from Wikisource: Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Collins, Hercules

COLLINS, HERCULES (d. 1702), baptist minister, had not the advantage of a learned education. ‘He began to be religious at an early age, and continued faithful to the last, and was not shock’d by the fury of the persecutors.’ (Crosby, Hist, of the English Baptists, iii. 129). He appears to have officiated to a congregation at Wapping, and at one period he was imprisoned in Newgate (Wilson, Dissenting Churches, ii. 178). He died on 4 Oct. 1702, and his funeral sermon, by the Rev. John Piggott, was printed in the following year; but it contains no biographical particulars.

A hardy little book by a Christian who experienced imprisonment in Newgate Prison- one of the wonders of God’s Kingdom!

Nemesis the cat and “fish pickles!”

The historical mystery Fountains and Secrets is a well-written, entertaining, and romantic romp through the City of ancient Rome. I never worried about the characters getting into major trouble or experiencing terrible heartbreak, knowing a happy ending was in view for Avitus, the son of a Senator, and his intelligent impulsive young wife, Livia.

The author Lisa E. Betz has a background in engineering and offers an intriguing look at the City’s public water works around which the mystery revolves. She also gives us a glimpse of the hidden life of small Christian communities and how Christians communicated secretly.

Livia is a fairly new and committed Christian, while Avitus serves the gods of Imperial Rome. As a result, Livia usually doesn’t swear and the author invents some funny alternatives for her, such as, “fish pickles!” and the even more forceful “a bucketful of rancid fish pickles!”

Read the book – you’ll have some fun.

Photo ~ Katarzyna Modrzejewska,


On the day I drafted this post I’d returned to working on my novella. Because of this, I felt joy and gratitude and began to post about this. It took me years to accept that Christians can and should write creatively. I’d been taught that creative writing was worldly. Now I’ve come to know that we must love the Lord with all that we are, including our mind – including writing well for Him!

So He answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Luke 10:27

Would you celebrate with me? I’ve joined an online organization for Christian writers, so I can learn and grow. Serious Writer offers classes in the craft of writing and in how to publish and market your work. It also provides opportunities to help other writers and be helped ourselves.

Serious Writer

Because I’m writing again I began another blog to publish and promote my creative work and the work of other Christians. Please consider visiting and subscribing.

Faith and Imagination ~ Maria Ott Tatham