March 6, 2007

Coming This April - #5 of 8

How fitting, on the 200th anniversary of his Death, to release this compilation of correspondences from the pen of John Newton. Many of us have discovered the value to be gleaned from another's letters through the devotional "Letters of Samuel Rutherford." Now, add this to your collection and get to know this man who was so moved and changed by the hand of our God! Here's our "publishers' description" to wet your appetite. It should arrive in our warehouse this April!

Letters of John Newton
John Newton (1725-1807), converted slave-trader, preacher, and hymn-writer, was one of the most colourful figures in the Evangelical Awakening of the eighteenth century. ‘Once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa’, he once wrote for his epitaph, ‘by the rich mercy of Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy.’

It was through his prolific correspondence that Newton fulfilled his distinctive work as ‘the letter-writer par excellence of the Evangelical Revival’. His grasp of Scripture and deep personal experience of the ‘amazing grace’ of God, his many friends (among them, Whitefield, Cowper and Wilberforce), his many and varied trials, his country pastorate, his strong, clear, idiomatic style – all these factors combined to prepare the author of ‘How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds’, for the exercise of his special gift.

These letters, selected by his biographer, Josiah Bull, bear the practical imprint of all of Newton’s writings; they cover a wide variety of subjects and aim ‘to conform the believer to Christ’. Among them are several that were not previously published in earlier collections of his correspondence. Of particular value and interest are the biographical sketches and historical notes supplied by the editor.


C.H. Spurgeon: "In few writers are Christian doctrine, experience and practice more happily balanced than in the author of these Letters, and few write with more simplicity, piety and force."
William Jay: "‘What thousands have derived repeated profit and pleasure from the perusal of these utterances of the heart! Nor ever will they cease to be found means of grace whilst God has a church on earth."
Josiah Bull: "It was Newton’s goodness rather than his greatness that rendered him so especially attractive – the abundance of the grace of God that was in him. In this respect he was pre-eminent, justifying the eulogy of William Jay who speaks of him as one of the most perfect instances of the spirit and temper of Christianity he ever knew. Some men excel in one virtue more than another. But Newton’s character was beautiful in its entireness. It rested on a solid foundation – the initial Christian grace of humility, and of this grace he was a most striking example. He never for a moment forgot that by the grace of God he was what he was."


Noah Braymen said...

Impressive list so far! Wow!

Steve Burlew said...

Noah - Your enthusiasm is refreshing and ministers to us here at Banner in Carlisle, PA in ways you don't even know. Many thanks, sir.

Russ said...

After listening to John Piper's talk on John Newton I found some of Newton's letters in the public domain on the web. I would love to read more but reading on the computer is not that enjoyable, so I sure hope to pick this up when it's available.


Steve Burlew said...

Excellent. That's good to know, Russ. Many thanks, sir.