Monday, July 4, 2011

Life of John Newton

The book Life of John Newton is a historical book in two ways. It is a biography of John Newton, who lived in the 18th century; it is also a book which was originally published in 1831 by the American Sunday School Union. It has been reprinted today in 2011 and I am happy to report that it is a pleasurable book to read even today.

The life of John Newton seemed to be filled with one crisis after another. Without giving too much away about the book, I will mention that some of these crises included the death of his mother, excessive illnesses, shipwrecks, and slavery and slave trade (of himself and others). It is a book filled with adventure and excitement, with a true message of conversion. Newton’s life was a true illustration of the grace of God—going from one who had no (or very little) interest in or place for God in his life–to a life of full-time ministry as a pastor of first a country church and then a city church. The Lord’s guiding hand turned Newton to Himself and redeemed him from a life which we today would think horrid.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you enjoy reading the stories of people’s lives. This biography is very interesting, even exciting. It’s written in an easy-to-read way. Don’t let the fact that it was originally written more than 150 years ago stop you from reading it! It was a great mixture of the author’s telling about Newton’s life interspersed with letters/writings of Newton himself. I was surprised to see that there was not emphasis or note of what we would probably consider Newton’s most long-lasting contribution, Amazing Grace, but maybe that is because of the time in which this book was originally written. It did explain about the Olney Hymns, which contained Amazing Grace.

It is a nice book, gives a good picture of Newton’s life, and would be worth your time to read it!

I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf publishers for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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