John Newton

Recommendation:  5/5

Description of author:  John Newton (1725-1807) was an Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter.  He is perhaps most well known for his hymns (Amazing Grace and Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken).

Comments: The letters of a great man give us insight into his life in a way not afforded by books written by him or biographies written about him.  In the case of the letters of John Newton, we find exhibited a warmth of heart, depth of understanding, and humility of spirit that could probably be surpassed only by a personal knowledge of him.  He demonstrates through these letters a profound understanding of spiritual things, understanding that was gained through meditation on the Scriptures as well as the experiences of life.  He covers many facets of Christian living.  There are 39 letters, each with a heading, that, I assume, was supplied by the editor.  A sampling of these headings gives a good sense of the ground covered:  Communion with God; Spiritual Blindness; Marks of a Call to the Ministry; Family Worship; Temptation; The Greatness of God; Christ All-Sufficient.  His letters regarding Divine Guidance; Controversy; and Submission to the Will of the Lord, were perhaps my personal favorites.