The Voice of the Heart, John Newton, hard cover

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The private letters of noted men are often apt to be of little use to the saints of God. A notable exceptions would be The Letters of Samuel Rutherford. These became famous because they were so useful in comforting the recipients by wise selections from the Scriptures.

The letters in this book by John Newton were issued due to a general plea for them to be shared with Christians who would profit from them. He personally selected them, saying that he was in a position to do so, rather than an editor after he would be gone to his reward.

The reader will soon discover that all these letters, diverse as they may be, are edifying. They are serious letters from a gentle minister who is willing to share his time from a busy schedule to instruct, comfort, or advise those who call upon him for help.

Newton’s theology is sound, particularly displaying a wide knowledge of the Scriptures. He deals faithfully with the inquirers, not hesitating to teach the whole counsel of God. Though in some cases he thought his plainness of speech may not have been received with pleasure, it was not unusual for the inquirer to thank him profusely for his care.

There is no sign of distinction between rich and poor, nobles (though several are to a nobleman), students, housewives, ministers, etc. The reason for each letter is to fulfill a need of the one seeking answers. Through all the letters, there is a genuine care for the soul of the person to whom it is written.

There is no question of the sincerity of either party. Newton’s humble nature is evident throughout. It is evident that he is not willing to lord it over his hearer, but eager to join in common cause with his correspondent in whatever state he or she is in. But in a letter to a Deist just recovered from serious illness, Newton expresses surprise that no change had occurred in his view of eternity. He gives a glimpse of his own salvation experience, saying that in his extremity ''a powerful conviction'' of his lost state changed him forever. He was a ship’s captain, his ship in a terrible storm, and being certain that they were to die, their eternal destiny was in sight.

So many fruitful themes are in these instructive letters, all will profit.

John Newton (1725-1807) early on was a ship’s captain, later he was surveyor of the tides. About 1760 he came under the influence of George Whitefield, fell to studying hard. Later he was ordained, and the last 27 years was an Anglican minister. He wrote many hymns, often collaborating with William Cowper. 224 pages, blue linen hard cover

Product Code: 1589600657

 

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