Life of John Newton
Since this book was originally published in 1831, the style of writing took a little getting used to. It was helpful to me, that I had already read a different book in this series previously. It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt so much that the vocabulary was large or even antiquated (although some people might think that was true), it was more that the authors very frequently wrote extremely long sentences using only a semicolon to break it up. That was the hardest thing about the style of writing that I had to get used to.
The best thing that I liked about this book was its liberal use of long quotes from NewtonÃ¢ÂÂs own journalsÃ¢ÂÂlengthy quotes, some of them even pages long. This is what broke up the writing and assured me that it was factual. (What could be more factual than a personÃ¢ÂÂs own journal entries as a first-hand account?)
There were some interesting facts about John Newton himself included. He got saved by reading the Bible itself. (His own account of it is included on pages 57-58.) He was saved from death several different times which he attributed mostly to Ã¢ÂÂDivine ProvidenceÃ¢ÂÂ.
Another interesting fact was that he was a slave trader after his profession of faith. It is an unfortunate but common truth (illustrated here) that Christians can be blinded to their own sins, however small or however horrible they may be.
I was pleased to see that the authors included a dream (night time dream) by Newton that seemed (by his own words) to impact him greatly. Most Christians tend to ignore or downplay dreams, which is another unfortunate thing, as the Bible does not.
This book is best suited to those who like to study Christian biographies, like to study original documents (enough was included), like to study Christian history and those who teach others on those topics, especially home school parents. I think most home school parents would love this book.
One tip for home school parents: DonÃ¢ÂÂt let your child read the Ã¢ÂÂReview of Mr. NewtonÃ¢ÂÂs CharacterÃ¢ÂÂ at the end of the book, until after youÃ¢ÂÂve first discussed this topic with your child (see what they were able to pick out from the reading first).
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Leaf Publishing GroupÃ¢ÂÂs blogging for books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 225: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
December 30, 2011
I have had this book, Life of John Newton, forever, and just haven't gotten around to getting it read and reviewed. Last week I decided it simply had to get done.
This is the fourth book in this series that I own, and the third one I've reviewed.
Like other books in this series, I love the "old" feel of the book. These books are reprints of works published long ago, so the language is sometimes a bit cumbersome for modern ears. However, I found Life of John Newton to be fairly straightforward to read. The sentences are, however, fairly long. Take this one, from page 95, which is where I just randomly opened the book:
"When Mr. Newton returned to England, this time, he was of the opinion that the African business was too much overdone, to be profitable, and so advised his employer; but Mr. Manesty thought otherwise, and determined to send out another vessel very soon."
I've long been fascinated by John Newton, so the 'wordiness' didn't bother me. Like the Andrew Jackson title, this is one I will either have my kids read -- or I will read aloud -- as we study the 18th century again.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.
October 7, 2011
Insprining story of the man behind Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace is one my favorite hymns of all time so I was thrilled when I was given the chance to read the book on his life complete with some of his own words in describing in his life and letters to his dear wife. Between the worn-look covers of this book youÃ¢ÂÂll step into John NewtonÃ¢ÂÂs life and meet the man behind one of the best loved hymns. You may start out disliking him as a person, because he wasnÃ¢ÂÂt very nice or admirable but as you read the obstacles her overcame to a true Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ one canÃ¢ÂÂt help but admire the man he became.
He preached almost all the way up until his death even when someone else had to support him in the pulpit and someone else had to be his eyes as he went blind. Losing his devout mother at a young age, a dad who was absent for long periods and no guidance set John off on a course he didnÃ¢ÂÂt think he could change until the Lord finally grabbed him and got his attention.
Reproduced from the original 1831 by the ASSU (American Sunday School Union) this one comes complete with tattered pages and a well loved look and there are a few pictures that appear as wood carvings. While I read this book it would also be good for an older child, I would have no problem with my 9 1/2 year old reading this, or teenager. A story of redemption from a godly man of the 18th century that everyone, man,woman, and child can glean from and learn the truth behind John NewtonÃ¢ÂÂs amazing Grace.
**I was given a copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing Group in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.
September 13, 2011
Amazing Grace...How Sweet the Sound!
Amazing Grace, the most popular hymn of all times...who hasn't heard it? Some also know who wrote it. I wonder how many really know the dramatic life of John Newton, its author. I myself had heard his story before. But what a treat it was for me to read this book/his biography and learn more about him! I was stunned to find out how many times he had near-death experiences (at least 7 times!...I counted them). Talk about God's providence...John Newton saw it over and over again. John Newton was born in London on July 24, 1725. His life had gone through lots of challenges and difficulties starting as early as when he was a preteen (a rough, corrupted seaman). From being a troubled teen at its worst to working like a slave under a mean mistress to becoming a slave trader himself! But no one including John Newton is beyond God's grace, mercy, and redemption! His life was such a powerful testimony. I really enjoyed reading this inspiring book. Did you know that he couldn't swim (which contributed to the fact that he was on the brink of death many times considering his line of work :))? Did you know that he was a romantic guy :)? He wrote beautiful love letters to his wife; they were also filled with Biblical insights and eternal perspectives. Here is an example (he wrote to his wife when he was ill and didn't know if he would live or die): "Should it therefore please God, to make my death the happy occasion of fixing your dependence, hope, and desire, upon him alone; surely I can say, Thy will be done. My heart bleeds when I represent to myself, the grief with which such an event would overwhelm you. But I know that he can moderate and sanctify it, and give you cause hereafter to say, it was good for you to have been so afflicted; and ere long, the time will come, when all tears shall be wiped, both from your eyes and mine." (p. 92) Did you know that he knew 5 languages: Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, and English? John Newton was humble, encouraging, and loving. He was a major influence on William Cowper (who struggled with depression most of his life), a fellow hymn writer. They worked together and produced the famous Olney Hymns hymnal in 1779. John Newton died at the age of 82. He never ceased to be in awe at God's grace and if you read this book, you'll totally understand why. Shortly before his death, John Newton said, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior!"
~ I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.
August 22, 2011