Reading 18th century John Newton's letters is like cozying up to a warm fire for an intimate one-on-one with a Christian grandfather passing on his life-lessons. It's like listening to John Bunyon's Pilgrim, but instead of allegory, these are the words of a real person who knew well of the sufferings and "amazing grace" of Christ, who having been comforted of God is able to comfort others. It's like having a personal mentor discipling the reader on the struggles and joys of the Christian life. It's a taste of heaven, a hint of that fellowship in the Spirit that connects all believers in the Body of Christ, transcending place and time. These letters are responsive, by which Newton as a Christian 'Dear Abby' warns, instructs, encourages, energizes, and, in tenderness, corrects. Today's reader can not only benefit by personal application, but also by noting Newton's words and tone as an example of how to relate to others, an example of interpersonal relations and brotherly, edifying counsel. This book enlarges the heart and magnifies the Lord who saves to the uttermost "wretches" like us. (For the new Christian who hasn't walked very far yet in the Christian journey, there may be a disconnect with this book, but it will make sense shortly, for despite difference in details, there is a commonality in the way God trains us up.)
What a wonderful collection of letters by this immortal saint who did so much wrong and cruelty and yet was saved and delivered by faith in Jesus. His letters are simple but extremely honest and endearing, touching the soul deeply with every word. I read and re-read them many times. Very, very beautiful and precious volume!
This book is written in old-fashioned language and may be hard for some to follow. But if you can press in for the timeless nuggets of advice it is well worth it. I have purchased this book for many of my friends who are in ministry of some kind or another. Some have returned it to me unread. But many others have asked where they can order their own copy. My own book is well-marked and I re-read it about every other year. I highly recommend this book!