Wise Counsel

Paul Levy
This book has inspired me to write letters.
Newton was the wise old sage to Ryland the young buck. There are 83 letters spanning over 30 years. It's terrific stuff. It's a joy to see that, even in the 18th century, Newton had to deal with Ryland and his heart break in relationships. Should he ask her? Shouldn't he? Is she the one? There were questions of whether Ryland should move from his congregation to another charge. Coping with the death of a loved one, dealing with difficult church members. Newton has common sense in bucket loads, humility and the ability to call a spade a spade. There's a catholicity about Newton which is inspiring. Too often reformed folk are narrow and bigoted, obsessed with minutiae. John Newton is a great corrective of this. I have no doubt if Newton was alive today he'd write for Reformation 21! He's that good!
Grant Gordon has compiled a classic. It's been 20 years in the making which makes it worth reading for that alone. It is meticulously footnoted and the background to each letter is given. I found again and again, as I read this work, that I was lifted out of discouragement. My wife and 2 year old son are delighted I've finished the book and that I've stopped reading out loud to them from it . I'll return to it often. Buy it for your minister, read it slowly. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Well done Grant Gordon and the Banner for publishing this.