I’ve just finished a terrific book on John Newton by Tony Reinke. Several years back, I read Jonathan Aitken’s wonderful biography of Newton. Tony’s book (interview with the author this fall) focuses more on themes that emerge from the letters of Newton.
The section on politics has much food for thought. If you know about Newton’s life, you know he was not anti-political. His encouragement for his friend, William Wilberforce, to go into the political sphere, is one example. However, Newton did understand better than most that getting consumed with politics has many traps. Here are a few quotes from Newton:
“There is a peace passing understanding, of which the politicians cannot deprive us.”
At the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793 Newton wrote, “The whole compass of my politics lies in Psalm 76:10”:
Surely the wrath of God shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.
“A nation’s safety lies more in the prayers of its people than in the fleets of its navy.”