Tag Archives: Crossway

“The ministry of writing books” by Scott Manetsch

“Calvin’s literary corpus is well known, with around one hundred volumes published from the time he arrived in Geneva in 1536 until his death twenty-eight years later.

During the 1550s, Calvin’s literary output ranged from 100,00 to a remarkable 250,000 published words per year.

Late nights spent writing at his desk by candlelight or long days spent dictating from bed inevitably took a toll on his health and spirits:

‘I get so tired from that endless writing that at times I have a loathing for it, and actually hate writing,’ Calvin complained to Bullinger in 1551.

But true religion needed to be defended in print as well as from the pulpit.

‘I would be a real coward if I saw God’s truth being attacked and remained quiet without a sound.’

Theodore Beza also recognized the strategic value of defending reformed Christianity through print media and he encouraged colleagues such as Chandieu, Daneau, and Goulart to join him in this important endeavor.

To a minister friend in Zurich, he wrote in 1575:

‘I rejoice that my colleagues Daneau and Goulart are friends of yours, and I beg that you also exhort them to write [books]. For you see how few men we have today who are able to write with precision and substance– which is the very thing that we need.’

From Beza’s perspective, the ministry of writing books that defended the truth and edified the people of God was of vital importance for the well-being of the church.”

–Scott M. Manetsch, Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 225-226.

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“The grace and care of our Lord Jesus” by John Newton

“I now take up the pen for the fourth time, and as I mean to send my letter tomorrow, I must make a finish tonight. What shall I say to fill up?

Let me commend you and your’s to the grace and care of our Lord Jesus. They that dwell under the shadow of His wings shall be safe.

His service is perfect freedom; in His favour is life. May His name be precious to your heart!

And may you have such increasing knowledge of His person, character, and offices, that beholding His glory in the Gospel glass, you may be changed into His image, drink into His Spirit, and be more conformable to Him.

The highest desire I can form for myself, or my friends, is, that He may live in us, we may live to Him, and for Him, and shine as lights in a dark world.

To view Him by faith, as living, dying, rising, reigning, interceding, and governing for us, will furnish us with such views, prospects, motives, and encouragements, as will enable us to endure any cross, to overcome all opposition, to with stand temptation, and to run in the way of His commandments with an enlarged heart.

And yet a little while, and He will put an end to our conflicts and fears, and take us home to be with Him for ever. Thus, by the power of His blood, and the word of his testimony, we shall be made more than conquerors, and in the end obtain the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.

The Lord bless you, dear madam, and Mr. T., and all who are dear to you, and reward you abundantly for all your kindness to me and mine.

I am sincerely,

Your very affectionate and obliged friend and servant,

JOHN NEWTON
Coleman-Street Buildings, 24th April, 1787″

–John Newton, The Aged Pilgrim’s Thoughts Over Sin and the Grave, Illustrated in a Series of Letters to Walter Taylor, Never Before Published, by the Rev. John Newton (London: Baker and Fletcher, 1825), 34-35. As quoted in Tony Reinke, Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (Wheaton: Crossway, 2015), 270.

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