This Day in Presbyterian History:
Pioneer Translator Among Presbyterians
We all know and love the John Newton of “Amazing Grace” fame, but this John Newton, while named after that beloved minister, was a Presbyterian missionary who sailed to India with his wife in the middle nineteenth century. He was to have a fifty-six year ministry to the inhabitants of that country.
Leaving in 1835, he took along a printing press and countless pieces of literature. Not only did he learn the language in Panjabi, he prepared a dictionary and grammar for the people. He translated the entire New Testament and a whole series of tracts for his congregations.
He was characterized as being a powerful preacher both in English as well as in the native language. Yet it was said that he won respect and confidence from his patience and tact in dealing with the masses. There wasn’t any narrow-mindedness in him. He invited the Church of England missions into his field of labor. By that, there was a span of forty years of fraternal relationships which only doubled the spiritual workers in India.
He went to be with the Lord on July 2, 1891, reaping the fruits of his labors on those foreign shores.
Words to Live By: When both character and conduct agree as one in a Christian’s life, you can be sure that the witness for Christ will be amplified to both the glory of God as well as the everlasting good of the unsaved people around us. Work, dear reader, in both of these areas in your lives.
Through the Scriptures: Hosea 1 – 4
Through the Standards: The second commandment: Reasons annexed
WLC 110 — “What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments; are, besides God’s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us, his fervent zeal for his own worship, and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom; accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations; and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.”
WSC 52 — “What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he has to his own worship.”