Yorkshire is known for its food, athletes and cricketers. It should also be known for the number of notable Christians who have hailed from this county over the centuries. In Fine gold from Yorkshire, Faith Cook brings readers 21 biographies, plus eight brief summaries of men and women who gave their lives to Christ.
This book, like others by Faith Cook, is well written. The first paragraph of each biography is a good starting block for reading the whole chapter. Some are well known names, such as Hudson Taylor or William Wilberforce. Others are more obscure, like Ruth Clarke and Ezekiel Rogers.
The earliest biography is on John Wycliffe in the fourteenth century. The latest is Kit Calvert, who lived in the twentieth. Most are from the eighteenth or nineteenth century. Some chapters share links — for example, Hudson Taylor and Fred Mitchell, who both had associations with China. The inclusion of men like John Nelson, Benjamin Ingham, William Grimshaw and others shows how God was at work in Yorkshire in the eighteenth century. The majority of men became pastors, mainly in churches around the county.
There are chapters on Anne Brontë (one of the Brontë sisters of Haworth), Ruth Calvert, a servant girl to Henry Venn, and Kit Calvert, associated with making Wensleydale Cheese. It is interesting and encouraging to read how each one became a Christian, often through many struggles.
This book is readable and suitable for non-Christians. As Faith Cook writes in the last paragraph: ‘The purpose of this slim book is to demonstrate what God may do through any man or woman who casts himself on the Lord Jesus Christ in faith and forgiveness of sin and mercy through the sacrifice of the cross’ (p.150).
These short biographies, averaging six pages each, will whet the appetite of those wanting to know more, and it is a pity there is no index of other books for reference on these men and women. This book is worth every penny. Readers will benefit from reading the lives of those who lived for Christ many years ago.