Please enable javascript in your browser to view this site!

Subscribe now


By Iain H. Murray
June 2010 | Review by Graham Hilton


"Next to the Holy Scriptures, the greatest aid to the life of faith may be Christian biographies" -A.W. Tozer. Herein Iain Murray provides keen insight into several dear saints whom he has come to especially admire.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • ISBN: 978-1848710245
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: £15.00
Buy this book »

Book Review

At first sight Heroes may appear to be only a collection of mini-biographies of well-known and not-so-well-known Christians. However, in his foreword, Iain Murray tells us that his aim is deeper, to highlight certain aspects of these Christians’ thought.

The chapters on Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Newton and C. H. Spurgeon become a ‘window into their souls’ as the author deals with misunderstood aspects of their lives bringing conflict and difficulty.

From the not-so-well known we have fascinating insights into pioneering missionary work, in how the ‘wolf from Scotland’ Robert Reid Kalley and gospel partner William Hewitson established much blessed medical, schooling and preaching ministries in Madeira. Another dealt with is Thomas Charles and the 1790s revival in Bala.

The greatest delight, however, and taking up a third of this book, is found in the account of Charles and Mary Colcock Jones. This traces the life of a plantation and slave owner in Liberty County, Georgia, USA, during the decades around 1850.

It is about a man with a burning desire to bring the gospel message to the people in his care. He seeks to persuade other plantation owners to treat their servants well, provide them with education and draw them away from immorality.

Colcock Jones’ work was based on biblical teaching and supported with the catechisms and tracts he wrote. His relationship with his wife was a fine outworking of Christianity, truly elevating womanhood and displaying the proper relationships between sexes — a revelation then and now!

Charles Colcock Jones’ death came before the ravages of the American civil war and it was Mary who experienced the break-up of all that they had worked for. It was not the loss of prosperity that was most painful, though they were prosperous, but the break-up of their spiritual ‘family’ – black servants who were true brothers and sisters in Christ.

It was written of Colcock Jones that ‘no man has ever done more for the coloured race of this country than he. No man was ever more beloved and appreciated by that people, his name being mentioned with reverence to this day (1899)’.

This book is well worth reading, which brings me to Iain Murray’s second aim — ‘to give young Christians a relish for old authors, and encourage younger ministers of the gospel that the Saviour of yesterday is the same today and tomorrow’. I encourage you to buy it, read it and pass it on to others, to accomplish this aim.


Leave a Reply

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Above and Beyond: The illustrated story of Mission Aviation Fellowship
Mission Aviation Fellowship

As someone with a long-standing interest in both aircraft and world mission, this book had immediate appeal to me! But you don’t have to be an aviation nerd to enjoy it. Above and Beyond is a very well-produced coffee table…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

This unusual yet valuable book is not a biography of the influential Puritan. Rather its purpose – which it achieves capably – is ‘to discover the kind of life he hoped his readers would experience’ (p.13). Drawing on Owen’s extensive…