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Review: The Life of John Milne of Perth

Category Book Reviews
Date September 22, 2010

John Milne (1807-68) was a pastor and evangelist who served the Lord in Scotland and India. He was also one of an outstanding group of ministers who God used to bring about a great awakening in Scotland in the early 1840’s. This account was written just after his death by his friend Horatius Bonar.

Horatius Bonar’s aim was not to write a full biography, but rather a record of spiritual events. For instance, the author spends no time speaking about the courtship of the women that he married. Over half of the book is taken up with quotes from John Milne’s letters and fragments of his writings. These documents reveal the depth of spirituality and godliness of John Milne and give us a fascinating insight into life in a different age.

Horatius Bonar paints a picture of a man of prayer, generosity and compassion who loved to preach the Gospel. The book is full of interesting incidents and snippets of information that bring colour to the story. You will find out why his purse was full of sixpenny and fourpenny pieces, how he went about distributing tracts on trains and his attempts at presenting Queen Victoria with the lyrics of a Christian hymn during her visit to Perth in 1864!

On the last day of his life, John Milne said to his wife, “You know I cannot be happy unless I feel the love of God”. John Milne not only felt the love of God but he lived it. If this is your desire then you will enjoy this book.

This review was first published on The site has been closed as of March 2019.

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