Christian Devotedness – Anthony Norris Groves

Christian Devotedness Anthony Norris Groves Paperback, 54pp.Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON, Canada L3K 6A6. Available in UK from John Ritchie Ltd. Price £2.99. ISBN 978 1 89711 797 2.

Most readers of Precious Seed International will be familiar with the name of Anthony Norris Groves, missionary to Baghdad and India. This is a revised and updated edition of the second version of a book originally published in London in 1829 and included in a biography entitled Anthony Norris Groves, by G. H. Lang.

Believing the words of the Lord in Matthew chapter 6 verse 19, ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth’, are to be taken literally, Mr Groves expounds the practical implications of this, especially in connection with a believer’s possessions, salary and wealth. He expresses a conviction that ‘early Christianity owed much of its power to the … disciple’s open public display of their love’. Something he saw as being the product of the ‘surrender of themselves, their property, time and talents to Christ’. He develops his theme around two basic principles, the first, ‘The only acceptable way to live the Christian life is by deliberate and continual self-denial’, the second, ‘Because God is our Heavenly Father, we ought to ask Him only for our every need, and rely on Him alone for every provision’, principles that the author himself had sought to live by. Mr Groves considers the meaning of the Lord’s exhortation not to lay up treasure on earth the way it was understood and implemented by the apostles, and how the truth of it is emphasized in the New Testament. He strongly asserts that a Christian should not save his money but rather use it in the cause of Christ and that it is a grave mistake, with potentially serious spiritual consequences, for believers to store up wealth with the sole object of leaving an inheritance for their children. Biblical passages are frequently quoted, the majority of which are from the New King James Version. There are a few printing errors, some of which require the reader to work out for himself exactly what the writer means!

It is stated in the preface that George Muller likened the reading of this book to a ‘second conversion’ and that Hudson Taylor and Amy Carmichael were greatly influenced through reading it. In the overtly material age in which we live, the message of this book is timely and very challenging.

[Our thanks to Richard Catchpole, South Norwood, England for this review]


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