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REVIEW OF DEWEY ROBERTS NEW BIOGRAPHY OF SAMUEL DAVIES

11/01/2018

REVIEW OF DEWEY ROBERTS’ SAMUEL DAVIES:
APOSTLE TO VIRGINIA
SOLA FIDE PUBLICATIONS
(Forward by Geoff Thomas)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, arguably the greatest preacher in the English language in the 20th century thought that Samuel Davies was the greatest preacher America ever produced. Noted biographer and historian Iain Murray thought Davies a peerless preacher and leader in colonial America. At east ten partial biographies have been written about Davies but his name and life and accomplishments are still unknown to most evangelical and Reformed Christians and pastors. Dewey Roberts has remedied that problem with the first full scale biography and assessment of Davies life and ministry. Like Iain Murray and David Calhoun, Roberts has captured not only the details of who Samuel Davies was but what he was—the inner workings of the man and how God chose to use him for His glory.

I had discovered Davies through Iain Murray and Martyn Lloyd-Jones and then Soli Deo Gloria published His works in 3 volumes. It was a treasure trove of rich and experiential biblical preaching.

Not long after that I visited Colonial Williamsburg and noted in their bookstore that they had a DVD dedicated to Samuel Davies and his role in making Virginia an important colony. I bought it and took it home like a man who had found a treasure. I was amazed and not disappointed. What was amazing is that they noted his role in gaining freedom of religion is that officially Anglican colony and his targeted preaching to the slaves. There was a sample re-enactment of his preaching on the necessity of the new birth and how delightedly the slaves listened to him. The video also noted his emphasis upon Christian education and the invitation to become President of Princeton, to succeed Jonathan Edwards. He too was to live only a short time after taking office, dying at 38 years old, even a young age then.

Who should read this spiritual biography? First of all, Christians who are serious about God, His eternal purposes and the outworking of his purposes in history will find this an inspiring read. Second, ministers of the gospel who want to see how God used one man in history despite many obstacles will profit from this volume. Third, ministerial students will gain a vision of what they may become by the grace of God.

Samuel Davies was a man of God. He sought the Savior and sought to be useful to the Savior in
his lifetime. He fellowshipped with some of the other men of God of his day—Jonathan Edwards,
George Whitefield, Patrick Henry, John Gill and several other eminent servants of Christ. Read
this most important biography and then find a copy of his sermons on the Internet that you can
afford. Ask for God to bless the preaching of the Word of God today by faithful ministers. Pray
that God would raise up more men like Samuel Davies to take the gospel to the lost throughout
America. Seek to know the God who Samuel Davies knew so well.

Steve Martin
DEAN OF STUDENTS; IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN TEXAS

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