For several years, I have kept an old used copy of "The Precious Things of God" near my desk, often using it as a devotional to stir up my heart to treasure those sacred truths of Scripture which are to mold our thoughts, words, and actions if we aim to live Christ-like. As is true of all of Dr. Winslow's writings, this volume is a precious gem about precious truths, replete with memorable statements and written for spiritual edification.
Octavius Winslow, a descendant of one of the leading New England Puritans, Edward Winslow, was born in London on August 1, 1808. His father, Thomas, was an army captain who died when Octavius was seven years old, shortly after his God-fearing mother had taken the family of ten children to New York to prepare a new home. Despite the loss of their father, the Winslow family would be greatly blessed. All ten of the Winslow children would eventually be regenerated by the Holy Spirit; three sons would become evangelical ministers. Octavius would later write a hefty volume (which also begs reprinting) filled with spiritual content on his mother's life and experiences, Life in Jesus: A Memoir of Mrs. Mary Winslow, Arranged from her Correspondence, Diary and Thoughts.
Raised and educated in New York, Octavius was also ordained to the ministry there on June 21, 1833. Not long after, however, he returned to England where he became one of the most valued non-conformist ministers of the nineteenth century, largely due to the devotional earnestness of his preaching, and the practical excellence of his prolific writings. He held pastorates at Leamington Spa, Bath, and Brighton. He was also in demand as a speaker for special occasions, such as the opening of C.H. Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1861.
Most of Dr. Winslow's works went through several editions. A glance at their titles will reveal the convictions of his soul: Born Again, or, From Grace to Glory; Heaven Opened; The Fullness of Christ; Christ Ever With You; The Glory of the Redeemer in His Person and Work; The Man of God, or Spiritual Religion Explained and Enforced; The Tree of Life; Emmanuel, or the Titles of Christ; Hidden Life; Midnight Harmonies; Morning Thoughts; Evening Thoughts; Divine Realities; No Condemnation in Christ Jesus; Grace and Truth; Human Sympathy; The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Atonement; The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Work of the Holy Spirit; Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul; The Silver Trumpet; Christ the Theme of the Missionary; Glimpses of the Truth as it is in Jesus.
Octavius Winslow knew no denominational walls. Broad in his interests and sympathies, he nevertheless clung to the old Puritan theology. His life was devoted to the promotion of an experimental knowledge of the precious truths of God, as also this volume so poignantly exemplifies. Our corrupt nature, Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and a lifestyle of gratitude—such truths he taught shall and must be known experimentally in the soul of each believer. After a short illness, Octavius Winslow died on March 5, 1878, and was buried in Abbey Cemetery, Has.
We wholeheartedly wish this special volume a wide circulation. May the Holy Spirit bless its contents to many in our day as He has done in a former day when Dr. Winslow was one of the most esteemed authors among Christians.
Dr. Joel R. Beeke
Grand Rapids, MI