This book (which you can buy for 5$ on W and Th at Piper's site) is part of his biographical series about Swans. I read it all this weekend - I think they are his best books. I have one more to go in the series.
This book highlights three men of God: John Newton (the guy who wrote Amazing Grace), Charles Simeon (most wouldn't know who he is), and William Wilberforce (who got slave trade abolished and just got a movie put out about him).
John Newton had a theological backbone of steel - but loved his people, had compassion on his people. I love this one quote of his: (speaking of the darkness Jesus was in on the cross when He cried out to God) "Ah, sin was the cause - my sins- yet I do not hate sin or loathe myself as I ought."
Charles Simeon, was an English pastor in the late 1700s-early 1800s. He persevered through much difficulty in one church for almost half a century. I mean - people wouldn't let others come hear him preach and sit down because they didn't want him to preach. Obviously - it was "standing room only". But, he was also a man of humility and discipline. He described his "maturing in the ministry as a growing downward."
William Wilberforce, the main character in the recent Amazing Grace movie which came out in February, was the last of these men in this book. "The Bible became his best-loved book and he learned stretches by heart." Oh, if our politicians were like that today.
Excellent series - I love it. You learn so much theology (living the Bible) in lives of men like these. Thanks to Pastor Johnny for writing them - and preaching them, you can get most of these on his www as sermons.