J NewtonThis is a synopsis of John Newton’s Blemishes In Christian Character.  Most know him as the author of the hymn Amazing Grace.  Note: I’ve added modern names.

Austerus (Austere Andy) is a solid and disciplined Christian, but abrasive, critical and ungenerous in dealing with people, temperamental, seldom giving compliments and praise, and almost never gentle.

Infitialis (Negative Ned) is a person of careful and deliberate character, but habitually cynical, negative, and pessimistic, always discouraging (“that will never work”), unsupportive and vaguely unhappy.

Pulsus (Passionate Pam) is passionate, but also impulsive and impatient, not thinking things through, speaking too soon, always quick to complain and lodge a protest, often needing to apologize for rash statements.

Querulus (Complaining Christy) is a person of strong convictions, but known to be very opinionated, a poor listener, argumentative, not very teachable, and very slow to admit they were wrong.

Subjectio (Protective Paul) is a resourceful and ambitious person, but also someone who often shades the truth, puts a lot of spin on things (close to misrepresentation), is very partisan, self-promoting, and turf-conscious.

Potestas (Controlling Carl) gets things done, but needs to control every situation, has trouble sharing power, has a need to do everything him or herself, and is very suspicious and mistrustful of others.

Fragilis (Fragile Freida) is friendly and seeks friends, but constantly gets his or her feelings hurt, easily feels slighted and put down, is often offended and upset by real and imagined criticism by others.

Curiosus (Gossipping Gertrude) is very sociable, but enjoys knowing negative things about people, finds ways of passing the news on, may divulge confidences, and enjoys confrontation too much.

Volatilis (Impertinent Ed) is very kind-hearted and eager to help, but simply not reliable—isn’t punctual, doesn’t follow through on promises, is always over-extended, and as a result may do shoddy work.

Newton ended his letter: “Other improprieties of conduct, which lessen the influence and spot the profession of some who wish well to the cause of Christ, might be enumerated, but these may suffice for a specimen.”