John Newton Letters of John Newton

ISBN 13: 9780851511207

Letters of John Newton

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9780851511207: Letters of John Newton

With a Biographical Introduction by Andrew Bonar

John Newton, converted slave-trader, preacher, and hymn-writer, was one of the most colourful figures in the Evangelical Awakening of the eighteenth century. 'Once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa,' he wrote for this epitaph, 'by rich mercy of Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy.'
It was through his prolific correspondence that Newton fulfilled his distinctive word as 'the letter-writer parexcellence of the Evangelical Revival'. His grasp of Scripture and deep personal experience of the 'amazing grace' of Goed, his many friends (among them, Whitefield, Cowper and Wilberforce), his manifold trials, his country pastorate, his strong, clear, idiomatic style- all these factors combined to prepare the author of 'How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds', for the exercise of his special gift.
These letters, selected by his biographer, Josiah Bull, bear the practical imprint of all of Newton's writings; they cover a wide variety of subjects and aim 'to conform the believer to Christ'. Among them are several that were not previously published in earlier collections of his correspondence. Of particular value and interest are the biographical sketches and historical notes supplied by the editor.

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About the Author:

Born in London in 1725, deprived of the godly influence of his mother before he was seven years old, John Newton was but two years at school before he went, at the age of eleven, on his first voyage with his father, a sea captain. From that time till the age of thirty, when his health was broken by a stroke, Newton endured the wild rigours of a life before the mast, including being press-ganged aboard a naval vessel and flogged when captured after desertion. Only his love for the youthful Mary Catlett preserved him from suicide. He was released from the navy only to join in the slave traffic across the Atlantic, and was reduced almost to death on the Guinea coast before being delivered by a friend of his father's.

Throughout these sad events there ran a divine purpose; and while Newton forgot the Saviour whom his mother had so often commended to him in childhood, and while he became, like one of old, a 'blasphemer and injurious,' it was all leading to a day in the midst of a tremendous storm at sea when he was brought to say: 'I stood in need of an Almighty Saviour, and such a one I found described in the New Testament. The Lord had wrought a marvellous thing.'

Review:

'In few writers are christian doctrine, experience and practice more happily balanced than in the author of these Letters, and few write with more simplicity, piety and force.' --Charles Spurgeon

'When thousands have derived repeated profit and pleasure from the perusal of these utterances of the heart! Nor ever will they cease to be found means of grace whilst God has a church on earth.' --William Jay

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John Newton
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Newton, John
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