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Hope this helps...  Jan

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                                 John Newton



John Newton, the writer of "Amazing Grace" was born in 1725. He was taken to
sea by his father at the age of eleven. By the age of nineteen when he was
pressganged into the Royal Navy, John Newton was an experienced sailor. He
was flogged for deserting ship and eventually left the Royal Navy by being
exchanged for a crew member from another ship.

The Ship that he joined was a Slave Ship! This vile trade was still going on
during the eighteenth century.

John Newton got involved with a Slave dealer and worked for him for a while.
Eventually he ended up being treated as a slave himself. The other slaves
showed much kindness to him. After a while he escaped his slavery. Having
experienced the suffering of slaves first hand, you might have thought that
he would have had no more to do with it. Instead John Newton ended up as the
Captain of a slave ship, transporting slaves from Africa to the West Indies.
No excuses can be made for his behaviour.

When John Newton mentions "wretch" in the first verse of his hymn, he means

On the 10th of March 1748 His ship was in a terrible storm. He feared for
his life, believing the ship would sink. He said without really meaning it
"The Lord have mercy on us".

This was a turning point in his life. John Newton realised that He was lost
in sin and was blind (could not see the truth of the Gospel). He asked God
for mercy to save him from his sins. God in grace answered his prayer and
forgave his sins. That is the "Amazing grace", that God should forgive
somebody who was such a disgusting sinner.

John Newton had a remarkable change in his life. He was instrumental in
banning slavery from Britain and became a servant of God.

He wrote his own epitaph:-

Once an infidel and libertine,
A servant of slaves in Africa
Was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour
Preserved, restored, pardoned
And appointed to preach the faith
He had long laboured to destroy,
Now sixteen years at Olney in Bucks.

John Newton is not the only one who is blind and lost. Anybody who hasn't
asked God to forgive them their sins is also lost. Anybody who asks God to
forgive them their sins as John Newton did can also know the grace of God.
They can have their sins forgiven and will then be able to meet John Newton
- in heaven.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians Ch2

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Thou shalt be saved." Acts Ch16 v31

All quotations are from the Bible (AV)

Other articles about the Bible:-

The Statue of Justice - The Justice of God.

What Christians Believe.

Christian Literature Distribution are a group of Christians offering FREE

I will do my best to answer any Questions.

For further information please contact me on CH3JPV@BATH.AC.UK


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