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Mr. John Newton's Amazing Grace
John Newton is best known for his beloved hymn Amazing Grace. It truly was amazing grace that found its way to John Newton. Mr. Newton lived a sordid life and in his own words he proclaims himself to be a wretch who once was lost but then was found. His salvation was amazing grace!
Mr. Newton was born in London on July 24, 1725. This would have been about the time of the First Great Awakening in America. While Jonathan Edwards was preaching repentance, John Newton was taking his fill of sin.
During John's young years he traveled the Mediterranean Sea with his father aboard a merchant ship. In 1744 Newton was called to service aboard the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding the conditions more than he could tolerate, he jumped ship and deserted only to be recaptured a short time later. He was publicly humiliated and demoted in rank.
How bad were the conditions on board the H. M. S. Harwich? At John's own request he was transferred to a slave ship. At this point in his life, he became a slave to a slave trader. Physical abuse was a part of everyday life for the rebellious Newton. In 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain known to the family and eventually he became the captain of his own slave trading ship
John was known for committing his own atrocities against young slave girls. He had long ago given up on the early religious training he had received from his mother. It was during a homeward bound voyage that a powerful storm took control of John's ship, and fearing the ship would sink, he called out "Lord, have mercy upon us.” After the storm had passed and John was safe, he reflected on the recent events of his life. On May 10, 1748, John Newton was born into the Kingdom of God. It was then that he penned the words, “Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace has bro’t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
Amazing grace - have you experienced it?