John Newton (1725-1807) was an 18th century Anglican minister, former slave trader, and abolitionist. He spent his early years as a sailor in His Majesty’s Royal Navy, and later became the captain of a slave trader. Newton renounced the slave trade and became an abolitionist after converting to Christianity. He wrote the song Amazing Grace as a testament to God’s saving work in his life, living out his days as an Anglican minister.
“How unspeakably wonderful to know that all our concerns are held in hands that bled for us.”
“Afflictions quicken us to prayer. It is a pity it should be so; but experience testifies, that a long course of ease and prosperity, without painful changes—has an unhappy tendency to make us cold and formal in our secret worship.”
“I endeavored to renounce society, that I might avoid temptation. But it was a poor religion; so far as it prevailed, only tended to make me gloomy, stupid, unsociable, and useless.”
“This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.”
“We are engaged in a good cause, fight under a good Captain, the victory is sure beforehand, and the prize is a crown—a crown of eternal life.”