John Newton

Immoral sailor and slave trader transformed into a humble, devoted minister of Jesus.

Newton was a diligent writer and wrote voluminously. His letters capture a depth of the gospel, an awareness of the human heart, a compassion for the souls of family and friends, and an insatiable desire to keep his heart and mind on Jesus. What follows are some brief statements taken from some of his letters.

 

A couple weeks ago I met with a friend who recommended John Newton’s book, “Letters of John Newton.” John Newton was once a strong advocate for the slave trade and lived a deeply immoral life as a sailor. Through the gospel, Jesus saved John Newton and used his life in a remarkable way, setting him apart as a Christian leader in England during a time of revival in the country.

Newton was a diligent writer and wrote voluminously. His letters capture a depth of the gospel, an awareness of the human heart, a compassion for the souls of family and friends, and an insatiable desire to keep his heart and mind on Jesus. What follows are some brief statements taken from some of his letters. My hope is that as you read his words you will be prompted to purchase this book so that you can receive the encouragement and refreshment of soul that I have experienced in working through his letters.

  • The necessary practical application of doctrinal truth: “I set no value upon any doctrinal truth, further than it has a tendency to promote practical holiness.”
  • The dangers of simply knowing the truth intellectually but not being changed by it: “A man may give his assent to the gospel and be able to defend it against others, and yet not have his own spirit truly influenced by it.

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