Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bio of John Newton composer of Amazing Grace - This Week in Christian History for the week of July 21-27


John Newton was born on July 24, 1725 in London. At age 11 he went to sea with his father after his mother died of tuberculosis. He sailed with his father six times before his father retired. He was fired from his first job due to unruly behavior. When John was visiting some friends he was pressganged into service in the Royal Navy. He attempted to escape and was whipped and sent to work on a slave ship. He continued to be a troublemaker and the ship left him in Africa under the care of one of the slave traders, who treated him like one of his slaves. John had to beg for food to survive. John’s father asked a captain to keep on the lookout for him and he was saved and brought back to England.

It was during the trip home while a terrible storm was raging that John first considered Christianity. He became a mate then a captain on several slave ships hoping to restrain the worst of the trade. While he was sick with fever he prayed to God and was saved. John quit the slave trade and became a tax collector. In his spare time he learned Greek and Hebrew and gave Bible studies in his home. He wanted to become a priest in the Church of England and accomplished the goal in seven years. He published a pamphlet against slavery.

John Newton is most famous today for him hymns. He began to collaborate with poet William Cowper to create a volume published as the Olney Hymns in 1779. The song included are "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken," "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds!," "Let Us Love, and Sing, and Wonder," "Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare," "Approach, My Soul, the Mercy-seat.” He is best known for a song he wrote himself based on his own life, “Amazing Grace.”

My new book, would you do what they did great Christian leaders from our past is now available to order from Amazon.com here is the link: Would You Do What They Did? - Great Christian Leaders From Our Past
It is also currently available at Barnes and nobles and should be available to order now or shortly from anywhere that sells books. The book is about Thomas Becket, Martin Luther, John Wesley and Francis of Assisi and is written in creative nonfiction style, I have excepts of the book here on my website williamdeanhamilton.net

Thank you for reading.