Letters of John Newton

Letters of John Newton

John Newton (1725-1807), converted slave-trader, preacher, and hymn-writer,
was one of the most colourful figures in the Evangelical Awakening of the
eighteenth century. 'Once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in
Africa', he once wrote for his epitaph, 'by the rich mercy of Jesus Christ,
preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long
laboured to destroy'. It was through his prolific correspondence that Newton
fulfilled his distinctive work as 'the letter-writer par excellence of
the Evangelical Revival'. His grasp of Scripture and deep personal experience
of the 'amazing grace' of God, his many friends (among them, Whitefield, Cowper
and Wilberforce), his many and varied trials, his country pastorate, his
strong, clear, idiomatic style - all these factors combined to prepare the
author of 'How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds', for the exercise of his special
gift. These letters, selected by his biographer, Josiah Bull, bear the
practical imprint of all of Newton's writings; they cover a wide variety of
subjects and aim 'to conform the believer to Christ'. Among them are several
that were not previously published in earlier collections of his
correspondence. Of particular value and interest are the biographical sketches
and historical notes supplied by the editor, Josiah Bull.
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Letters of John Newton


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