Amazing Grace in John Newton: Slave-ship Captain, Hymnwriter, and Abolitionist, Volume 15
In "Amazing Grace," the best-loved of all hymns, John Newton's allusions to the drama of his life tell the story of a youth who was a virtual slave in Sierra Leone before ironically becoming a slave trader himself. Liverpool, his home port, was the center of the most colossal, lucrative, and inhumane slave trade the world has ever known. A gradual spiritual awakening transformed Newton into an ardent evangelist and anti-slavery activist. Influenced by Methodists George Whitefield and John Wesley, Newton became prominent among those favoring a Methodist-style revival in the Church of England. This movement stressed personal conversion, simple worship, emotional enthusiasm, and social justice. While pastoring a poor flock in Olney, he and poet William Cowper produced a hymnal containing such perennial favorites as "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" and "God Moves in a Mysterious Way." Later, while serving a church in London, Newton raised British consciousness on the immorality of the slave trade. The account he gave to Parliament on the atrocities he had witnessed helped William Wilberforce obtain legislation to abolish the slave trade in England. Newton's life story convinced many who are "found" after being "lost" to sing Gospel hymns as they lobbied for civil rights legislation. His close involvement with both capitalism and evangelicalism, the main economic and religious forces of his era, provide a fascinating case study of the relationship of Christians to their social environment. In an afterword on Newtonian Christianity, Phipps explains Newton's critique of Karl Marx's thesis that religious ideals are always the effect of what produces the most profit. Phipps relies on accounts Newton gives in his ship journal, diary, letters, and sermons for this most readable scholarly narrative.
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Now I See
Encounters with Abolitionists
Working with Wilberforce
As Long as Life Endures
The Londoners Wider Impact
The Last Years
How Sweet the Sound
The Ministry of Song
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Page 149 - SOMETIMES a light surprises The Christian while he sings; It is the Lord who rises With healing in his wings; When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again, A season of clear shining, To cheer it after rain.
Page 131 - GLORIOUS things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God ! He whose word cannot be broken, Formed thee for his own abode : On the Rock of Ages founded — What can shake thy sure repose? With salvation's walls surrounded, Thou may'st smile at all thy foes.
Page 134 - Till then, I would Thy love proclaim With every fleeting breath ; And may the music of Thy Name Refresh my soul in death ! Amen-.
Page 19 - For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Page 212 - Now this I say, that every one of you saith, " I am of Paul ; and I of Apollos ; and I of Cephas ; and I of Christ.
Page 148 - OH ! for a closer walk with God, A calm and heavenly frame, — A light to shine upon the road That leads me to the Lamb...