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John Newton

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Articles by John Newton

A letter to a student of divinity (November 1985)

Although John Newton is best remembered for the hymn "Amazing Grace," his face-to-face counseling may have been his greatest achievement while he lived (1725-1807). The former English slave trader, whose dramatic conversion is recounted in his autobiography, maintained an active ministry in the lives of the high and the low who sought him out in his churches near London. Among these were William Cowper, the poet, who became a close friend, and William Wilberforce, who is best remembered for his role of banishing the slave trade from the British Empire. Needless to say, Newton contributed to Wilberforce s passionate convictions on the slavery issue. Here we read John Newton's counsel to a theological student. Though couched in the style of the eighteenth century, the letter demonstrates the model of balance Newton exhibited between spirituality and learning in the life of the minister.
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