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The Works of John Newton, vol. 1

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The first volume of Newton’s Works contains Richard Cecil’s 129-page memoir of Newton. First published as a stand-alone monograph in 1809—two years after Newton’s death—Cecil’s biography of Newton was included with the publication of Newton’s Works in 1820. The biography includes factual information on Newton’s life, along with reflections on his legacy and influence—which began to emerge only a few short years after his death.

In addition to Cecil’s biography, this volume also contains more than one hundred letters and pieces of correspondence written by John Newton, including letters to students, family members, members of Newton’s church, and numerous others. This correspondence reveals personal and spiritual matters, thoughts and opinions on prayer, temptation, and other topics, as well as comments on numerous texts of Scripture. Taken together, these letters offer a rare glimpse into the mind and heart of John Newton.

Resource Experts
  • Text from the 1820 Hamilton, Adams & Co. edition—which also underlies the 1985 Banner of Truth reprint
  • All Scripture references linked to the Bibles in your library

Top Highlights

“‘Christ has taken our nature into heaven, to represent us; and has left us on earth, with his nature, to represent him.’” (Page 102)

“About the year 1742, his father, having lately come from a voyage, and not intending to return to sea, was contriving for Mr. N.’s settlement in the world.” (Page 5)

“The chief means for attaining wisdom, and suitable gifts for the ministry, are the holy Scriptures, and prayer. The one is the fountain of living water, the other the bucket with which we are to draw. And I believe you will find, by observation, that the man who is most frequent and fervent in prayer, and most devoted to the word of God, will shine and flourish above his fellows. Next to these, and derived from them, is meditation. By this, I do not mean a stated exercise upon some one particular subject, so much as a disposition of mind to observe carefully what passes within us and around us, what we see, hear, and feel, and to apply all for the illustration and confirmation of the written word to us.” (Pages 141–142)

“This reformation, it seems, continued for more than two years. But he adds, ‘it was a poor religion: it left me in many respects under the power of sin; and, so far as it prevailed, only tended to make me gloomy, stupid, unsociable, and useless.’” (Page 5)

“If opposition has hurt many, popularity has wounded more.” (Page 163)

In few writers are Christian doctrine, experience, and practice more happily balanced than in the author of these letters, and few write with more simplicity, piety, and force.

—Charles Spurgeon

Grace, like water, always flows downward, to the lowest place. I know no one who embodies this principle better than John Newton . . .

—Philip Yancey, author, Grace Notes

I keep John Newton on my selectest shelf of spiritual books . . .

—Alexander Whyte, Professor of New Testament, New College, 1909

He moved in the lowest and vilest circles and sank to the depths of vice, and yet there emerges from this stormy story a man who not only commands the affection of any humane soul, but who showed himself then and afterwards capable of the highest Christian graces.

—Erik Routley, pastor and hymn writer

  • Title: The Works of John Newton, vol. 1
  • Author: John Newton
  • Publisher: Hamilton, Adams & Co.
  • Publication Date: 1820
  • Pages: 704

John Newton was born on July 24, 1725, and attended a boarding school in Stratford in Essex, during his childhood years. In 1736, Newton joined the merchant marine, and in March 1744, he set out on the HMS Harwich. His attempted desertion from the royal navy in 1745 led to a severe punishment. Newton was stripped of his rank, and transferred to a slave trading ship in 1748. In 1748, Newton was nearly shipwrecked. The storm initiated a crisis of faith in Newton’s life, and marked the first point of Newton’s conversion. He continued in the slave trade, however, until 1754.

In 1755, Newton returned to England permanently, and began studying the Bible and learning the ancient languages. He became a lay preacher, and was eventually ordained in the Church of England in 1764. He served for many years at the church in Olney in Buckinghamshire, where he became a well-known and much-respected preacher. In 1779, Newton became the rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, and in the 1780s and 1790s, a prominent leader in the evangelical movement in England. He was also influential in the lives of William Wilberforce and other leaders of the abolitionist movement. Newton died in 1807.


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Digital list price: $16.49
Save $4.00 (24%)