JOHN NEWTON (Song-writer of “Amazing Grace”)
John Newton was a fearful character. All the means of grace had failed to touch him, and
so God brewed a special storm at sea to awe his haughty spirit. the clouds and waves knotted themselves together, the thunders crashed in platoons, the lightnings poured down in electric cataracts–the scene was one of horror, and the heart of the bold bad man trembled and sank before the Omnipotent God who was flinging His wrath abroad. Falling on his face on the deck of the ship he called for mercy, and God forgave him then and there. Later on in England, he was sanctified and preached with the courage of Paul and wrote hymns with the sweetness of John. Look into the Methodist Hymn Book and when you read a hymn especially beautiful, tender and pure you will find John Newton’s name at the top. I recall a couple of stanzas of one of them:
“I saw One hanging on a tree In agonies and blood, Who fixed His dying eyes on me As near His cross I stood.
Sure never ’till my latest breath Can I forget that look; It seemed to charge me with His death Tho’ not a word He spoke.”
As you feel the heart melt and eyes fill under these tender and solemn lines do you think
that John Newton, whose pinions had been broken by the shots of Satan, was soaring as high again?
Hallelujah! Our Christ is able to save unto the uttermost. He can undo the works of the
devil. He found our hearts black, and made them whiter than the snow. He lifted us up from the pit, and will yet place us above the stars. Hallelujah! Glory! Bless the Lord! Amen!
Source: “Revival Sermons” by Beverly Carradine
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts