This is a great story that I found very interesting and inspirational. It
has ministered to my heart in many ways, but especially in the way of
trusting the Lord and knowing that He is able to bring great good through
the difficult times of our life. I hope you read this story carefully and
learn of this man that went through so much and yet still came forth strong
and well-able to preach the Gospel of the Lord, despite his many failures
WHO AM I?
Who am I? I was born in 1725, and I died 1807. The only Godly influence in
my life, as far back as I can remember, was my mother, whom I had for only
seven years. When she left my life through death, I was virtually an
orphan. My father remarried, sent me to a strict military school, where
the severity of discipline almost broke my back. I couldn't stand it any
longer, and I left in rebellion at the age of ten. One year later,
deciding that I would never enter formal education again, I became a seaman
apprentice, hoping somehow to step into my father's trade and learn at
least the ability to skillfully navigate a ship.
By and by, through a process of time, I slowly gave myself over to the
devil. And I determined that I would sin to my fill without restraint,
now that the righteous lamp of my life had gone out. I did that until my
days in the military service, where again discipline worked hard against
me, but I further rebelled. My spirit would not break, and I became
increasingly more and more a rebel. Because of a number of things that I
disagreed with in the military, I finally deserted, only to be captured
like a common criminal and beaten publicly several times.
After enduring the punishment, I again fled. I entertained thoughts of
suicide on my way to Africa, deciding that would be the place I could get
farthest from anyone that knew me. And again I made a pact with the devil
to live for him.
Somehow, through a process of the events, I got in touch with a Portuguese
slave trader, and I lived in his home. He was married to a black wife,
who was brimming with hostility and took a lot of it out on me. She beat
me, and I ate like a dog on the floor of the home. If I refused to do
that, she would whip me with a lash.
I fled penniless, owning only the clothes on my back, to the shoreline of
Africa where I built a fire, hoping to attract a ship that was passing
by. The skipper thought that I had gold or slaves or ivory to sell and
was surprised because I was a skilled navigator. And it was there that I
virtually lived for a long period of time. It was a slave ship. It was
not uncommon for as many as six hundred blacks from Africa to be in the
hold of the ship, down below, being taken to America.
I went through all sorts of narrow escapes with death only a hairbreadth
away on a number of occasions. One time I opened some crates of rum and
got everybody on the crew drunk. The skipper, incensed with my actions,
beat me, threw me down below, and I lived on stale bread and sour
vegetables for an unendurable amount of time. He brought me above to beat
me again, and I fell overboard. Because I couldn't swim, he harpooned me
to get me back on the ship. And I lived with a scar in my side, big
enough for me to put my fist into, until the day of my death.
On board, I was in flamed with fever. I was enraged with the humiliation.
A storm broke out, and I wound up again in the hold of the ship, down
among the pumps. To keep the ship afloat, I worked along as a servant of
the slaves. There, bruised and confused, bleeding, deceased, I was the
epitome of the degenerate man. I remembered the words of my mother. I
cried out to God, the only way I knew, calling upon His grace and His
mercy to deliver me, and upon His Son to save me. The only glimmer of
light I could find was in a crack in the ship in the floor above me, and I
looked up to it and screamed for help. God heard me.
Thirty-one years passed, I married a childhood sweetheart. I entered the
ministry. In every place that I served, rooms had to be added to the
building to handle the crowds that came to hear the Gospel that was
presented and the story of God's grace in my life.
My tombstone above my head reads, "Born 1725, died 1807. A clerk, once an
infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich
mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned,
and appointed to preach the Faith he once long labored to destroy."
I decided before my death to put my life's story in verse. And that verse
has become a hymn.
My name? John Newton
The hymn? "Amazing Grace"
Here is the poem/song that is known throughout the world:
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound-
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we've been there Ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we'd first begun.
By John Newton
If you would like to learn more about John Newton, simply click on these links:
Today's Selected Poem: THE STORM
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem169.htm
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry