With a Biographical Introduction by Andrew Bonar
John Newton converted slave-trader, preacher, and hymn-writer, was one of the most colourful figures in the Evangelical Awakening of the eighteenth century. ‘Once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa,’ he wrote for this epitaph, ‘by rich mercy of Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy.’
It was through his prolific correspondence that Newton fulfilled his distinctive word as ‘the letter-writer parexcellence of the Evangelical Revival‘. His grasp of Scripture and deep personal experience of the ‘amazing grace’ of God, his many friends (among them, Whitefield, Cowper and Wilberforce), his manifold trials, his country pastorate, his strong, clear, idiomatic style- all these factors combined to prepare the author of How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds, for the exercise of his special gift.
These letters, selected by his biographer, Josiah Bull, bear the practical imprint of all of Newton’s writings; they cover a wide variety of subjects and aim ‘to conform the believer to Christ’. Among them are several that were not previously published in earlier collections of his correspondence. Of particular value and interest are the biographical sketches and historical notes supplied by the editor.
"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." — C.H. SPURGEON
"When thousands have derived repeated profit and pleAsure from the perusal of these utterances of the heart! Nor ever will they cease to be found means of grace whilst God has a church on earth." –WILLIAM JAY