John Newton


John Newton is one of the most popular Anglican hymn writers to have ever lived. His most famous work is Amazing Grace. The story of his life is both painful and inspiring. He was pressed into the Navy at a young age, and eventually captained several ships and became a slave trader. During one of his trips, he converted to Christianity and eventually was ordained in the Church of England. He soon became one of the leading abolitionists, influencing men such as William Wilberforce.


“You have one hard lesson to learn, that is, the evil of your own heart: you know something of it, but it is needful that you should know more; for the more we know of ourselves, the more we shall prize and love Jesus and His salvation.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“Our sins are many, but His mercies are more: our sins are great, but His righteousness if greater: we are weak, but He is power.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“His name is Love! He looks upon us with compassion; He knows our frame, and remembers that we are but dust; and when our infirmities prevail, He does not bid us despond, but reminds us that we have an Advocate with the Father, who is able to pity, to pardon, and to save to the uttermost. Think of the names and relations He bears. Does He not call Himself a Saviour, a Shepherd, a Friend, and a Husband? Has He not made known unto us His love, His blood, His righteousness, His promises, His power, and His grace, and all for our encouragement?” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“Take it for granted upon the warrant of His word, that you are His, and He is yours; that He has loved you with an everlasting love, and therefore in loving-kindness has drawn you to Himself; that He will surely accomplish that which He has begun, and that nothing which can be named or thought of shall ever be able to separate you from Him.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“It is good to be humbled for sin, but not to be discouraged: for though we are poor creatures, Jesus is a complete Saviour and we bring more honor to God by believing in His name and trusting His word of promise, than we could do by a thousand outward works.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“Do not be afraid even when you feel your own weakness and insufficiency most sensibly. We are never more safe, never have more reason to expect the Lord’s help, than when we are most sensible that we can do nothing without Him.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“This way of being saved entirely by grace, from first to last, is contrary to our natural wills; it mortifies self, leaving it nothing to boast of, and through the remains of an unbelieving, legal spirit, it often seems discouraging. When we think ourselves so utterly helpless and worthless, we are too ready to fear that the Lord will therefore reject us; whereas, in truth, such a poverty of spirit is the best mark we can have of an interest in His promise and care.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“Hide yourself under the shadow of His wings; rely upon His care and power; look upon Him as a physician who has graciously undertaken to heal your soul of the worst of sickness, sin…” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“The Lord has provided balm for every wound, a cordial for every care; the fruit of all is to take away sin, and the end of all will be eternal life in glory. Think of these words; put them in the balance of the sanctuary; and then throw all your trials into the opposite scale, and you will find there is no proportion between them.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“It is more honorable and important to be an instrument of saving one soul, than to rescue a whole kingdom for temporal ruin.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“Though we cannot see Him, he sees us; He is nearer to us than we are to ourselves.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“He knew, long before, the doubts, fears, and suspicions, which would arise in my mind when I should come to know what I am, what I have done, and what I have deserved; and, therefore, He declared, before He left the earth, ‘Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.’ I have no money or price in my hand, no worthiness to recommend me and I need none, for He saveth freely for His own name’s sake.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“The doubts and fears you speak of are, in a greater or lesser degree, the common experience of all the Lord’s people, at least for a time: whilst any unbelief remains in the heart, and Satan is permitted to tempt, we shall feel these things. In themselves they are groundless and evil; yet the Lord permits and overrules them for good. They tend to make us know more of the plague of our own hearts, and feel more sensibly the need of a Saviour, and make His rest doubly sweet and sure.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“What is the tenderness of a mother, of ten thousand mothers, to that which our compassionate Saviour bears to every poor soul that has been enabled to flee to Him for salvation?” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“A man may look with some pleasure upon the sea in a storm, provided he stands safe upon the land himself, but to be upon the sea in a storm is quite another thing.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“I often seem to know what the Scripture teaches, both of sin and grace, as if I knew them not; so faint and languid are my perceptions, I often seem to think and tell of sin without any sorrow, and of grace without any joy.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“Whatever means, instruments, or occasions He is pleased to employ, the work is all His own; and, I trust, you and I are made willing to give Him all the glory, and sink into the dust at the thought that He should ever permit us to take His holy name upon our polluted lips.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“If sin abounds in us, grace abounds much more in Him.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“Though sin remains, it shall not have dominion over us; though it wars in us, it shall not prevail against us. We have a mercy-seat sprinkled with blood, we have an Advocate with the Father, we are called to this warfare, and we fight under the eye of the Captain of our salvation, who is always near to renew our strength, to heal our wounds, and to cover our heads in the heat of the battle.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“The life of faith seems so simple and easy in theory, that I can point it out to others in a few words; but in practice it is very difficult, and my advances are so slow that I hardly dare say I get forward at all. It is a great thing indeed to have the spirit of a little child…” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“At best, we must always expect to meet with new proofs of our own weakness and insufficiency; otherwise how should we be kept humble, or know how to prize the liberty He allows of us coming to the throne of grace, for fresh forgiveness and direction every day?” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“We are like trees, which, though alive, cannot put forth their leaves and fruit without the influence of the sun. They are alive in winter as well as in summer; but how different is their appearance in these different seasons.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“To be humble, and like a little child, afraid of taking a step alone, and so conscious of snares and dangers around us as to cry to Him continually to hold us up that we may be safe, is the sure, the infallible, the only secret of walking closely with Him.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“The precepts are our rule and delight, the promises our strength and encouragement; the good recorded of the saints is proposed for our encouragement; their miscarriages are as landmarks set up to warn us of the rocks and shoals which lie in the way of our passage. The study of the whole scheme of Gospel-salvation, respecting the person, life, doctrine, death, and glory of our Redeemer, is appointment to mold our souls to a spiritual and divine taste…” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“We are engaged in a good cause, fight under a good Captain, the victory is sure beforehand, and the prize is a crown, a crown of life. Such considerations might make even a coward bold.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“One great cause of our frequent conflicts is that we have a secret desire to be rich, and it is the Lord’s design to make us poor. We want to gain an ability of doing something; and He suits His dispensations, to convince us that we can do nothing. We want a stock in ourselves, and He would have us absolutely dependent on Him.” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)

“The light at first afforded is weak and indistinct, like the morning dawn; but when it is once begun, it will certainly increase and spread to the perfect day. We commonly speak as if conviction of sin was the first work of God upon the soul that he is in mercy about to draw unto himself. But I think this is inaccurate. Conviction is only a part, or rather an immediate effect, of that first work…” – John Newton (Selected Letters and Poems)


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