Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:35 pm Post subject: WHAT KIND OF LIFE WOULD THE MAN WHO WROTE AMAZING GRACE HAVE
My life began in a terrible way. My mother was an awesome Christian and taught me many Bible passages and hymns. She died when I was seven and so I ended up in a boarding school. I hated it. I went to sea with my father at age eleven.
At seventeen I joined the British Navy, but I deserted that and when found I was suspended and flogged. I thought of murder or suicide.
I went back to sea and after more voyages I finally became captain of a slave ship. I became an aggressive atheist and delighted in shocking people with profanity. As the captain of the slave ship, I was mean to the slaves, and kept them in terrible conditions.
On one night a storm blew in and I thought the ship was about to sink. It filled with water and the wind kept blowing it further on it side. I just knew I was about to die. Remembering my mother, I cried out to the Lord and later wrote how the Lord came from on high and delivered me. That was the first step in my life changing.
I left the seas, married a Christian wife, and finally became and though many thought I didn't have enough training, God wanted me, and He made me a powerful preacher. When I arrived at eighty years of age, my health began to break and my friends told me to stop preaching. My response?
"What, shall the old African blasphemer stop while he can still speak!"
John Newton's hymn, Amazing Grace, keeps his preaching going on.
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