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John Newton

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
November 18, 2021 12:00 am

John Newton

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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November 18, 2021 12:00 am

It's often been said that God brings us to the breaking point so that we can see our need for Him, and that was certainly the case with this slave-trader turned Pastor known as John Newton. His beloved and inspired hymn, "Amazing Grace," is merely a personal recounting of his own astonishing conversion.

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John God saved him from the midst of an extremely wicked lifestyle and went on to use him as an important figure in our Christian history post was that he was completely blind, unable to read this text suggests it "time to give up preaching the respondent what shall the old blasphemer stop while he can still speak one of his last sermon he sums up his life by saying I'm a great sinner. Jesus Christ. When God saved today as we continue looking at the biographies of some Christian heroes we see another astonishing conversion John Newton was trapped in an extremely wicked lifestyle. He was a blasphemer and a slave trader but God saved him and used him as an important figure in our Christian history this is wisdom for the heart and Stephen baby continues through his series called legacies of light by looking today at the life and ministry of John Pierce, Stephen today's lesson well. Of all the biographies we have uncovered thus far. This one sounds comes across more like a novel, a movie dramatic. It is action-packed and it is surprising his nickname was the great blasphemer. His birthplace was London England 1725. His father was an unbelieving sea captain who commanded a prosperous trading ship, but his mother was a godly woman who dedicated her life to training this there only child favorite source of curriculum was Isaac Watts book entitled preservatives from the sins and follies of youth. I don't think that's in print anymore, but it sounds really good. Early in life, her son John Newton would quote and sing the hymns of Isaac Watts written especially for children vector was a book just for kids like the one that saying that he would sing it. Why should I join with those in play in whom I've no delight to curse and swear and never pray call ill names and fight tragedy struck early on.

However, when at the age of seven.

John Newton mother died and everything would change all when his father returned from a voyage he remarried and found that his new wife didn't like John Little John, so he was shipped off to boarding school where a brutal headmaster made life absolutely miserable. His father finally intervened and brought John on board his ship at age 11.

You can imagine.

After several voyages ended and the surroundings of these ungodly influences surrounding his impressionable spirit, his mother's lessons and Isaac Watts hymns were soon forgotten and by the time John turned 16 he had nothing to do with religion as they called it his profanity and his wicked spirit equaled veteran sailors sailed with him. He would write of those days and I quote, I often saw the necessity of religion as a means of escaping hell. But I love soon and was unwilling to forsake it when he was 17. His father decided that he should set sail for the West Indies and become involved in, independently of his father and involved in managing the Jamaican plantation owned by one of his friends was a plantation run by African slaves and his father figured that over the next five years. John was able to amass a small fortune managing the plantation be set for life. But a week before that ship set sail. John was invited by close friends of his deceased mother to visit them for a day or two and when he arrived he wrote that he found it affectionate family that he not had it reminded him of his mother. They had a daughter, to which didn't hurt her name was Mary. She was 13, but he literally fell head over heels with her. He would write that she was sweet and kind and fun.

She probably never knew his true feelings because he wrote I was struck dumb whenever she entered the room, John.

So enjoy the time of the family and Mary that he never mentioned to them that he had to leave the board a ship. In fact, he purposefully missed the deadline so that the ship sailed away without his father was furious course and determined that he would set sail on another ship, this one bound for Italy during that voyage. Now that his father, no one he knew, surrounded by an incredibly pagan environment.

He only deepened his hatred for God. He felt abandoned and alone.

Yet at the same time, he would often write in the journal. All he could think of was getting back to Mary but here later he returns to London after that voyage in his father and quickly plan another job on yet another trading that John just a few days to get back to this family visit Mary's house again and her and enjoy the hospitality, which he did, and once again he purposefully missed the deadline to get back to port and the ship sailed without and again.

His father was furious, but who cares. He saw Mary right, only this time, things didn't turn out so well when he returned to London while his father try to figure out where to lease him. He happened to be in the wrong place wrong time shipping industry. I can stop for moment during these days.

What I've learned was primitive dirty. The treatment even of the crew inhumane but nothing evidently was more inhumane than the Royal Navy. In fact, was so bad they could never supply warships with volunteers so the authorities turned a blind eye while gangs went out and literally captured young men to serve below deck. They just so happen to capture John. Fortunately, his father found out eventually. What happened, and wrote the ship's captain and the captain agreed to promote John as an officer brought up on this. His conditions improved dramatically.

Of course Eddie actually writes in his journal that he begins to enjoy sea life, but he was a foul mouth and as atheistic as all of the unbelieving criminals and officers that sailed with her but still he had this one goal in mind. He wanted the get back to London and win the hand of Mary that occupied all the slots after short voyage.

John learned that his ship was next slated to sailed to India in the West Indies and that he would be gone for the next five long years. He had just one days leave to rent a horse from enterprise probably and write off to see her before ship took sale. He planned this time to display his feelings to ask Mary's father for her hand in marriage to tell her of his love.

The visit was a disaster.

Mary's father denied his request. They wanted their daughter marrying a man with better prospects. They actually forbade John from ever visiting their home again or contacting Mary conflict Mary was somewhat undecided and so John was in turmoil. How can you sail away without knowing her answer and so in desperation he jumped ship and deserted determined to stay behind and find out how she felt for him to days later he was captured returned to his ship in shackles. Two days after that all 350 of the crew were assembled on deck to witness John Newton's court-martial and flogging. He was given 96 lashes with a cat of nine tails beating so brutal that even one of the experienced members of the crew fainted. He would bear the scars for the rest of 19 days after the flogging, they encountered a ship. The ship of a slave trader heading for the West Indies who needed one more crewmember. The captain gladly handed over John on board this ship. John gave full vent to his depravity is foul mouth is insubordinate spirit is hatred for God and he began the love to torment anyone who showed any sympathy for religion on board that ship was a wealthy trader from West Africa who who convinced John that the best way for him to win Mary's hand would eat up amass a fortune by following in his footsteps.

John agreed and so they disembarked at this man's plantation on an island just off the coast of West Africa is man's mistress was an African woman who immediately decided that she didn't like John Newton all.

It wasn't long before John succumbed the fever and was man was unable to set sail with the merchant on his next voyage and John was left in the care of this mistress, who had already decided to let him die. So here he is on an island on the off because the West Africa and he writes in his journal. I had not a little difficulty to procure a cup of water when burning with fever. My bed was a mat spread upon the board and a piece of wood was my pillow. Sometimes when the mistress was in a good humor, she would send a slave to hand me her plate with whatever food was left on it after she had done." It is interesting though, I discovered that on this island he would write that the fitted not been for the kindness of some of the chained slaves on that plantation who took pity on him and secretly gave him food of their own. He would start to death.

Then, shock of all shocks ship put anchor near his island after seeing some smoke from the island and some men came ashore asking the locals.

Have you heard of a white man named John Newton wrote an island off the coast of West Africa.

His father had sent out a party looking for that was in 1747, when he was rescued. John was not quite 21 and God when biographer wrote was about to close in on the great blasphemer. It would take a year business before the ship called the Greyhound sailed back to England and again another dramatist continues. I need to let you know that in route and encounter the storm so violently against St. John's assignment pumps and work them from three in the morning until noon and then he slept for an hour and then took the helm and steered the ship till midnight man and provisions were being swept into the sea. The rigging was torn. The hold was filling with water. Everyone assumed they would die. In fact, some of the men thought that John was Jonah and they all agreed that they throw him overboard because God evidently wanted him dead. Literally, the captain didn't agree and they didn't throw him overboard, but there at that helm is literally tied to it for the first time since he was little boy, John Newton began to pray to begin to evaluate his life is hatred for God is blessed thought of his mother's early hymns of Isaac Watts.

He would write in his journal and I quote, I decided then and there to attempt to reform my life to quit swearing one and the think of the Lord's mercy often and to resolve to do better is the salvation that self reformation, but at least he was turning a little corner in the also found the Bible and other Christian literature which he began to read. We would write that he would have no Christian to talk to no Bible believing pastor to talk to about the true gospel and saving faith in Christ alone, but God was that when John arrived back in London. He discovered that his father had actually gone to the carpets on his behalf to speak to Mary's father.

In the meantime, John is given another assignment on the slave trading ship is only 23 years of age during that voyage. Another life-threatening fever. John would come to terms with sin. He would write this my sin. It was my sin that put Jesus on the cross that I would trust in Christ alone for my forgiveness, that salvation he viewed that by the way is his moment of genuine conversion factor of the more than 300 hymns that John Newton will go on to write eventually the one that he thought we'd be singing the one that he claimed to be his testimony him. I've read some of the lyrics in past days, but maybe you'll recognize some of it but we don't sing it. The lyrics read this in evil long. I took the light on the audit by shame or fear till a new object struck my site and stopped my wild career I saw one hanging on a tree in agonies and blood who fixed his languid eyes on me is near his cross. I stood sure never till my dying breath. Could I forget that look, it seemed to charge me with his death, though not a word he spoke. My conscience felt and owned the guilt and plunged me in despair. I saw my sins, his blood spilled and helped to nail him there.

Last I knew not what I did but now my tears surveying where shall my trembling soul be hid for high the Lord have slain a second look. He gave which said I freely offer give this blood is for thy ransom paid. I died down this live lesson two years later he was able to propose and Mary Bartlett accepted and everybody said main by now he was 25 she was 19. Almost immediately, John is given the command of a slave ship and soon after marrying his bride. He makes two voyages now as a new Christian interesting. He struggles with the slave trade and he would begin keeping a detailed journal that journal would become the earliest known document recording the details of the slave trade. It would contain minute information about the conditions on board the insurrections and the suicides of slaves. The journal that journal would later be used as evidence by his good friend, a good friend that Newton had yet to meet a man by the name of William Wilberforce right with him. John would later encourage fact historical account seemed to indicate or imply that John Newton actually leaves William Wilberforce to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ are read from his journal about. But you can only imagine the irony of John Newton's profession of his newfound Christianity and slave trading. Keep in mind his profession was endorsed by the church.

It was supported by the state. It was paid for by virtually every public industry but yet he's torn.

Can you imagine the irony in the effort to John Newton.

He attempts on that slave ship the whole Sunday worship service.

The slaves in the current. The crew didn't care and neither did the slaves. He began battling ever more this growing sense that this occupation was wrong no matter what the clergy and what Parliament and what the public said your later he's given command of another slave trading ship called the African that voyage is a disaster. There are numerous insurrections among the slaves. Many of them died or committed suicide in this horrific condition.

A number of his own crew deserted. Several others had to be shackled below deck. At one point he thought he would die from yet another illness with high fever and he writes in his journal at this moment. I just want to live and since my former wretched apostasy has been known to hundreds I want to live, to show at least as many of them how I have been changed for the glory of God. When Newton was about to embark yet again on another voyage from Liverpool, England.

He suddenly, unexpectedly, suffered an epileptic seizure. He never had one before. He will not have another one again and that was all he needed.

He considered it an act of God's hand in the immediately resigned commission but now what is only 29 years of age.

He takes a job as a field or in the field of surveying following year. He's invited to go hear a man preach by the name of George Whitfield George Whitfield was preaching nearby, outdoors, of course, because he wasn't allowed to preach indoors. The pastor would have any was preaching that morning at get this 5 AM 5 AM 4000 people showed up just like our 8 o'clock service here Newton was profoundly affected and returned here Whitfield preach that afternoon. In fact, he was able to to get a private conversation with Whitfield and they talk for hours.

In fact, begin a friendship that would last a lifetime. John began studying on his own doctrines of grace which Whitfield so clearly preach. He began studying the Scriptures begin teaching himself Greek and Hebrew for the next 10 years. He works as a survey or any studies the Bible finally and there's a series of events with my time to get into these ordained and begins 40 years of ministry. His first pastorate was in a village named only three years ended, administering a poet by the name of William Cooper who struggled on and off with depression, moved to only enjoy this church and together they began a Thursday evening prayer meeting where they decided that they would exchange weeks and write to him for that Thursday night prayer meeting William Cooper's most famous hymn would be. There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from the manuals they during this ministry. The church would become so crowded there would be 2000 people attending and they had to build a balcony, Newton and Cooper eventually published a hymnal of their original him know one of the hymns that Newton included is taken from first Chronicles 17 the Bible reads at first Chronicles 17 verse 16.

This is this is actually the foundation and the backdrop to the famous hymn amazing Grace, which is a rather different kind of Texan you would imagine. Then David, the king went in and sat before the Lord and said, whom I the Lord God and what is my house that you have brought me this for this was a small thing in your eyes of God. But you have spoken of your servants Helzberg rate while the comet regarded me, according to the standard amount of high degree Lord God, what, what more can David still say to you concerning the honor bestowed on your servant, you know, your servant in others.

Lord, you know what kind of man I am. And you know what kind of nation we are you know what kind of house. I have get you in your grace have done amazing thing for us. The backdrop it's actually a national contest certainly is on biography interwoven. John was eventually called to another church in London where he would serve 20 years that one.

December it's obvious why God brought in the London is one December. Newton receives a note from a 26-year-old member of Parliament and a personal friend of the prime minister asking for an opportunity to have quote some serious conversation, but it must be in secret. The 26-year-old member of Parliament was William Wilberforce and he wasn't wanting to talk to John Newton about slavery was wanting to talk to John Newton about his own sense of sin, and he met with heat only recently begun reading the Bible for himself. In fact, Newton would witness to Wilberforce and give them the gospel of grace that only looking to Christ would bring salvation. Wilberforce left the meeting and wrote in his journal. I called upon old Newton and I was much affected in conversing with him, and I have come away looking up to God. That friendship began between this old former slave trader and the young reformer would eventually bring slave trade to wonderful mystery of the work of God in the lives close to his death at 82 years of age. He was completely blind, unable to read this text. Friend suggested to them. Well it's time to give up preaching the respondent what I cannot stop shall the old blasphemer stop while he can still speak one of his last sermon he summed up his life by saying two things are clear to me. I am a great sinner in Jesus Christ is a great Savior after he died. The words the dictated for his tombstone were carved just as he ordered and they read John Newton 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 had long labored to destroy. What a wonderful illustration of snow heart so that there is no case that closed the grace of God cannot read and say turn up blasphemer into a believer in the worship glory of God. No is beyond the reach of God's you're listening to Winston for the heart with Stephen Devi. I wonder if someone comes to your mind who could be helped by listening to this message.

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