The Sacred Memory of John Newton
John Newton who ran away to sea, and then to Africa, was sold at last to a negress. He sank so low that he lived only on crumbs from her table and on wild yams dug at night. His clothing was reduced to a single shirt which he washed in the ocean. When he finally escaped, he went to the natives, accepting their base life. It does not seem possible for a civilized man to have sunk so low, but the power of God laid hold on him through a missionary. He became a sea captain; later became a minister. He wrote many hymns sung the world around: “Safely through Another Week,” “Come, My Soul,” “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds,” “One There Is Above All Others.” In the church of London of which he was the pastor, there is still an epitaph which John Newton wrote for himself. It reads: “Sacred to the memory of John Newton, once a libertine and blasphemer and slave of slaves in Africa, but renewed, purified, pardoned, and appointed to preach that Gospel which he had labored to destroy!” (Quiet Hour Stories).