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THE REV. JOHN NEWTON,
LATE RECTOR OF THE
UNITED PARISHES OF ST. MARY WOOLNOTH
ST. MARY WOOLCHURCH HAW, LOMBARD STREET:
HIS LIFE, CONNECTIONS, AND CHARACTER.
REV. R. CECIL, A.M.
LATE MINISTER OF ST. JOHN'S, BEDFORD ROW.
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM BAYNES AND SON,
PATERNOSTER ROW; AND
H. S. BAYNES AND CO., EDINBURGH.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 110180A
ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
PRINTED BY CHARLES WOOD,
THE Memoirs of the Hon. and Rev. William Bromley Cadogan, and those of John Bacon, Esq. were written at the particular request of their relations. But in publishing these, of the late Rev. John Newton, I profess myself a volunteer; and my motives were the following:-When I perceived my venerable friend bending under a weight of years, and considered how soon, from the very course of nature, the world must lose so valuable an instructor and example; when I reflected how common it is for hasty and inaccurate accounts of extraordinary characters to be obtruded on the public by venal writers, whenever more authentic documents are wanting; above all, when I considered how striking a display such a life affords of the nature of true religion, of the power of divine grace, of the mysterious but all-wise course of Divine providence, and of the encouragement afforded for our dependance upon that providence in the most trying circumstances; I say, on these accounts I felt, that the leading features of such a character should not be neglected, whilst it was easy to authenticate them correctly.
Besides which, I have observed a want of books of a certain class for young people; and have often been inquired of by Christian parents for publications that might amuse their families, and yet tend to promote their best interests: the number, however, of this kind which I have seen, and that appeared unexceptionable, is but small. For, as the characters and sentiments of some men become moral blights in society, men whose mouths seldom open but, like that of sepulchres, they discover the putridity they contain, and infect more or less whoever ventures within their baneful influence; so the reformed subject of these Memoirs was happily a remarkable instance of the reverse: the change that took place in his heart, after such a course of profligacy, affords a convincing demonstration of the truth and force of Christianity. Instead of proceeding as a blight in society, he became a blessing; his future course was a striking example of the beneficial effects of the Gospel ; and that, not only from the pulpit, and by his pen, but also by his conversation in the large circle of his acquaintance, of which there is, yet living, a multitude of witnesses.
Impressed, therefore, with the advantages which I conceived would result from the publication of these Memoirs, I communicated my design some years ago to Mr. N. Whatever tended to promote that cause in which his heart had been long engaged, I was sure would not fail to obtain his concurrence. He accordingly promised to afford whatever materials might be necessary, beyond those which his printed Narrative con
tained. He promised also to read over and revise whatever was added from my own observation; and he soon after brought me an account in writing, containing every thing memorable which he recollected before the commencement of his Narrative. I shall, therefore, detain the Reader no longer than to assure him, that the whole of the following Memoirs (except what relates to Mr. N.'s character) was submitted to him in MS, while he was capable of corr correcting it, and received his sanction.