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John Newton

John Newton was a rough, dirty sailor with a foul mouth and an appetite for rotten living. He hated life and life hated him. He was captain of a slaveship.

Then someone placed in his hands a copy of Thomas a Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. He also had the gift of a good mother who told him about the Saviour when he was young. And then he was saved. He went all over England sharing his faith. Well past his “retirement” age, he had to have an assistant stand in the pulpit with him on Sundays. He was nearly blind and spoke in whispers, but nothing could keep him from preaching while he still had breath.

One Sunday, while delivering his message he repeated the sentence: “Jesus Christ is precious.” His helper whispered to him: “But you have already said that twice.”

Newton turned to his helper and said loudly, “Yes, I’ve said it twice, and I’m going to say it again.”

The stones in the ancient sanctuary fairly shook as the grand old preacher said again: “Jesus Christ is precious!”

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

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