Profane, sailor, slave trader, infidel and devoted servant of Jesus Christ—that is the remarkable and astonishing story of John Newton. He first went to sea when he was eleven; he was converted at twenty-three; and he was ordained a minister of the Christian gospel when he was thirty-nine. By his own description, "once a servant of slaves in Africa," John Newton spent his young manhood sinning profusely and exuberantly, a prodigal whose intense experience of the world was nearly full at a very early age. But he lived "to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy." His Letters are justly famous and his Hymns, many of them written in collaboration with the poet William Cowper, are among the most cherished of Christian songs.
In this magnificent and weighty novel, Grace Irwin has portrayed Newton as both the sinner and saint that he was. Her style is effective: it conveys the mood and temper of the times in which Newton lived and establishes him in them; her characterization is superb; and her descriptions of Newton's physical and spiritual experiences are vivid, honest, and expertly restrained.
Powerfully told, Servant of Slaves is the story of that power which does not change human existence, but the human heart.
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