Tom Harding

John Newton was one of England's greatest preachers. He is probably best known for his hymn, "Amazing Grace," and for many other songs he wrote. He preached his last sermon on Dec. 21, 1807, at the age of 82. These were some of his last words: "I am a great sinner ... and Jesus Christ is a great Saviour." Newton was buried beneath his church of St. Mary Woolnoth, and a tablet was placed on the church wall with an inscription he had written himself: "John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine (unrestrained), a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had labored to destroy." All of God's elect, like John Newton, never cease to be totally amazed by God's rich grace, abounding toward them through the redeeming blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, "being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24). God help us never to graduate above the station of a sinner saved by almighty grace!

Tom Harding, Pastor
Zebulon Baptist Church
Pikeville, Ky.

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