Home >> New International Encyclopedia, Volume 14 >> New Years Day to Nordau >> Newton_2


london, olney, father and time

NEWTON, Jona (1725-1807). A Church of England divine. Ile was born in London, July 24, 1723, son of a sea-captain. After a little time at a hoarding-sehool in Essex, he went to sea with his father at the age of eleven. During six years he made other voyages with his father and adopted infidel opinions. Ile became n idshipman on a man-of-war. but de serted. was caught. flogged. and degraded. 1743 he set sail for India as a common sailor, and was landed penniless on the African coast near Sierra Leone. In 1747 an English captain, arriving at Sierra Leone with a request from 1,6 father to look out for him. rescued him front.

a most degraded condition, and took him home. On the voyage during a storm he became eon verted, and thenceforth was a changed man. Soon afterwards he was appointed commander of an African slaver, and for four years con tinued in the slave trade. the cruelties of which afterwards he labored earnestly to expose. In 1734 a sudden attack of sickness led him to abandon a seafaring life. and from 1775 to 1760 he was tide-surveyor at Liverpool. At this time he studied Greek and Hebrew, and the best theological works in Latin, French, and English. In 1764 he was ordained and appointed curate of the parish of Olney, 13uckinghamshire, where he remained sixteen years. lie entered heartily

into the religions work and views of Wesley and Whitefield. At Olney he published in 1764 An Authenti! Narratire of Some Remarkable and Interesting Particulars in the Life of the Rcr. John Newton. Here, too, he formed an intimate friendship with Cowper, and in connection with him produced the Olney Hymns (1779). Most of them were written by himself for the use of his congregation. In 1780 he became rector of the united parishes of Saint Mary Woolnoth and Saint Mary Woolchureh, Lombard Street, Lon don. where he remained till his death, in London, December 21, 1807. His works, besides those already mentioned, were a Review of Ecclesias tical History (1770) ; Omicron's Letters (1774); eardiphonia. or the Utterances of the Heart (1 7 S 1 ) Messiah: Fifty Discourses on the Scrip tural Passages of the Oratorio of Handel (1786): and numerous sermons, discourses, tracts, and letters. His collected works were edited with memoir by Cecil (London, 1808). Consult, also, the memoir by Bickersteth (ib., 1843).