wrong desires and doing what is
SELF-CONTROL - A One-Minute Testimonial
Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater
Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Contributed by B. E. Tumbleson
Librarian, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy,
October 8, 2001
John Newton (1725-1807) lacked self-control, one
of the fruit of the Spirit, for much of his life.
Sometimes we forget church history's heroes
struggled even as we do today. John Newton, who
wrote the famous hymn "Amazing Grace," received
Bible training from his mother until her death. He
was 7. Then he drifted far from his Christian
heritage. He lost his first job due to his
"'unsettled behavior and impatience of restraint.'"
This character deficit was to continue for years.
At 11, Newton went to sea with the merchant navy.
Later he deserted the royal navy and joined a
slaver ship. Rather than rejecting wrong desires,
he seemed to embrace them. His arrogance,
insubordination, and immoral habits characterized
his life aboard the slave ship. Although Newton
came to faith during a storm at sea, he continued
to work as mate then as captain aboard slave ships.
Only after he went ashore and came under the
influence of the Wesleys and George Whitefield did
Newton resolve to pursue the right. He became
ordained as an Anglican minister, took a parish,
wrote hymns, and joined the English abolition
movement against slavery. Indeed, he encouraged
William Wilberforce in his Parliamentary campaign
to abolish slavery in the British empire. Newton
wrote Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade in
1787. As we see, Newton's struggle and ultimate
victory in self-control is attributed to God's
amazing grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.
[Adapted from 131 Christians Everyone
Should Know, Mark Galli, Broadman & Holman,
material is published by the Faith Committee of the
Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and
Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is