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Newton, John  

(July 24, 1725-Dec. 21, 1807). A leading Anglican evangelical and hymn-writer. He was born in London and attended school at Stratford, Essex. Newton went to sea as a midshipman in the English navy. He was later the captain of a slave ship. After his conversion, Newton read for orders and was ordained in 1764 for the cure at Olney. He and William Cowper produced the Olney Hymns (1779), a famous hymn collection that included 280 texts by Newton. In 1780 Newton became rector of St. Mary's Woolnoth, in London. He was active in the anti-slavery movement in the later years of his life. He received the D.D. degree in 1792 from the College of New Jersey, which is now Princeton University. Newton's texts in The Hymnal 1982 are "May the grace of Christ our Savior" (Hymn 351), "Glorious things of thee are spoken" (Hymns 522/523), "How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds" (Hymn 644), and "Amazing grace! how sweet the sound" (Hymn 671). Newton's epitaph states that although he was "once an Infidel and Libertine," he "was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour/ Jesus Christ/ Preserved, restored, pardoned/ And appointed to preach the Faith/ He had long laboured to destroy." He died in London. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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