The CCEL Times 8.8 (August 1, 2013)
In This Issue:
From the Director
Tim Perrine writes the above in the introduction to the CCEL's topic page on Prayer, which lists many classic writings on the topic from the CCEL. Together, they form a fascinating look at the breadth and riches of the Christian tradition on this essential subject.
Articles concerning John Newton and "Amazing Grace"
This month's 'Featured Article' is actually a collection of short, online articles that all relate to John Newton and his hymn, "Amazing Grace."
"The Dissemination of 'Amazing Grace'" available at The Library of Congress.
"Amazing Grace, The Story of John Newton, Author of America's Favorite Hymn" by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson available at Joyful Heart Ministires.
The John Newton Project available at Johnnewton.org.
What We're Reading
This collection of hymns published in 1779 contains some of the most popular Christian songs of all time, “Amazing Grace” among them. By 1836, the book had gone through at least another 37 editions. There are over 300 hymns, some of which still appear in modern church worship. John Newton and his friend, William Cowper, one of the most respected and influential English poets of the 18th century, worked together on this project. Both men shared passion for showing others that they could befriend God personally, receiving forgiveness, freedom, and love. In many ways, their collection epitomizes the booming Evangelical movement of their time.
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Closeout CD/DVD Sale
CCEL CD/DVD CLOSEOUT SALE!!!
While supplies last, CCEL is selling the following CDs at huge markdowns.
CCEL Commentaries: $25 (regularly $49)
CCEL Early Church Fathers $35 (regularly $89)
Visit the CCEL Store to place your order today.
"Amazing Grace! (How Sweet the Sound)" by John Newton (1779)
If America had a national folk hymn, this would probably be it. This well-loved and oft-sung hymn, written by John Newton in the late eighteenth century, is a powerful assurance and declaration of the grace of God working in all our lives. When Newton was just eleven, he joined his father at sea and began a tumultuous life in the Navy, eventually becoming captain of a slave ship. In a period of four years, however, his life was drastically turned around: he nearly drowned, he married a very pious Mary Catlett, and he read through Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and joined forces with the great abolitionist, William Wilberforce. A number of years later, he was ordained for ministry, and soon after wrote this great text, declaring that we are saved only the grace of God. Newton wrote, “I can see no reason why the Lord singled me out for mercy…unless it was to show, by one astonishing instance, that with him 'nothing is impossible'” (Newton, The Life of John Newton). As we sing the very familiar words of this hymn, how powerful it is to think of ourselves as an “astonishing instance” of God’s grace and mercy.
"All of Grace" by C. H. Spurgeon
A sermon based on Ephesians 2:8
Spurgeon begins this sermon with an entertaining story about a time when he preached a sermon on grace with his grandfather. After discussing the importance of grace, he proceeds to cover 5 major points in this sermon:
I. There is present salvation.
II. A Present salvation must be through grace.
III. Present salvation by grace must be through faith.
IV. Salvation by grace, through faith, is not of ourselves.
V. By grace are you saved through faith and that not of ourselves - it is the gift of God.
The sermon concludes with this thought, "If my Lord Jesus gives you salvation at this moment, you have it and you have it forever! He will never take it back—and if He does not take it from you, who can? If He saves you, now, through faith, you are saved—so saved that you shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you out of His hand. May it be so with all of us! Amen.