John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumultuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >
Kindred in Christ, for His dear sake. J. Newton. [Welcome to Christian Friends.] Published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. ii., No. 70, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "A Welcome to Christian Friends." It is in common use in its original form, and also as: (1) "Kindred in Christ, to us 'tis given,” adapted for Union and Home Missionary Meetings, and (2) "May He by Whose kind care we meet," also suitable for similar gatherings.