From National Catholic Register-
Young John Newton was familiar with the sea: He was only 11 years old when he first set sail with his father. By the age of 18, he’d accepted a position as a slave master in Jamaica; but before he could assume his new post, Newton was pressed into service in the British Navy. He became a midshipman, but he tried to desert his ship — so he was severely beaten and, at his own request, was transferred to a slave ship bound for West Africa.
While he was aboard the slave ship, Newton was forced to become the personal servant of the cruel slave master. Finally, in 1743, he was rescued by a British sea captain, who agreed to transport him home to England.
But alas, as the ship sailed homeward, it encountered a storm at sea. As the wind roared, as the waves washed over the bough, as lightning split the sky into two, Newton and his fellow sailors feared for their lives. As the ship filled with water, the panicked Newton called out to God.
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