March 1755

Saturday 1 March
1755 Mar 1 Lord assist
Proposing if it please God to offer myself as an unworthy guest at my Lord’s table tomorrow, I desire this evening by meditation and prayer to prepare my heart for a blessing there, and to examine anew into the state of my soul. Lord assist and work in me by thy Grace. [1]
I have now before me the Covenant, which I was enabled to subscribe binding myself to be the Lord's and his only dated 15 October 1752, [2] which has lain by for some months unperused, though the substance of it has I hope not been wholly forgot. It is frequently if not daily a part of my morning devotions, to renew the tenor and general meaning of it, to praise the Lord who (as I trust) put it in my heart to sign with my hand to the God of Jacob, to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I must repeat the acknowledgement I have always been forced to make upon every reperusal, that I am a great offender with respect to almost every article in it particularly in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th heads[headings]. I daily fail in a prudent government of myself in the use of things in themselves indifferent or lawful, which frequently become a snare to me. I greatly sin in the bent and degree of my affections towards creature comforts and fall much short of intending the glory of God and the Gospel in my conversation – as my duty and engagements oblige me. Besides these instances I must complain of vain thoughts, cold prayers, and a contracted, worldly heart in all my duties, sometimes more, sometimes less prevalent, but always sufficient to convince me how wretched I must be if left to work out my own salvation, or to be tried by the test of my best performances.

I know not how it is with others, but surely the slightest review of my own experience must extort my confession that I am a perverse and unprofitable servant, that if God was strict to mark what is amiss I could not answer him of a thousand. And in this sense I fly to the fountain that is opened for sin and uncleanness. I profess this night in presence of God the judge of hearts, that I have destroyed myself and that I have no hope or trust in heaven or in earth, but in the Lord Jesus only and however my corrupt nature may incline to a legal strain, I am fully convinced that were my poor obedience vastly more extensive and impartial than it is, nay could I exceed the most enlarged Christian living, nothing could stand me in stead, but the merits and atonement of Him, who was made sin for sinful man. And upon this plea (blessed be God) there is mercy for great offenders as freely as for small ones. This is what I have to offer tonight, this is what I desire to_.
Monday 17 March
Having wrote thus far I was interrupted, and the next morning obliged to go to London upon urgent business which prevented my purposed communicating – upon my journey had a signal occasion to praise the Lord who preserves all my bones so that none of them are broken: my horse fell with me, and upon me. I lay under him near a minute, being incapable of relieving myself with my feet in the stirrup, and one of his feet close to my face, till a man passing by came to my assistance. When I was cleared and got up, I found that I had not received the least hurt, not so much as the slightest bruise or strain. Thus though in the greatest seeming security I am continually in danger, yet in the greatest danger I am in continued safety, through divine mercy and protection.
In the afternoon went to Stepney. Heard Mr Brewer [3] on John 16:27. [4] Stayed the sacrament there – afterwards heard Mr Crabtree [5] (a stranger) at Shakespeare's Walk [6] on Hebrews 2:17, [7] a most excellent discourse. Have enjoyed many valuable opportunities since, but being several days without my book, and since my indolence finding excuse from a want of time and place quite to my mind for writing, I am constrained to leave a blank to this 17 March. Now I propose to begin again anew. [8]
Sam Brewer mw42016
Samuel Brewer
William Crabtree
William Crabtree
Shakespears Walk Dissenters' Meeting House

in Shakespear's Walk

1755 Mar 2 Shakespears Walk
I think the principle reason of my coming to spend a few weeks in London, was for the benefit of hearing the Word, and enjoying occasions of religious conference, but I find a change of place will not do without a change in myself; go where I will I carry a body of sin and death with me, that prevents my improving aright, though under the richest means of grace. I have been very carnal and cold this fortnight past, yet now and then I bless God I have reason to hope I am not wholly left to myself. Lord accept my praises for all thy gracious influences, and pardon my great weakness and sinfulness for thy mercies sake through Jesus Christ my Saviour, my only and my all-sufficient plea – again O Lord I resolve (by thy Grace) to be thine; enable me to live to thy praise and glory.
1755 Mar 17 go where I will
Tuesday 18 March
Last night was at the society at Mr May’s; [9] few members; after prayer etc, spent the evening in discourse, turned chiefly upon doctrinal points. I aimed chiefly at supporting the duty of charity and goodwill towards many who are suffered to fall far aside from gospel truths, and that we ought not to refuse them Godspeed, while they continue to build upon the Free Grace of God, and the sole atonement of Jesus Christ as God Man – though they may not be enlightened in some glorious privileges of the gospel, such as election, assurance, perseverance etc. We debated with freedom and cheerfulness, and all in our turns had something to acknowledge (I hope), to the glory of God. A second question was the Difference between Reliance and Assurance, but this proved rather a dispute of words, for when each man explained his sense of the terms, we appeared nearly all of a mind. In companies of greater importance much precious time might be saved by the same method.
This morning at Pinners Hall, [10] with _[my dear Polly] and B. [11] Mr Rawlins [12] began a set of discourses on 2 Samuel 23:5, [13] concerning the everlasting, well-ordered and sure Covenant of Grace, [14] of which I hope I can in the words of his text say, it is all my salvation and all my desire. He confined this first sermon (after the explication and introduction of the words) to the beginning of the verse: Although my house be not so with God, illustrating first from Scripture how frequent it was for Godly parents to be greatly grieved and disappointed in their children. In this, though he handled it very well, I thought him too long, as he left himself little time for what he farther proposed, which was to give some reasons that offered for God’s dealing in this respect. He mentioned three: [15]
1st to show the Divine Sovereignty
2nd that Grace is not to be expected to run in families
3rdly to stir parents up to a careful use of the means in education and prayers on their behalf. [16] He concluded with a warm exhortation to that effect.
Afterwards at the Amsterdam Coffee house, [17] heard some very remarkable cases of cures performed by unction with oil in compliance with James 5:14, [18] which I propose to enquire farther into. [19]

Memo: this morning (though not this morning only) I overslept myself most grossly, so that I had not one poor quarter of an hour before breakfast, and was obliged to go out immediately afterwards. I am sadly overtaken by this weakness, which is not only a waste of time but indisposes me for the business of the day.
f384 Hayward
Minute Book of the Dissenting Deputies: CLC/181/MS03083/001
"A Letter was received from the Revd Mr Hayward which said the Gentlemen from Woolwich
were waiting at the Amsterdam Coffee House..."
Wednesday 19 March  
This evening heard Mr Hayward, [20] at the Lecture for Cases of Conscience. [21] He read a letter from one who mentioned that after having lived several years (in the opinion of himself and others) in a course of comfortable communion with God, had fallen into a state of great darkness, which brought him into a kind of spiritual lethargy, so that though he had continued a constant attendance on the means of grace, he had not for some years found any joy or benefit therein, but now at length had a revival of hope, of peace. He desired to know what reason he had to be assured this might not be a false hope, and a snare of the devil to lull him into a farther and fatal security. revsamuelhayward
'heaven was in his eye, and much of heaven appeared to be in his heart'
In answer Mr H, went over the several stages, and showed that nothing of this was inconsistent with God's way of dealing with his children. He often favours a new convert with great inward peace and comfort and strength, to convince them of his goodness, and to strengthen them against temptations. He often afterwards suffers them to lose their evidences, and to doubt of their state as was the case with Job at some mournful seasons. From this some are permitted to fall almost into insensibility as eminently appears in David. When peace is afterwards restored it appears whether it is of God’s sending by the effects it produces. If it tends to make them secure only, without stirring them up to activity, it is doubtless a false peace and a delusion; but if it leads them to bemoan their unworthiness, and makes the Redeemer’s name more precious, and animates them to a sincere desire of following him in a course of obedience, and excites their desires after heaven as a state of freedom from sin and imperfection, it is undoubtedly the gift and effect of free grace. As the person complained much of spiritual pride, formality, unbelief and an evil heart, he observed for his comfort, that these are sins of which a hypocrite can have no sort of notion. He afterwards gave him four directions:
to be very serious and particular in mourning over those sins which had caused God (who never willingly afflicts) to hide his face from him;
to be much in praise for his goodness in returning to comfort him;
to renew acts of faith on the Lord Jesus Christ and to depend upon his strength and righteousness only;
and to keep conscientiously in the use of all private and public duties, keeping a watch upon his own heart against the first appearances of evil.
He concluded with inferring the necessity of a divine power, not only to begin a work of grace, but to carry it on, against so much opposition, as the world, the flesh and the devil raise against it.
Second: how dreadful a perpetual absence from God, and a sense of his eternal wrath must hereafter be to the sinner, when a mere temporary suspension of his smiles and presence, are so insupportable to his children here.
Thirdly: what reason we have all to long after a better world where we shall be forever secure from backsliding, and where we shall serve God without weariness or intermission or cloud, and go out of his temple no more.
Though there is some difference in circumstances, I met with much in this exercise suitable to my own experience, though I am very backward and blind in the application. Though my comforts and joys have not been so sensibly high as some, yet surely the Lord has done great things for me, [22] and I can easily remember the time when it was better with me than now. Lord enable me to see from whence I am fallen and to repent; let me not provoke thee to withdraw that spark of thy grace which I have not yet (such is thy mercy) wholly extinguished, and increase my knowledge of, and dependence in that better righteousness than my own, which is so absolutely necessary, to keep up my hopes under a sense of my daily offences. My iniquities are more in number than the hairs of my head, yet let me not have cause to say they prevail against me, and prevent my looking up to thy mercy in my Glorious Advocate. I trust that spiritual pride, and unbelief are amongst those sins which I most deeply lament in secret, therefore I would hope, as thy servant said, that I am not an hypocrite, but have been led to see something of the evil of my own heart by the light of thy Word, and thy Spirit. Lord reconcile me to all the ways of thy dealings with me, and teach me to believe, that I may be surely established.
Friday 21 March
Romaine William Romaine

St Dunstans Romaine (who who was not yet a beneficed clergyman in London) was the Thursday lecturer at St Dunstan's.

The church was rebuilt in Fleet St in the 19th century, retaining its clock of 1671.
1755 Mar 21 Yesterday heard Ro
Yesterday heard Mr Romaine [23] on Ephesians 6:14, 1st clause, [24] in which he showed the necessity of the assistance of divine truth in order to the enlightening our understanding, guiding our wills, and purifying our hearts. This is mentioned as the first piece of the spiritual armour, being what without which we cannot skilfully or profitably use the rest or indeed put them on at all. This he demonstrated by showing how properly it is compared to the girdle which the soldiers used in ancient times, which was itself a part of their defence, and served especially to compact their whole armour together. He enlarged on our aversion by nature to divine truth, and the insufficiency of any natural or acquired qualifications to attain it for ourselves and urged everyone to seek it as the gift alone of God. I desire to praise God that notwithstanding the general unhappy declension in doctrines amongst the preachers of the Establishment, [25] there are yet found some who are led to own the doctrines of free grace, and the promised assistance of the Holy Spirit, in opposition to the pride and self-will of the creature. There was a very crowded and seemingly attentive audience. O may God increase the number of faithful labourers where they are so much wanted, and give an abundant success to their ministry. I desire to praise his name, that he has in some measure brought me to see the nothingness of my own abilities and my natural propensity to error and falsehood. I hope I have accepted of this girdle of truth and desire to be guided by his Spirit of truth in all my spiritual views. Glory be to his holy name for it.
 1755 Mar 21 O may God
[Newton wrote in the left-hand margin opposite the next paragraph: “vid page 82 [26] and 142 [27]”]
This being the anniversary of that great and awful Providence by which the Lord was pleased to begin a work of grace on my soul, [28] which I trust amidst all the opposition of my corruptions has been still carrying on, I desire by his blessing to dedicate this day to his service in that view, to impress my soul with a sense of his goodness, to examine into my growth and improvement, and to renew the covenant into which he has been graciously pleased to admit me as a party, and to this purpose I shall retire from the world and unsuitable company as much as I conveniently can. Lord help me by thy grace.
Saturday 22nd March
1755 Mar 22 in His name
Yesterday walked into the country to West Ham etc, [29] for the better opportunity of retirement and reflection, but the roads were so much crowded that my purpose was a good deal hindered. However, I had something of comfort, in my exercises of contrition, praise, and self-dedication, as I was enabled to offer them amidst the interruptions I met with. I trust I was led seriously to bemoan my long estrangedness and opposition to the Covenant of Grace as well the poor and imperfect manner I have acted under it for (if I may commence from the day in which the first impression was made, though very weak, and too often almost overpowered by my corruptions afterwards) the term of seven years (vid page 82 [30]) in which time if I compare my improvements with my mercies and advantages, I have abundant reasons to lay my hand upon my mouth and plead guilty. I hope though that I may praise God for an increase in knowledge and graces this year: my friendship with Captain Clunie [31] and the acquaintance I have by his means made with several judicious Christians, has by Divine Grace been of great advantage to me, both in giving me clearer notions of some gospel truths, and some encouraging examples for practice. But my coldness under all the means of grace is woeful and would be surprising indeed, but that I find the same complaints made all around me. Such is the meanness and weakness of human nature, but blessed be God the Lord JC[Jesus Christ] [32] is an abundant plea, and an all-sufficient supply for all our defects. In his strength and name I anew devoted myself to his service for ever. Amen. On return called upon Mr Brewer; spent two hours with him, with my usual pleasure – and if I do not find improvement every time I am in his company the fault is my own.

At home this whole day; nothing worth recording, time passes greatly unimproved. In the evening I am endeavouring to prepare my heart, and to pray for a blessing on tomorrow's ordinances.
Sunday 23rd of March
Rose at five, [33] went to the Tabernacle; heard Mr Adams [34] on Matthew 5  [v6] [35] – a very comfortable sermon. [36] He showed the propriety of the expression ‘hungering and thirsting’ applied to an awakened sinner: he has such a desire after Christ as nothing else can satisfy, and for which he would be content to part with all, and he described the righteousness mentioned or supposed the object of our desires in the text vizt the imputed righteousness of Christ, internal holiness and conformity to his image, and an external purity and uprightness in his conversation. These are things which God has joined together – too many would separate them: some would rest upon their own good works, others would cast themselves so upon Christ as to expect to be saved by him while continuing in their sins. I humbly trust neither of these is my desire, but that the Lord has made me willing to accept salvation in his own way and upon his own terms.
The forenoon at Mr Brewer's. He preached from Psalm 119:99 [37] on the duty and advantages of meditation, which he observed is the most neglected and the most interrupted of any exercise we engage in. [38] I am sure I can answer for myself, indeed my foolish wandering heart knows not how to set about it. He enlarged much on the excellency, the variety and the properties of God’s testimonies: they made David wiser not only than his enemies, but than his teachers.  I desire to lay it to heart and to go and do likewise.
The afternoon heard Dr Jennings [39] on Luke 3:8. [40]  After introducing the text he:
First mentioned some of those external privileges which the Jews in consequence of being Abraham’s children valued themselves upon such as their natural relation to him – their outward profession, their knowledge of the law, and their boasted good works. [41]  Under each of these heads he showed how nearly they are imitated by too many under the gospel:
some depend on their being the children of religious parents, and build a hope thereon contrary to the express words of the text
some depend upon their church membership, though our Lord has forewarned them that to many who can only plead their having eat and drank in his presence, he shall say Depart from me, I never knew you [42]
some trust in their knowledge and orthodox apprehension of gospel truths, whereas this without a suitable practice will render their case worse instead of better
others again rashly venture upon the sufficiency of their own performances, but this is against the express design and occasion of the gospel and besides that no-one improves all the opportunities he might, and the least defect and omission deserves punishment.
He gave three reasons why our services cannot be meritorious:
because when we have done all in the most perfect manner (were it possible) still we have only done our bounden duty
because all we do, we are furnished for by the gift of God, consequently our good ought to redound to his glory rather than our own and
because he is completely happy in and of himself, and needs none of our service.
There is a fourth very obvious reason which though he did not mention, I desire always to bear upon my mind, I mean the manifest worthlessness and deficiencies, and sinfulness which attends the best we can do. 
His second head was, to describe Abraham’s spiritual children: they are such as are his followers in his exemplary faith and tried obedience. This he illustrated in many known particulars, and showed:
thirdly that the power of God is able to raise up such children to Abraham, from the very stones, that is, under the greatest disadvantages from such as have been strangers to the gospel, without the advantages of ordinances, such as are of weak and confined capacities, yea such as are dead in trespasses and sins, vile to a proverb. These God is able to call out of their gross darkness into his marvellous light, and to make them kings and priests.  
His application has I confess slipped my memory, only this observation: that we are not to limit the power of God, or so far to despair of the conversion of the most hardened, as to give over the use of means in their behalf, our prayers in general, and our outward endeavours with such as we have suitable influence over, for God is able to graft them in and he is generally pleased to honour a dependence upon him in the way he has appointed, to this effect, where he is pleased to give Grace at all. 
I was willing to apply this to myself for some, whose conversion I have often (though too seldom) prayed for, and to whom I have (though too weakly and coldly) offered the most effectual arguments I could raise, to urge them to fly from the wrath to come.  Hitherto I have little prospect of success.   Lord it is thy own work, and thou canst perform it in a single moment.  I cannot beseech thee in a case that more plainly requires infinite power and infinite mercy than my own did.  No-one could be hardened to a more dreadful, aggravated degree than I was myself.  Oh may there be many more such wonders of thy grace, to the advancing thy glory.  Amen
1755 Mar 23 hardened
Monday 24 March
Rose before six and secured an hour or two before breakfast with some comfort and pleasure. The rest of the day various and indifferent. Dined and spent the evening abroad. Was much disappointed in the latter. Ws. [43]
Tuesday 25 March    
Heard Dr Guyse [44] at Pinners’ Hall – the last of several sermons preached on John 10:10 [45] in which he chiefly considered in what senses the life believers derive from Christ is called life more abundantly. 

It is:
pinners hall
Pinners' Hall
1st           more abundantly excellent: it vastly exceeds anything that this mortal life in its enjoyments and most fortunate circumstances affords; it is more excellent than the life given to Adam in paradise, both with regard to privilege and security; and it is more excellent in itself, than we can possibly estimate from any imperfect glimpses of it vouchsafed to us here.
2ndly    it is more abundantly manifested and that in a twofold respect: with regard to light, and knowledge it far exceeds the Old Testament dispensation which was chiefly filled with types and shadows, whereas to us all is clear and displayed as the noon day sun; likewise with regard to liberty, we now know that we have welcome access to the throne of Grace as children; we hear the still voice of gospel peace, whereas the law was a state of bondage and servitude, of terror and suspense.


it is abundantly more than we could ever have hoped for or expected; and here he showed considering both our vileness and our meanness, how high a favour we must have deemed it, had God passed by our demerit of punishment, and given us this earth upon its present terms for our perpetual abode – a still greater grace it would have been to have reinstated us in the condition from whence Adam fell. But both these are infinitely short of what God by Jesus Christ our Saviour has provided for us. The first would have always been (as it is now) unsatisfactory; the second if we stood in our own strength and obedience, we should in all likelihood sooner or later forfeit as Adam did; but that eternal life which is the free gift of God through Christ, is fixed and unalterable as the being and perfection of the Deity, and is as he said:
4thly       more abundantly rich than we are able to think or conceive, nay than even God's Word can in any adequate way reveal unto us under the imperfect medium of our present senses. We must possess it in order to understand it.
From the whole he inferred, the great importance of this subject and what a constant effect it should have upon our lives and conversation. Particularly it should lead us to adore that infinite wisdom, which can thus produce the highest and most extensive and permanent good out of seeming evil.
This is but a very general sketch of one of the most excellent doctrinal sermons I ever heard. [46] Dr Guyse has been for some time deprived of the use of his eyes, but it was remarked by many how wonderfully he was carried beyond the want of them. For my own part I do not remember to have read any suitable hint upon the subject which he had not comprised in his discourse, and he introduced most of the leading texts (though he was not above the hour) notwithstanding his being long deprived the advantage of reading, or the assistance of notes. Thus I see the promise made out to others that as their day is so their strength is proportioned, [47] and why should I fear it will ever fail in my own experience? [48] Lord every day affords repeated proofs that thou art good, and never forsakest those that trust in thee. [49]
Wednesday 26 March
In the afternoon visited Dr Jennings, [50] afterwards at the Case of Conscience lecture Mr Pike [51] spoke of the method a person who is desirous to act under the continual direction of providence, should use in order to discover present duty in particular and pressing circumstances. [52] I shall not transcribe the whole of his plan. [53]  The general rule he gives is by consulting the Scriptures to discover from thence what any particular providence or dispensation requires us to do, and as means he prescribed deliberation in our own minds, consultation with our friends and frequent fervent prayer.

He cautioned against several things which ought not to bring us a decision:
cases of conscience
not our inclinations merely,
not any sudden unaccountable impulses on our mind,
not a superstitious, unwarranted use of the Scripture phrase, by applying passages opened upon at a venture, or suddenly occurring to the mind to the case in hand,
still less to expect any real sensible inspiration to direct us.
The particular case of sudden impulses of the mind I could wish distinctly examined, for though I know for a person to give themselves up universally to such, would subject them to confusion and oftentimes to sin – yet I would not have every extraordinary impulse censured as enthusiastic, for I believe it pleases God sometimes to answer humble prayers for direction by thus powerfully determining the mind to one particular thing which perhaps was the least thought of before. I think I have experienced this myself several times to my great advantage, and I usually choose to obey such suggestions where they do not tend to any[thing] contrary to my duty and conscience, and are not plainly unreasonable though perhaps in some circumstances a little differing from my private judgement, or at least do not furnish me with any material argument, and I must own I should sometimes consider dreams in this view. [54]
Thursday, say Friday 28 March [55]
Heard Dr Guyse at St Helen’s [56] on Psalm 31:5, [57] an introductory discourse, a good deal taken up in explaining the words, and he was shorter than usual. The point he chiefly insisted on, was what is contained under the phrase of committing our spirits into God's hand.

It implies:
Littel St Helens
an earnest and serious concern for the eternal welfare of our never-dying souls
a view of our absolute inability of doing anything to saving ourselves, or of attaining either light or strength by our own endeavours
a sense of the full sufficiency of grace and pardon in the Lord Jesus, and of his abundant readiness to save such as are led by the Spirit to him
an earnest desire to be received of Christ in his own way, and upon his own terms, and in some degree a personal application of his merits to our comfort
and lastly upon all this a permanent willingness to abide by what has been done, and confirming it by frequent renewed tenders of ourselves to his service.
His application was upon this grand question: To what have you committed your souls? And as he enlarged on particulars, my heart was enabled to answer that the Lord had been pleased to lead me to trust wholly and only on my dear Redeemer’s active and passive righteousness, for final salvation and for present peace. Glory be to the Divine Grace for this distinguished privilege, that in a day when the gospel is so much hid from the wise and prudent, it should be revealed even to me, who was a persecutor and blasphemer.
In the afternoon paid a visit to Mr Hayward; [58] conversation various but chiefly religious and experimental. Obtained from him some account of the extraordinary work of grace which is carrying on in the establishment in Cornwall by Mr Walker of Truro [59] and others; saw two of his letters wrote in a charming spirit indeed, [60] so much zeal and so much charity and humility, as can never reside in the same heart unless they are inspired from above. It is my duty to pray that the Lord may own him more and more, and especially as a member [61] of the established church [62] I ought to pray that the number of such faithful labourers may be increased amongst us, and that it would please God to revive that spirit which has been so long greatly departed from us. It is melancholy to consider in how many, very many, parishes in this land of Gospel light the people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. I might express it still more strongly – but it has pleased God of late to send forth several in his own strength, and though they are persecuted and opposed in a remarkable manner, yet I know, Magna veritas, et prævalebit. [63] Mr Hayward [64] acquainted me with his scheme for writing and distributing small pamphlets (on the most interesting points of doctrine and practice) gratis amongst the common ignorant people in which the above Mr Walker, with four or five more, is concerned with him. [65] I judge nothing can be better calculated to promote Christian knowledge, and I would frequently pray for a success to so charitable a design. [66] I put in with him for one address to my brethren the sailors, a set of people not incapable of instruction, yet strangely neglected by ministers of all denominations. [67] Walker sermons
Sunday 30th of March. Easter
This morning I am endeavouring by prayer and meditation, to attain a frame of spirit in some degree suitable to the important business and privilege of the day. Once again I am invited to a great feast, to the supper of the Lord Jesus, to that peculiar means of comfort which he was pleased to institute for our benefit on the very night in which he was betrayed and delivered to die for our sins. This likewise is a day by consent of many thousands set apart for a more particular commemoration of our dear Redeemer’s rising from the dead after he had accomplished the great work which was given him to do – a proper subject of our meditation to be joined to the other as the ground of our hope, for as St Paul says, if Christ be not risen then is our faith vain. [68] Examining myself concerning my right of approach to the Lord's table, I am by divine grace enabled to see, that I am a sinful, perishing creature without hope in myself; that there is an all-sufficiency in my Mediator, and that the humble dependence I have on his willingness to save even me, works in me in some measure of love and obedience, and from thence I am bold to infer that it cannot be a false hope, but is the effect of free, distinguishing grace to the chief of sinners. The following things I would humbly supplicate for besides my general daily want of pardon and grace, namely: [69]
  • a greater zeal for God's glory and the good of souls,
  • a readiness and willingness to speak for the gospel cause,
  • and wisdom to improve all opportunities of exhorting those whom I have any influence upon, who are yet strangers to the things belonging to their peace, and this especially with a view to two or three particular persons. [70]
I want likewise an increase of faith and dependence upon the Lord in temporal matters. I am too apt to prescribe to his wisdom, and to resume the surrender I have often made of my concerns into his hands. Lord increase my strength in these particulars, and give me from this day's experience, joyfully to acknowledge, thou Lord art good to those that trust in thee, and wait upon thee in the ways of thy own appointment. Amen.
In the forenoon at B [71] church heard Mr Murden, [72] one of the few whom it has pleased God to stir up to preach free grace on that side. His text was from Acts 2:36, [73] but the length of the prayer service (sacrament following) hardly allowed him time to press his design in the sermon, which was chiefly a paraphrase on the context and an application enquiring whether his hearers had been enabled to see the Crucified Jesus, so all-sufficient and so necessary to procure salvation, as to accept and rely on him both as their Lord and Christ.
Received the sacrament from him; was very cold and contracted as I often am upon this solemn occasion, but I received comfort from the view I had of my entire consent to the Gospel of Christ, and my readiness to accept him in all his offices; and if I can in any degree [say] I love him, it must undoubtedly be because he first loved me, [74] and his gifts and callings are without repentance. O it is a comfortable thing not to look for acceptance according to my own poor performances, but to have the merits of a Redeemer to plead upon every occasion – this was my hope in this ordinance and this hope, I trust, will abide for ever. 

Afternoon at Mr Brewer's – preached from 1 Corinthians 1:29. [75] His heads were:
1st          of the proneness we have to glory in ourselves, and the many strong reasons we have to be humble
2ndly       what is the effectual means to exclude this self-boasting – what the apostle recommends in the preceding verses: a view of our calling, whether in the cause or the circumstances of it, whether we are wise or foolish in the eyes of the world, rich or poor, mean or noble – whenever[76] God gives repentance, his free grace and sovereign mercy is illustrated equally in all.
3rdly       he showed that the true believer is one who to his utmost disclaims the thought of boasting in himself, and is not only willing, but desirous and anxious that God may have all the praise. He thinks he can never lay himself too low, as he is sure he cannot exalt Grace too high.
He had a most crowded meeting and his application was suitable: a word to saints to go on, to admire and to rejoice in the Lord – to sinners to humble themselves, to pray for that grace which confounds all distinctions, ennobles the base, enriches the poor, strengthens the weak, and enlightens the simple.
In the evening at Shakespeare's Walk heard one Thompson [77] on Matthew 28:5,6, [78] a kind of Easter sermon, confining himself to the proofs of the resurrection, concluding with two exhortations:
  • since Christ is risen let us seek him above
  • and let us not be afraid of the grave, since the same power which raised him from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies, by his Spirit which dwelleth in us. 
Lord be thou pleased to bless the many opportunities I enjoy of thy public ordinances; without thy gracious influence they will be like broken pipes, and empty cisterns.
Monday 31st March
In the forenoon at the yearly sermon for support of the charity at Shakespeare's Walk Mr Hayward [79] preached on John 14:15. [80]

He showed:
1st          the nature of divine love to Christ, that it is superlative, unlimited and impartial
2nd        the causes of it: a sense of God's free love to us, and of the Redeemer’s suitableness to our case, of what he has done, suffered and procured for us
3rd         the effects of it such as conformity and obedience, the latter of which he showed must be willing, universal and attempted in the Lord's strength and with a view to his glory only.
He concluded with an occasional exhortation suited to the meeting. [81]
I dined with the Subscribers, [82] but though there was many such in company as I would have wished, yet there was no conversation, being upwards of 60 people in a room not very large. I reckoned both money and time little better than lost. Spent part of the evening very agreeable with Mr T, [83] but were soon interrupted.
[1] The Prayer Book states: ‘So many as intend to be partakers of the holy Communion shall signify their names to the Curate, at least some time the day before.’ Although Newton found when taking his first communion as a believer in Ireland that this practice had fallen away, he took seriously the need to examine himself before the Lord the night before the monthly communion services.
[2] On Sunday 8 October 1752, having been impressed by the advice he had read of several ‘who have already experienced the riches of thy Gospel, and the power of thy cross’ Newton determined ‘to draw up a written instrument, with my best care and circumspection, and in the strongest words I can choose, to devote myself once more thy servant, absolutely and for ever, without any reservation or competition’. He spent Thursday morning ‘(first imploring the Divine assistance and direction) in framing the engagement by which in pursuance to the above resolution, I propose to devote myself anew and in the most solemn manner to the Service of Almighty God.’ He read it through carefully on Sunday 15th October 1752, when he ‘signed and sealed it as in the presence of God’. He affirmed: ‘I am sincerely determined by his grace to stand by it to my last hour, and that I have no hidden reserves, exception or limitation in my thoughts.’ Although we do not have that document, the entries in his diary as he prepared it are most moving as they reveal his determination to serve and honour the Lord in all his ways, recognising that ‘It were a vain thing in me to pretend to make a covenant with Thee, were I not encouraged by thy promise, that Thou wilt even make an everlasting covenant with me…
[3] Samuel Brewer, cf Fn Monday 20 January 1755
[4] John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
[5] William Crabtree (1720-1811) [portrait] was converted through the preaching of William Grimshaw of Haworth. In December 1753 he became the first pastor of Westgate Baptist Chapel in Bradford, where he remained for almost 50 years. In January 1755 Crabtree went to London to solicit funds for his newly erected Meeting House. He was invited to preach in several chapels. [sign People from Bridwell] Memoirs of the late Rev WM Crabtree, Isaac Mann, London, 1815; Baptist Magazine, Steadman 1811, page 265
[6] The Protestant Dissenters’ Charity School in Shakespear’s Walk, Shadwell, had an adjoining meeting house used for Sunday evening lectures. The Charity was founded by public subscription in 1712, with collections received at meetings and donations at the annual charity dinner for subscribers (see 31 March 1755). The Meeting House was later let to Scots Presbyterians. Shakespear’s Walk no longer exists. It was a little south of the A1203, The Highway, about halfway between King David’s Lane and St Paul’s Shadwell, parallel to the former. Jane Randolph (1720-1776), the mother of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), President of the USA, was born in Shakespear’s Walk. Newton and Jefferson both received Honorary Doctorates in the same year (1791), from New Jersey College, now Princeton University.
[7] Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
[8] Presumably Polly had brought Newton’s diary up from Chatham with her.
[9] William May’s was the venue for the Society’s meetings on Mondays –  cf Monday 3 February (and Fn) and Monday 14 April and 21 April 1755.
[10] The Tuesday morning lectures at Pinners Hall, Pinners Hall Court, Old Broad Street, began in the reign of Charles II ‘under the encouragement and patronage of the principal merchants and tradesmen’ (Wilson, vol 2, p250). Four Presbyterian and two Independent ministers were selected to preach in turn. Early preachers included Owen and Baxter. In 1755, the lecturers were: Samuel Pike, Samuel King, Richard Rawlin, Thomas Bradbury, Dr John Guyse and Thomas Hall. Pinners’ Hall had six galleries. The building was only used on Sunday mornings by the church and could be hired out to others. Isaac Watts’s church assembled here from 1704 to1708 before moving to Duke’s Place, Berry Street. In 1755 Caleb Fleming was the pastor at Pinners’ Hall Independent. Fleming was head-hunted by the Established church and offered a living in Cumberland with ‘a handsome sum’ to defray moving expenses, but could not in conscience accept. He became pastor of the Bartholomew Close congregation. In 1753 he was appointed assistant preacher to the morning congregation at Pinners Hall, officiating at the afternoon in Bartholomew’s Close – the latter dwindled and dissolved, mostly joining at Pinners Hall. Fleming was Socinian, frequently disputing with his colleagues: ‘aiming at originality and strength of expression, he often lost perspicuity, and never attained to elegance’ and ‘appears to have had an uncommon itch for disputing’, disdaining the opinions of his fellow-pastors. The Independent congregation at Pinners Hall died out with him. In the 1763 Companion it is named as ‘the only Independent Hall that is not Calvinist’ (p391). Josiah Bull refers to Pinner’s ‘in Old Broad Street.  A week-day lecture was established there in 1672, conducted by the leading dissenting ministers in and about London; and which, though the lease of that building expired in 1797, is still continued.'
[11] Presumably Betsy as in ‘Elizabeth’, Polly’s sister
[12] Richard Rawlin (1687-1757), became the minister of Fetter Lane Independent in 1730 (the church had moved across the road into a new building, leaving the old one to be occupied by the Moravians). Previous ministers had included Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680) and Thomas Bradbury (1677-1759). James Webb and George Burder (1752-1832) would follow later. Rawlin was elected one of the 6 preachers of the Merchants’ Lecture at Pinners’ Hall in 1740. He published Christ the Righteousness of His People, his first series of lectures there. Walter Wilson calls him ‘a judicious, practical and serious divine; a serious, affectionate, and solid preacher; and of excellent Christian spirit’. He was buried at Bunhill Fields, with Dr Guyse preaching his funeral sermon. His biographer describes him as ‘one of a not inconsiderable band of learned, laborious, and godly nonconformist or Presbyterian ministers who flourished in various parts of England, before the influence of Arianism, in the course of the last century, had so blighted Presbyterianism in that country as to make it, in the estimation of the English public, a synonyme for Unitarianism.’ (Preface to the 1853 edition of Christ the Righteousness of His People, Richard Rawlin, 1741)
[13] 2 Samuel 23:5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.
[14] Newton preached a series of sermons on this text preached at Olney beginning on 23 April 1775 – cf 23 April readings, and following, in 365 days with Newton.
[15] In Newton’s first sermon on this verse, the morning of Sunday 23 April 1775, his main points were based on:
1. Although (the people of God have each their trials)
2. My house (grace does not run in the blood)
3. Not so with God (We are all ‘just so’ and no otherwise as we are with God) and
4. Yet he hath  made (the Although is balanced by a Yet) and 5. It is all my salvation n all my desire (an experimental reason).
[16] Doubtless Newton recalled his mother’s teaching and prayers for him. In his Narrative, after describing her ‘care and instructions’ for him, he adds: ‘Further, my dear mother, besides the pains she took with me, often commended me with many prayers and tears to God; and I doubt not but I reap the fruits of these prayers to this hour.’
[17] Newton wrote ‘A. Coffee house’ – cf Fn diary entry 4 February 1755 and that Fn 25.
[18] James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
[19] There were several cases of cures by unction of oil reported, for instance in Philosophical Transactions for the Year 1755, pp531-532, although these do not mention prayer.
[20] Samuel Hayward, (1718-1757) was pastor of Silver Street Independent, having previously proved himself an able country pastor in Saffron Walden, Potters’ Pury and Poole. He was especially concerned for revival amongst young people. Together with Samuel Pike, he preached the Casuistical lectures at Little St Helen’s on Wednesdays.  Wilson says Hayward was ‘tall and slender’ with a soft voice. He was popular with young people, to whom he preached an annual sermon. He was buried in Bunhill Fields, with Samuel Pike giving the address and Samuel Brewer preaching his funeral sermon. Newton referred to him as ‘my dear and honoured friend’.
John Conder, addressing ‘the church and congregation lately under the care of the Rev S Hayward, deceased’, in his Preface to  Hayward’s Seventeen sermons, on various important subjects, 1758, said of him: ‘The evening of his life was serene, and without a cloud; heaven was in his eye, and much of heaven appeared to be in his heart [pix]… he was enabled to bear testimony to the truths he had preached, and to take a cheerful farewell of time, comfortably secure of eternal life through a dear Redeemer.’
[21] Newton wrote: ‘Mr H_d’. Samuel Hayward (cf Hayward bros info) and Samuel Pike (cf Fn Tuesday 4 February 1755) lectured on cases of conscience ‘at the Causistical Exercise”, on Wednesday evenings, in Little St Helen’s, Bishopsgate (note not the same at St Helens Bishopsgate today). This particular lecture Newton heard may have been [Case IV or Case II?] What methods must a Christian, in declining circumstances, take to recover a healthful and vigorous frame of soul, so as to be able to maintain real and close communion with God, amidst the hurries and businesses of this world?] Case IV How may a Person judge when a Promise or Threatning comes from God, or is brought by Satan, to the Soul? Published in Some Important Cases of Conscience Answered, S Pike & S Hayward, London, 1755, pp54-70. Link here. [or Case XXI?]
[22] e.g. Psalm 126:3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
[23] William Romaine (1714-1795), Thursday lecture at St Dunstan’s. ‘The last sermon which he preached, was the
preceding Thursday evening, at St. Dunstan's’. His concluding sermon at Blackfriars was on the preceding Tuesday morning, from the 13th verse of the 103 Psalm: ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.’
Romaine was appointed Chaplain to the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Daniel Lambert, in 1741. In 1748 he was appointed lecturer at St George's, Botolph Lane, and St Botolph's, Billingsgate. In 1749 he acquired a double lectureship at St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street, a portion of which he retained for life. assistant morning preacher at St George's, Hanover Square (1750–55); professor of astronomy at Gresham College (c.1751–1752); chaplain to the countess of Huntingdon (1755–81); curate and morning preacher at St Olave's, Southwark (1756–9); curate and morning preacher at St Bartholomew-the-Great, West Smithfield (1759–61); and morning preacher and lecturer at Westminster Chapel (1761). assisted once a month at the parish church at Lambeth. He appeared at St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, at Curzon (or St George's) Chapel, Mayfair, and at the Lock Hospital; to Benjamin Ingham's societies at Leeds; with William Grimshaw at Haworth; and at Lady Huntingdon's chapels. In 1755, at the request of the vicar of St George's, he resigned his lectureship At St Dunstan's some parishioners complained that they were forced to make their way to their pews through a ‘ragged, unsavoury multitude’, ‘squeezing’, ‘shoving’, ‘panting’, and ‘riding on one another's backs’; the rector sat in the pulpit to prevent Romaine from occupying it (Monthly Review, 21, 1755, 271). Romaine refused to resign, however, and the matter was carried to the court of king's bench, which (in 1762) deprived him of his morning lectureship (supported by voluntary contributions) but upheld his evening one (supported by an endowment producing £18 annually). The churchwardens, however, refused to unlock the church until the precise moment of Romaine's sermon, or to light it, requiring the congregation to assemble in the street and forcing him to preach by the glow of a single candle. When Dr Richard Terrick, bishop of London (and Romaine's predecessor in the lectureship), happened to observe the crowd assembled in the street, he intervened and the persecution was stopped. In February 1755 Romaine married Mary Price, with whom he had two sons and a daughter. On the recommendation of Lady Huntingdon, in 1764 Romaine became a candidate for the living of St Anne Blackfriars, with St Andrew by the Wardrobe. He preached before the parishioners a straightforward and characteristic sermon, and was duly elected. The vote was disputed, however, and it was not until 1766 that the court of chancery ruled in his favour. Until the arrival of John Newton in 1780 Romaine was the sole beneficed evangelical in London. He was buried at St Andrew's on 3 August The Life of Faith (1763), The Walk of Faith (1771), and The Triumph of Faith (1795). [DNB] ‘Memoir of William Romaine’, Evangelical Magazine, 3 (1795), 436–56 · A. S. Wood, ‘Romaine, William’, The Blackwell dictionary of evangelical biography, 1730–1860, ed. D. M. Lewis (1995), 953–4.
[24] Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…
[25] The Church of England was called the Established Church. It is interesting to note that Newton proved himself to be a notable answer to this and many similar prayers of his.
[26] Wednesday 21 March 1753 (ms diary p82)
[27] Sunday 24 March 1754 pp Thursday 21 March (ms diary p142)
[28] Newton is referring to the storm at sea in March 1748 which marked the beginning of his conversion. In his Narrative he states that this was on 10 March, but when corrections of 11 days were made for the changeover from Julian to Gregorian calendars, that date became equivalent to 21 March.  The changeover happened in the year 1752, when Wednesday, 2 September was followed by Thursday, 14 September.
[29] West Ham was then a rural area. Today its popultion is over 15,000.
[30] 21 March 1753, as fn 158
[31] ‘C. Clunie’ – Captain Alexander Clunie, whom Newton met in St Kitts in 1754.
[32] Newton often wrote ‘the Lord JC’ or ‘the LJC’ for ‘the Lord Jesus Christ’
[33] Newton’s writing is not too clear on this altered figure. It may have been altered from 3 or 6 to 5. On 8 and 10 June he ‘rose at 4’ while in London, but these were to attend extraordinary services with George Whitefield preaching.
[34] Thomas Adams (c.1718-1770) of Rodborough. Moved by hearing a sermon by George Whitefield, Adams donated land in Rodborough for the chapel of which he was to be the first pastor. Adams often preached at Whitefield’s Tabernacle in London. Whitefield left £50 in his will to ‘Thomas Adams, of Rodborough in Gloucestershire, my only first surviving fellow-labourer, and beloved much in the Lord’. However, Adams predeceased Whitefield by a month: Adams died on 10 August and Whitefield on 30 September – the day after Torial Joss had signed his Dedication (to Whitefield) for the publication of his Funeral Sermon for Adams: The Saint entered into peace, a sermon occasioned by the death of Mr Thomas Adams, who departed this life at Rodberow, Glocestershire, August 10, 1770, in the fifty second year of his age, preached at the Tabernacle near Moorfields, London, on Sunday, August 26, 1770, by Torial Joss, preacher of the Gospel, 2nd edition, 1770.
[35] Newton appears to have written ‘5 w’, omitting the verse number, but from the context following it appears to have been Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
[36] Newton’s writing is again unclear from a change, which appears to have been from ‘service’ to ‘sermon’.
[37] Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
[38] Billy Graham, interviewed at the age of 92, said given his life over again, he would have spent far more time in meditation, prayer and study (interview )
[39] ms: ‘Dr J_’ David Jennings (1691-1762)
[40] Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
[41] David Jennings was the author of Jewish Antiquities (1766)
[42] Quoting from Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
[43] No indication of what appears to be ‘Ws’ might stand for.
[44] ms: ‘Dr. G_’. Dr John Guyse (1680-1761) was the minister of New Broad Street Independent. His honorary doctorate was conferred on him by the University of Aberdeen in 1732. He was an ‘active and able’ pastor, an ‘affectionate and faithful guide to his people’ (Protestant Dissenter's Magazine, December 1796). He published numerous books, sermons and tracts, and a 3-volume Paraphrase on the New Testament. Guyse was preached for the Merchants’ Lectures at Pinners’ Hall on Tuesdays and for Mr Coward’s lectures at Little St Helen’s on Fridays. He was a member of the King’s Head Society, formed to finance the training of young men for the ministry. Well into old age when Newton first heard him, Guyse suffered lameness in his leg, and had gradually lost his sight.
[45] John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
[46] Although not the subject mentioned here, you can read an example of John Guyse’s preaching in Christ the Son of God, the great subject of a Gospel Ministry, opened and recommended in Two Sermons preached at St Helen’s April 17th and 24th, 1729, London, 1730 here. It is easy to see how strongly Newton’s own preaching resonated with Guyse’s chief objective: ‘to preach Christ’.
[47] Quoting from Deuteronomy 33:25 lst clause … and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
[48] Note also this same theme in Newton’s hymn Why should I fear the darkest hour, Olney Hymns, Book 3, Hymn 46
[49] Fifty years later, when Newton had also lost his sight in old age, he recorded as the final comment in his diary an acknowledgement of the ‘repeated proofs’ of the Lord’s goodness to him since his conversion on 21 March 1748: ‘Not well able to write. But I endeavour to observe the return of this day, with humiliation, prayer and praise.’
[50] ms: 'Dr. J_'
[51] For Samuel Pike (c.1717–1773) cf Fn 22 of 4 February 1755
[52] This lecture was published: Case XI of Some Important Cases of Conscience Answered, S Pike & S Hayward, London, 1755, pp156-174, 'How may a person, who is desirous of following the dictates of providence, in every respect, know the mind and will of God in any particular circumstance, whether temporal or spiritual?' see here and next Fn
[53] Newton inserted what looks like the letter ‘p’ above the word ‘whole”, perhaps intending ‘particulars’. Newton’s notes compare well with it.
[54] Newton continued to feel that  dreams could be significant, eg in his Narrative, Letter 3, and Olney Hymns, Book 2, Hymn 98, ‘On dreaming’.
[55] as indicated on 17 March, Newton was reflecting back on the past days
[56] Little St Helen’s, referred by a correspondent in the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1798 as ‘the inconsiderable passage from Bishopsgate Street’, was formed of several courtyards, fronted by buildings including the Leathersellers’ Hall and a Presbyterian chapel. This chapel (referred to as either Little St Helen’s or St Helen’s – though differing from the neighbouring Established church of that name), was built in 1672, of ‘moderate size’ having ‘three good galleries’. It was also used for interdenominational meetings – the Casuistical lectures on Wednesdays and the Coward lectures on Fridays. Little St Helen’s was demolished in 1799, giving way to the present St Helen’s Place (which leads to the church of St Helen’s, Bishopsgate).
[57] Psalm 31:5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. (ms: '31 Psalm v 5)'
[58] Newton sometimes spelled this as ‘Heywood’, but his diary confirms it was Samuel Hayward (1718-1757), with whom he later corresponded from  Fn 19 March 1755
[59] Samuel Walker (1713-1761) of Truro, whose ministry was so effective that JC Ryle recorded: ‘it was said you might fire a canon down every street of Truro in church time, without a chance of killing a single human being’. When a regiment of soldiers stayed in Truro 250 of them were converted.  Walker’s week was filled with pastoral care and teaching, starting his sermon preparation on Fridays, with Saturdays set aside ‘in the morning for humiliation and solemn prayers, as a preparative for composing a sermon in the afternoon and at night.’ Walker and Hayward were keen on a ‘scheme’ of circulating small tracts or pamphlets. Walker commented on this in a letter to Thomas Adam of Wintringham in the summer of 1759: ‘You ask after Mr. Vivian's dialogue between a minister and a farmer. They were three papers published in Hayward's scheme, and which Mr. Penrose and I desired might be printed together, with a few alterations and additions. It is a close little piece, very familiar, and remarkably calculated to awaken. You will like it, and be glad your insensible people, as you call them, may have the benefit of reading them.’ [p469 The Life and Ministry of the Rev Samuel Walker, Edwin Sidney, London, 1838]. The pamphlet is entitled Three Dialogues, between a Minister and one of his Parishioners, Thomas Vivian, London, 1758 (it reached the 6th edition the following year). Vivian (1720-1793) rector of Cornwood, Devon (ebooks/London). In August 1760 Walker was en route to stay with William Talbot in Kineton (Newton stayed there in late July 1760) when ill health turned him back to Bath. He subsequently moved on to stay with Lord Dartmouth at Blackheath, where he died.
[60] The previous week, on 18 March 1755, Walker started his ‘Parsons’ Club’, a monthly meeting of evangelical ministers to ‘consult upon the business of their calling’. For an interesting description of these meetings see Chapter 3 of The Life and Ministry of the Rev Samuel Walker, Edwin Sydney, London, 1838 (2nd edtn) available here.
[61] Newton was married in St Margaret’s church in Rochester. His wife Mary Catlett and her family were all members of (baptised in) St Mary’s Chatham.
[62] The ‘Established Church’ was the Church of England (officially recognised by the government as a national institution).
[63] Magna est veritas, et prævalebit  – Truth is mighty, and it shall prevail.
[64] ms: ‘Mr H”
[65] The scheme: see above under Walker and sort it properly – cf file Thomas Vivian people – got pamphlet Three Dialogues in ebooks London
[66] Newton later wrote several tracts in Liverpool. Diary, 14 January 1761: ‘At the Watch House finished a letter I began yesterday for Mr Romaine, and am transcribing a dialogue (which I wrote lately) to send to him, that if he approves it may be printed.’ Perhaps this was modelled on Hayward’s ‘scheme’. See here.
[67] Add his other appeals, eg to DJ from on board, preface in Ryder etc [check got this letter]
[68] Quoting from 1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
[69] ms: ‘vizt'
[70] Polly's brother Jack Catlett would have been one
[71] Probably All Hallows, Barking (not in Barking, but in Byward Street opposite Seething Lane – the name Barking comes from its association with the Abbey of Barking, Essex).
[72] William Murden (1703-1760), formerly of Sidney Sussex, chaplain to Lord Onlsow, rector of Merrow, Guildford, 1753-1760; vicar Shalford with Brampey May 1755 – death in February 1760.
[73] Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
[74] 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
[75] 1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
[76] ms overwritten from ‘whether’ to ‘whe[?]ever’
[77] [not clarified yet: Thompson or maybe Thomson?]
[78] Matthew 28:5,6 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
[79] Here and elsewhere Newton wrote: Haywood. This does not seem to be anyone else but Samuel Hayward, forementioned.
[80] John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
[81] i.e. relevant to the occasion of supporting the charity
[82] Not yet idenitfied, but possibly some mentioned in the LMA records of dissenting deputies.
[83] perhaps John Thorpe - see diary 3 February 1755 and Fn 15 for that month


KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK
London Metropolitan Archives
Princeton University Library John Newton Diaries, CO199