In 1748 John almost lost his life at sea in a dreadful storm off the coast of Newfoundland. He prayed, "If this will not do, the Lord have mercy upon us." The ship survived the storm. This led Newton to his new life as a minister and anti-slavery activist. He recollected both his deliverance from the storm, and his life without God, in his most famous creation.
John Newton resigned from his job as captain of a ship that transported slaves.
John became a clergyman in Olney, England.
Together with his friend William Cowper, a poet, John published a book of hymns, which included the one known as "Amazing Grace.
John wrote a pamphlet that described his "Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade." He was trying to convince the government that slavery was an unlawful and evil thing.
John Newton died at the age of 82. That same year, Britain abolished the slave trade, meaning that slaves would not be "imported" as cargo from other countries.
A marble plaque at St. Mary Woolnoth carried the epitaph which Newton himself wrote: