A Mother’s Influence
By: Dwight Hall
To a young couple living at the southern tip of England, a baby boy was born. The muscular father was known for his rigorous life on the ocean, for he commanded a trade ship that plied the waters of the Mediterranean. Little money reached home, however, and his wife spent many hours working for others so she could put food on the table. In spite of her constant weariness, she prayed often and earnestly for the boy and day after day gave him the home-schooling she knew he needed. It would be the only training he could receive in his younger days.
Seeing he greatly enjoyed studying, she completed his lessons in English along with a full year of Latin-then she died suddenly just before his seventh birthday! Her passing was a great blow to the
child. One year later, his father arrived home, remarried, and put the boy in boarding school far from home. Mingling with rough and profane children, and chafing under the severe and imprudent disciplines of the schoolmaster, the child grew bitter and hardened. At the age of eleven his father took him along to work with him on the sea. Each year the boy became more unmanageable and corrupt! Soon his life became so vile even his most wicked friends were warned to avoid him! But the past prayers of his mother were still having a powerful effect-there came a time when that man, John Newton, was thoroughly converted!
The fact the God could save such a vicious, vile sinner as himself stunned him, and in later days as he thought it over with many tears he wrote: ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see!’ Newton made a complete turn around, studied for the ministry, and became a strong voice for righteousness! Among those who came to Christ under his preaching was a cultured, self-satisfied man named Thomas Scott.
His life was marvelously changed, and by his pen and his preaching he led literally thousands to the Savior, Jesus Christ. One of those in his congregation was a sickly and depressed young man named William Cowper. God changed his life around and he, too, reached out to multitudes of people with the Good News of salvation in Christ! And to this day great numbers of people worship the Lord singing his song: “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains!”
Consider what a wide and wonderful influence that mother of John Newton had! What if she had failed to pray as she did? We still need mothers like that!