English and Scottish missions in the late eighteenth and early to mid-nineteenth centuries not only brought the Gospel message, they were also instrumental in fomenting social reforms, bringing medical care, and ending pagan practices that destroyed the lives of women and children.
“Amazing Grace” is probably the most beloved song ever written and has had a lasting influence on believers and nonbelievers alike to this day.
His allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress is considered one of the great works of Christian literature and was often one of only two books, along with the Bible, that families owned for over 200 years until the early twentieth century.
William Williams has been called “the Watts of Wales.” Born in 1717, his “awakening” was due to an open-air sermon by the famous Welsh preacher, Howell Harris. Williams received deacon’s orders in the Established Church but subsequently became a Calvinistic Methodist preacher. As an evangelistic preacher, he was popular and successful among the Welsh. He died in 1791.
George Rundle Prynne, an English clergyman of the Established Church, was born in Cornwall, England in 1818. He was educated at Cambridge and was ordained to the ministry in 1841. He became vicar of St. Peter’s, in Plymouth, in 1848. Among his publications were three volumes of sermons and Hymnal Suited for the Services of the Church, 1858. He died in 1903.
John Newton was born in London in 1725. His mother, a pious woman, died when he was only seven years of age. His only “schooling” was from his eighth to his tenth year. He was engaged in the African slave trade for several years and was even himself held as a slave at one time in Sierra Leone. He bragged of his sinful nature but was converted in a storm at sea while returning from Africa. He married a devout Christian in 1750 and became a minister in the Established Church in 1758, preaching at a church in Olney, near Cambridge.
Thomas Kelly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1769. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin University and entered the ministry of the Established Church. His evangelical preaching proved too strong for the Established Church and he was forbidden by Archbishop Fowler to preach in the city. He became an Independent and preached in various Dublin locations for more than sixty years.
Horatius Bonar, a distinguished Presbyterian minister, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1808. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, was ordained in 1837, and became a minister of the Established Church at Kelso.
John Newton (1725-1807), the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” was born in London, the son of a pious mother who died when he was only seven years of age.
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), a distinguished Presbyterian minister, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.