No. 6


undated [1786]


My dear Sir


I am glad to inform you, that by the favour of the Lord’s good providence, we have removed in safety to our new habitation.  We are not yet quite settled and to rights, but sufficiently so, for me to say (after what has passed between you and me) that I shall rejoice to see you in it, whenever it suits you.  For you have effectually taught me to receive you without ceremony.  On Wednesday next I shall be particularly engaged.  But from [that] day forward I shall look and long for you, till you can come.


The Lord has given me many friends, but there is room in my heart for them all.  And methinks as much room for you, as if you were the only one.  Short as our acquaintance has been, there are few, if any, whom I can more cordially address in the words of Horace than yourself –


Excepto quod non simul esses, cætera lætus.


Many removals I have seen, in all which the Lord has been very gracious to me, they have been so many graduations, leading me by steps to more comfort, honour and service.  Having ten years remaining in the lease of this house, it becomes me at my time of life, to think it highly probable, that my next remove may place me out of the reach of change.  Oh – to find mercy of the Lord in that day!  When nothing shall remain with us, of all our concerns and connections here, but the consequences of our conduct!  The Lord bless you, My Dear Sir.


Mrs Newton unites with me in best respects.

I am indeed and in truth

Your most affectionate and obliged servant

John Newton


No. 6 Coleman Street Buildings

My first letter from thence


Undated [1786]


Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Wilberforce c.49 fol. 6



A quote from the Latin poet Horace’s First Book of Letters, published in 20BC: “Except that you were not with me, in other respects I was happy” (from Epistolarum, Liber Primus, Epistola X). [return]