NEWTON, John. ~ The best Wisdom. A Sermon, preached in the Parish Church of St. Mary Woolnoth, on Wednesday, the 21st of November, 1787, the Day of the annual Meeting of the Society for Promoting Religious Knowledge among the Poor. London: for J. Buckland; and J. Johnson, 1788.
8vo (210 × 134 mm), pp. , 36, advert to verso of title. A few scattered spots. Preserved in recent grey wrappers.
First edition, a powerful evangelical sermon on the text: ‘He that winneth souls is wise’ (Proverbs XI, v. 30). Slave trader and evangelical clergyman of Olney Hymns (’Amazing Grace’) fame, Newton had become rector of the City church of St Mary Woolnoth in 1780, where his sermons attracted enormous congregations. 1788 was also the year in which he published Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade and in which his best-known portrait, by John Russell, was painted.