Wednesday, April 8, 2009
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.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear , And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.
The world shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun refuse to shine;
But God, who called me here below, Shall be forever mine.
When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we'd first begun.
This song was written by John Newton in 1779 while he was studying for the ministry in Olney, England. This song first appeared in The Olney Hymns in which Newton placed 281 of his own works, including Amazing Grace...Later this familiar song became an American tradition.
John Newton's life started not in a good way. He was a captain of a slave ship and was well known for being so drunk and obnoxious and his crew often rebelled against his tyranny. After a near death experience on one of his ships he realized he needed to get right with God. He realized that he had lived a wicked and loathsome life and it needed to stop.... The next fourteen years, John Newton dedicated himself to the ministry and at the age of thirty-nine became a pastor.
*The information for this story came from The Amazing Story behind Amazing Grace by Lindsay Terry.