Published in 1779, “Amazing Grace” is performed close to 10 million times a year. This Christian hymn is so popular because it tells the story of all of us, all in need of being saved by grace. If you have been saved and know the weight lifted by the sacrifice of Christ, this song probably raises the hair on your neck and brings a tear to your eye.
“The Lord is merciful and GRACIOUS; slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8
This famous song was written by a man like so many of us. John Newton had a rough start and acted unjustly toward others, as a captain of slave ships. Throughout his life, he was treated as a wretch and he endured the pain inflicted by circumstance.
The six singers did masterful job of singing the classic hymn so many have sung and listened to, a reminder of their new life in Christ. Their harmony is as calming and reassuring as the message itself.
As the song states, Newton certainly led the life of a wretch. He was born in London and his mother died when he was only seven years old. Left with only his father, a merchant ship commander, Newton was forced to go to sea at age 11. As a young man he was put into the navy service, a position he didn’t enjoy. He was soon publicly flogged for being a deserter. The next leg of his life landed him as a servant on a slave ship where he was abused. He lived that life until he was rescued by a friend of his father.
With his sea experience, Newton set out to captain a ship but with
his tarnished reputation, a slave ship captain was his only career
option. This slave ship would ultimately be the salvation of Newton. On
the night of may 10, 1748, as he faced a severe storm, he had what he
journaled as a “great deliverance.” This is where God sought him out and
gave him grace.
After his conversion, Newton began to
self-educate, learning Latin, Hebrew and Greek. In a huge leap of faith,
he left the sea and became a minister. He would go on to preach the
gospel to the masses. One of his ministries was a weekly prayer meeting
in which he would write a hymn for each meeting. It is believed that
“Amazing Grace’ was written for one such meeting. The song has been
changed a bit over the years but the source was always God’s grace.
is believed that “Amazing Grace’ was written for one such meeting. The
song has been changed a bit over the years but the source was always