Mar 15, 2009

Amazing Grace

I simply cannot hear Amazing Grace sung or even read the lyrics without crying. It's message is one of complete, implicit truth. The truth of the words lies in both the values of man and of God. The testimony of this song is even more powerful because it's author had lived a deeply sinful, immoral, and unethical life prior to one fateful day at sea when he found eternal life.

John Newton and the lyrics to Amazing Grace :
John Newton, the author of the lyrics to Amazing Grace, was born in 1725 in Wapping, London, United Kingdom. Despite the powerful message of "Amazing Grace," Newton's religious beliefs initially lacked conviction; his youth was marked by religious confusion and a lack of moral self-control and discipline.

After a brief time in the Royal navy, Newton began his career in slave trading. The turning point in Newton's spiritual life was a violent storm that occurred one night while at sea. Moments after he left the deck, the crewman who had taken his place was swept overboard. Although he manned the vessel for the remainder of the tempest, he later commented that, throughout the tumult, he realized his helplessness and concluded that only the grace of God could save him. Prodded by what he had read in Thomas a' Kempis' Imitation of Christ, Newton took the first step toward accepting faith.

These incidents and his 1750 marriage to Mary Catlett changed Newton significantly. On his slave voyages, he encouraged the sailors under his charge to pray. He also began to ensure that every member of his crew treated their human cargo with gentleness and concern. Nevertheless, it would be another 40 years until Newton openly challenged the trafficking of slaves. Some three years after his marriage, Newton suffered a stroke that prevented him from returning to sea; in time, he interpreted this as another step in his spiritual voyage. He assumed a post in the Customs Office in the port of Liverpool and began to explore Christianity more fully. As Newton attempted to experience all the various expressions of Christianity, it became clear that he was being called to the ministry. Since Newton lacked a university degree, he could not be ordained through normal channels. However, the landlord of the parish at Olney was so impressed with the letters Newton had written about his conversion that he offered the church to Newton; he was ordained in June 1764.

In Olney, the new curate met the poet William Cowper, also a newly-born Christian. Their Friendship led to a spiritual collaboration that completed the inspiration for "Amazing Grace".


Please enjoy this beautiful performance and video.

"Amazing Grace"

Written by: John Newton

performed by: LL Divo

Video: You Tube

Amazing Grace

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.

T'was 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 that 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.

When we've been here ten thousand years

Bright shining as the sun.

We've no less days to sing God's praise

Than when we've first begun.

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.

Please visit Brittany at Sweet Nothings for additional Worship & Praise posts as well as Spiritual Sundays to find inspirational posts.


southerninspiration said...

Oh! One of my favorites, too! Thanks!


Charlotte said...

Absolutely beautiful video. I love the story behind the writing of the song. It is truly amazing. I'm so glad you chose to share this with us for Spiritual Sundays.

Blondie's Journal said...


Wonderful post! I never knew the hitory behind the song, but could see that the writer wanted salvation. Reading the words as well as listening to it was quite an experience! Thank you so much.

I want to say I am always delighted to visit your blog! You come across as a very insightful, intelligent and sweet woman! :-)

Have a blessed Sunday Kathy!


Debra said...

Kathy, I will always love this beautiful hymn also. I'm so thankful that the Lord saved a wretch like me.....His grace surely is amazing!

Smilingsal said...

It's one of America's all-time favorite songs. Thanks for sharing. Happy Spiritual Sunday.

grey like snuffie said...

It is an amazing song. I heard this video not long ago and was a puddle of grateful tears.

ginger at enchanting cottage said...

OH~~~ I have never heard this story before. I'm so glad that you shared this.

Heather said...

i too love this song and can't hear it or read it without crying. i never knew the story behind it though. what a great story to share!

Dixie said...

Kathy... were you and Clif exchanging notes in Sunday School again! This is such a beautiful song... It is especially close to my heart because my Dad chose it to be sung at his funeral. He suffered with cancer for the last year of his life, and that gave him time to make his peace with the Lord... and that is what led him to choose this song... blessings. Dixie

Sandi@ My Yellow Door said...

Hi Kathy,
A very stirring rendition of Amazing Grace sung by one of my favourite singing groups. Thank you for sharing the video and for telling John Newton's story. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Clif said...

As you might expect--I really like this! The pictures are wonderful also.

momma said...

thank you for sharing the story behind the song. that always seems to add so much more meaning to the songs.

God's amazing grace does amaze me!!

Nicole ~ said...

I agree this song really touches ones heart. What an amazing story, I never have heard this history. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Have a wonderful Sunday, Nicole

Sweet Nothings said...

Kathy, this is a beautiful song. One that will always be powerful. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Have a blessed week!

Leah said...


Thanks for sharing.

Liz said...

One of my all time favs! I have a devotional book that is based on hymns. I sing in the choir at church and I grew up listening to my dad sing wonderful hymns.

I love the new praise music ... but oh how I love the hymns.


Heidi Pocketbook said...

This is a beautiful song. The only arrangement of Amazing Grace that doesn't make me cry is the one by Chris Tomlin--as this is a song that I associate with funerals of loved ones.

I'm sorry the diet isn't going well--been there, still doing that. I enjoyed the cartoons on that post!