When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Amazing Grace

I heard this story today about the author of the Song "Amazing Grace".  It has always been one of my favorite hymns.  Yet, I never realized the story behind it.  What a gift to hear it for the first time.
His name was John Newton and he lived in England back in the 1700's.  He served on ships for many years.  He was a bit of a rebel and served on many vessels, but he eventually became Captain of his own slave ship.
He was not a religious man, however, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his “great deliverance.”  He wrote about it all in his journal and talked about how when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, “Lord, have mercy upon us.” Later, he reflected on those words and how the ship was able to come into port in spite of the losses and storm.  He began to believe that God had delivered him and that grace had begun to work for him.

He changed his life at that time, quit his swearing, and preached of his conversion.  He continued in the slave trade for a time after that experience, although he justified this by treating his slaves humanely from that point on.  I was glad to find that he finally abandoned the slave trade in 1755 and became someone who actively preached against slavery for the rest of his life.
He later became a minister and was responsible for helping to write a book of hymns for his church in Olney, England.  The book was called the "Olney Hymns" and the first edition contained the hymn Amazing Grace.  
The original name of the hymn is Faith’s Review and Expectation.  It later came to be known as Amazing Grace.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d 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 reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, 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 earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

To me, this is the story of how a lost soul can change his life.  Most of us have not done anywhere near the things against other humans that this man did, yet, starting with one simple miracle, the Lord helped him to change and to eventually turn his life completely around.  That is the miracle of His Amazing Grace.  He has suffered and died for each of us, no matter our sins, they are in His Hands.  If we want to, if we desire to, if we repent, we too can return to Him.  What a wonderful message.

"My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things:
That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Saviour!"
-John Newton

John Newton’s Epitaph:

JOHN NEWTON, Clerk [preacher]

Once an infidel and libertine
A servant of slaves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy
of our Lord and Saviour
restored, pardoned and
appointed to preach
the Gospel which he had
long laboured to destroy.
He ministered,
Near sixteen years in Olney, in Bucks,
And twenty eight years in this Church.

Written by John Newton, it is engraved on a marble plaque in
St Mary, Woolnoth, UK.


  1. Isn't that such an inspiring story? I was reminded of this story in the last few months and it gives me chills everytime I read it!

  2. I loved that story. There was a movie a few years ago entitled Amazing Grace which was this story. I have always loved the hymn.
    I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

  3. What a fabulous and inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing!!!! :D