Amazing Grace is a hymn that has been sung the world over by many religious groups for worship services and funerals as well. While most people are some what familiar with at least the first few lines and the music few know the history behind this great hymn.
It was penned by John Newton sometime between 1760 and 1770 while he was curacy ( preacher) at Olney, Buckinghamshire UK. A song very appropriate from a minister. However in his youth he lived a very different life. At age 11 he joined his father on a sailing merchant ship. When he was 19 he was sent to the British Navy fleet where he was very unhappy and ask for a transfer to a slave trading ship. At the age of 30 he gave up his seafaring ways. In 1760 when he was 35 he became the curacy at Olney. While his life was filled with turmoil and hard work he created this amazing hymn that is still being sung 250 years later. We have to stop and think is anything that we are doing that will effect people for the same number of years.
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.
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 first begun.
19th cent. USA melody; harm. by Edwin O. Excell
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