One of the best loved and most often sung hymns in North America, this hymn expresses John Newton's personal experience of conversion from sin as an act of God's grace. At the end of his life, Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) said, “There are two things I'll never forget: that I was a great sinner, and that Jesus Christ is a greater Savior!” This hymn is Newton's spiritual autobiography, but the truth it affirms–that we are saved by grace alone–is one that all Christians may confess with joy and gratitude. Newton was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumultuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide-surveyor in Liverpool, England, Newton came under the influence of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley (PHH 267) and began to study for the for the ministry. He was ordained in the Church of England and served in Olney (1764-1780) and St. Mary Woolnoth, London (1780-1807). His legacy to the Christian church includes his hymns as well as his collaboration with William Cowper (PHH 434) in publishing Olney Hymns (1779), to which Newton contributed 280 hymns, including “Amazing Grace.” "Amazing Grace" was published in six stanzas with the heading "1 Chronicles 17:16-17, Faith's review and expectation." Four of his original stanzas are included in the Psalter Hymnal along with a fifth anonymous and apocalyptic stanza first found in A Collection of Sacred Ballads (1790). The fifth stanza was first published separately in the 1859 edition of The Sacred Harp and joined to Newton's text in Edwin O. Excell's Coronation Hymns (1910); it has been associated with Newton's text ever since. The Hymnal 1982 Companion calls it "an example of a 'wandering' stanza in [common meter] that appears at the end of a variety of hymns in nineteenth-century hymnals" (Vol. Three B, 671). Liturgical Use: Many occasions of worship when we need to confess with joy that we re saved by God's grace alone; as a hymn of response to forgiveness of sin or as an assurance of pardon; as a confession of faith or after the sermon. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Amazing Grace
Lyrics 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 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.

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.

Author: John Newton
Reference: Genesis 15:1; Exodus 15:6; Exodus 19:1-8; Exodus 34:6-7; 1 Samuel 7:12; 2 Samuel 7:18; 2 Samuel 7:28; 1 Kings 1:29; 1 Chronicles 17:16-17; 1 Chronicles 17:26-27; Psalm 3:1-6; Psalm 16:5; Psalm 18:1-3; Psalm 28:7; Psalm 33:20; Psalm 66:16; Psalm 67:1; Psalm 73:26; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 142:5-6; Psalm 142:5; Psalm 145:1-2; Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 43:1-7; Jeremiah 29:11; Jeremiah 33:14; Matthew 18:13; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 12:32; Luke 13:1-9; Luke 15:4; Luke 15:1-3; Luke 15:11-32; Luke 18:9-14; Luke 20:27-38; John 1:16-17; John 1:14-16; John 3:14-21; John 9; John 10:25; Acts 15:11; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 3:22-31; Romans 5:2-21; Romans 5:1-2; Romans 5:15; Romans 6:12-23; Romans 8:1-4; Romans 8:36-39; Romans 9:1-5; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Corinthians 9:14; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Ephesians 1:2-14; Ephesians 2; Ephesians 6:10-20; Ephesians 6:23-24; Colossians 1:1-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:3-7; Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 6:19; Revelation 14:3; Revelation 19:1-8;
Source: Praise! 772
Copyright: Public Domain