Do you know the inspiring story behind its songwriter? John Newton was an eighteenth century British slave trader who had a dramatic faith experience during a storm at sea. He gave his life to God, left the slave trade, became a pastor, and wrote hymns. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
Amazing Grace was penned by a slave trader immediately after he survived a horrific storm at sea, his survival prompting him to foreswear his former evil ways and accept God into his life.
He was bringing a large supply of slaves, to the US, when he suddenly became inexplicably wracked with guilt over this chosen profession, and ordered that the ship be turned back to Africa, and all the slaves freed. The only godly influence in my life, as far back as I can remember, was my mother, whom I had for only seven years.
When she left my life through death, I was virtually an orphan.
My father remarried, sent me to a strict military school, where the severity of discipline almost broke my back. By and by, through a process of time, I slowly gave myself over to the devil. And I determined that I would sin to my fill without restraint, now that the righteous lamp of my life had gone out.
I did that until my days in the military service, where again discipline worked hard against me, but I further rebelled. My spirit would not break, and I became increasingly more and a rebel. Because of a number of things that I disagreed with in the military, I finally deserted, only to be captured like a common criminal and beaten publicly several times.
After enduring the punishment, I again fled. I entertained thoughts of suicide on my way to Africa, deciding that would be the place I could get farthest from anyone that knew me. And again I made pact with the devil to live for him.
Somehow, through a process of events, I got in touch with a Portuguese slave trader, and I lived in his home. His wife, who was brimming with hostility, took a lot of it out on me. She beat me, and I ate like a dog on the floor of the home. If I refused to do that, she would whip me with a lash.
I fled penniless, owning only the clothes on my back, to the shoreline of Africa where I built a fire, hoping to attract a ship that was passing by.
The skipper thought that I had gold or slaves or ivory to sell and was surprised because I was a skilled navigator. And it was there that I virtually lived for a long period of time.
It was a slave ship it was not uncommon for as many as six hundred blacks from Africa to be in the hold of the ship, down below, being taken to America.
I went through all sorts of narrow escapes with death only a hair breath away on a number of occasions. One time I opened some crates of rum and got everybody on the crew drunk.
Newton began to express regrets about his part in the slave trade only in , thirty-two years after his conversion, and eight years after he wrote ‘Amazing Grace.’ In he began to fight. Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton (), published in Partly from Cowper's literary influence, and partly because learned vicars were expected to write verses, Newton began to try his hand at hymns, which had become popular through the language, made plain for common people to understand. John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace.
The skipper, incensed with my actions, beat me, threw me down below, and I lived on stale bread and sour vegetables for an unendurable amount of time.
He brought me above to beat me again, and I fell overboard. And I lived with the scar in my side, big enough for me to put my fist into, until the day of my death. On board, I was inflamed with fever. I was enraged with the humiliation. A storm broke out, and I wound up again in the hold of the ship, down among the pumps.
To keep the ship afloat, I worked alone as a servant of the slaves. There, bruised and confused, bleeding, diseased, I was the epitome of the degenerate man.
I remember the words of my mother. I cried out to God, the only way I knew, calling upon His grace and mercy to deliver me, and upon His Son to save me. The only glimmer of light I would find was in a crack in the ship in the floor above me, and I looked up to it and screamed for help.
Thirty-one years passed, I married a childhood sweetheart. I entered the ministry. My tombstone above my head reads: Borndied A clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he once long labored to destroy.
And that has become this song. John Newton The hymn?
How could one who made his living trading in the misery of others have put into words such a powerful message of personal salvation?
Thus are born tales of wild storms and pacts with God, as are stories about religious awakenings that prompted a slaver to set his cargo free. But the truth is far less poetic: John Newton first worked as a slave buyer in Africa and later moved on to a position of captain on slave ships.
He continued to make his living in the slave trade after becoming a Christian at the age of 23 in Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton (), published in The Amazing Story Behind "Amazing Grace" (ATS) KJV pack This ATS classic gospel message tells the story of John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace, who was transformed from a wretch to a son of God by God’s amazing grace.
Partly from Cowper's literary influence, and partly because learned vicars were expected to write verses, Newton began to try his hand at hymns, which had become popular through the language, made plain for common people to understand.
John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace. On December 21 of that year, grace finally led John Newton home to his Maker.
Lessons from a Life of Amazing Grace John Newton encountered “many dangers, toils, and snares” on his life’s voyage from slaver to pastor, hymn writer, mentor, and abolitionist. Many years later, as an old man, Newton wrote in his diary of March 21, "Not well able to write; but I endeavor to observe the return of this day with humiliation, prayer, and praise." Only God's amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane, slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God.
Newton challenged Cowper also to write hymns for these meetings, which he did until falling seriously ill in Subscribe to CT and get one year free. Tags: Hymns | John Issue 81 John.