Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound
By John Newton (1725-1807)
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 has 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 the 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 called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
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’d first begun.*
*This stanza is from the early 19th-century American hymn, Jerusalem, My Happy Home (author unknown) and is used in some modern hymnals as a fifth stanza in place of the original stanzas five and six by Newton.
An experienced sailor and later, a pastor, John Newton was well acquainted with the drama of life—from fair skies and storms at sea to the joys and challenges of good times and bad.
His perspective, beautifully reflected in this great hymn, displays a keen sense of the frailness of life—“Yet when the flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease”…“The earth shall soon dissolve like snow”—coupled with a secure faith and relationship of awe in the grace of a loving God, who has safely led him through “many dangers, toils and snares” to the hope of “a life of joy and peace” and who “will be forever mine!”
Newton wrote many hymns, but “Amazing Grace” is perhaps the most popular hymn of all time, clearly a moving and relevant expression of faith to all of us experiencing the extremes of life in the 21st century.
Please leave us a comment below. In your comment ask me any question you have about the Amazing Grace Hymn. Or, tell me what you love most about this hymn that has stood the test of time.
Keep Singing & Believing,