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“Amazing Grace” And The History Behind Its Making

One of the most universally known hymns and one of my all time favorites is “Amazing Grace” by John Newton.  Trying to appease my curiosity about the number of renditions the song has been remixed, remade, or revived, I submitted a quick search into the ol’ Google search engine and the results were staggering.  Maybe that came as no surprise to you, but have you taken the time to hear the even more incredible history behind the song?

In 1772, former slave ship captain, forty-seven year old John Newton, needed a psalm of inspiration and encouragement for his 1773 New Years Day service since his congregation consisted of those who lived a life of toil and desperation.  In his search, he came across 1Chronicles 17:16. A passage of King David who was reflecting on his life and asks the Lord, “Who am I that thou has brought me here?  Keeping an introspective view, Newton recognized how the Lord had given him many blessings, but unless we are grateful for what the blessings are, then we lose much of the comfort that the blessings bring.  He then posed a question to his congregation. “Never mind David now.  What about you and me?  When you look back, where were you when the Lord found you?” Newton admitted to all that he was a wretch.

It is out of his reflection on 1Chronicles 17:16 that the words Amazing Grace were penned and formed into the original version which continues to be one of the most popular hymns heard today.

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.

T’was 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.

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.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.


About Renee

is an author and editor for The Bottom Line Ministries as well as a member of Faith Writers. Currently she teaches high school language arts. She is a mom to four amazing blessings and enjoys every moment life has to offer. Renee has a fervor and drive to learn, she loves to read and spend time with her family, and is involved with her local church ministries. Humbled by God’s gift of words, she has a passion to write what the Holy Spirit has placed in her heart. She hopes to publish her in-progress book someday, but in the meantime, is honored to be placed as part of the TBL writing family and is holding on to the ride wherever God is leading. Renee and her family reside in their country home in Holland, Iowa.

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