Who wrote Amazing Grace?

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John Newton (born in 1725 A.D., died in 1807 A.D.) was a clergyman who wrote, in 1779 A.D., the most popular hymn of all time - Amazing Grace. The hymn was written after he became a Christian and rejected participating any longer in the notorious slave trade. Inspiration for the song came from Newton's own personal experiences.

In 1725 he was born in Wapping, a district in London near the Thames. His father was a shipping merchant who, though brought up Catholic, was sympathetic toward the Protestants. His mother was a devout Independent that was unaffiliated with the Anglican Church. John's mother wanted him to become a clergyman, but she died of tuberculosis when John was six. John ultimately grew up without any particular religious convictions. After his mother's death, his distant stepmother raised John while his father was at sea. At the age of eleven he became an apprentice on the same ship his father served on.

From 1736 to 1742 John sailed on six voyages. In 1743 he went into the navy and boarded the ship HMS Harwich as a midshipman. He soon deserted the ship and was recaptured. With a reduced rank of seaman he was forced to being the servant of a slave trader. After his rescue in 1748 he became a Christian.

While at out at sea Newton studied Latin and God's word. Soon after understanding the mistreatment and sin of slavery he gave up his living working as a slave shipper. These experiences led him ultimately to write Amazing Grace.

In 1764 Newton was ordained and served in Olney, Buckinghamshire. William Cowper, a poet, moved to the area three years later. He struck up a friendship with John, the result of which ultimately produced the Olney Hymns. In 1779 John became Rector of St. Mary Woolnoth in London.

Although it had its roots in England, the song Amazing Grace became an integral part of the Christian church in the United States. In the 19th century, the hymn spread like wildfire across the U.S. and became a staple of many religious services. Gatherings of thousands of people attended camp meetings where they came to experience salvation and fiery preaching. John Newton's hymn was one of many hymns that punctuated the fervent sermons that the people came to hear.

Amazing Grace FREE sheet music!
What does the
Bible say
about love?
What are the
three types of
love in the New Testament?
What exactly is
the Grace of God?
How can God
STILL love me
when I sin?
relationship does God want with us?

This wonderful, inspiring hymn, with the beginning of recorded music and radio, began to cross over from primarily a gospel standard to secular audiences. This further increased its popularity with the public. John Newton died in 1807. Other well-known hymns by him include "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken," "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds!", "Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare" and "Approach, My Soul, the Mercy seat."

Amazing Grace is the most popular, and most recorded, hymn ever wrote. The Gospel Music Association recognized John Newton for his hymns of long-standing influence in 1982 by inducting him into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Free Sheet Music
Amazing Grace
All Hail the PowerGlorious Things are SpokenLove Lifted MeSweet Hour of Prayer
America, the BeautifulI Love to Tell the StoryOnward Christian SoldiersTell Me the Old, Old Story
Battle Hymn of the Republic I Surrender AllPraise Him! Praise Him! The Lord is My Shepherd
Blessed Assurance It is Well with My SoulRock of AgesThe Solid Rock
Bringing in the Sheaves Stand Up, Stand Up for JesusTrust and Obey
Count Your Many BlessingsLeaning on Everlasting ArmsStanding on the PromisesWhat a Friend in Jesus
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