Hymn writer (lyrics): John Newton
Music composer: Edwin O. Excell
Year first published: 1779
Born in the London district of Wapping, John Newton spent his teenage years working on a ship. An abduction at the age of 18, carried out while on his way to visit friends, forced him to work on a British Royal Navy ship. He escaped in 1748 with the help of a sea captain sent by his father to find him. He became a Christian the same year and found work on slave ships. Newton continued to labor in the slave trade until 1754. It was not until 1764 that he officially became an Anglican priest. Originally titled "Faith's Review and Expectation," he wrote his most famous hymn, Amazing Grace, in 1779.
The Amazing Grace (Favor) of God
What exactly is grace? Religious people talk of grace, sing songs about grace, know that truth and grace came through Jesus yet few know what it is. To receive God's grace is to receive his boundless favor, attention and love. We receive God's precious grace, in part, because the spirit within a true believer leads him or her to obey him in spirit and in intent (1Peter 1:22).
1 Praise the Lord, my soul! All my being, praise his holy name! 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He keeps me from the grave and blesses me with love and mercy. (Psalm 103:1 - 4)
21 But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. . . 22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 3)
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4 - 5)