Thursday, August 12, 2010

Amazing Grace

Who wrote the song Amazing Grace? John Newton wrote it between 1760 and 1770. The song is very old, much older than I at first realized. On a trip to the Philippines last year I attended a small country church with my wife. She begged me to sing Amazing Grace for the congregation. I finally accepted and sung what I knew, in spite of my jumping nerves. Surprisingly everyone seemed to know the song. I had no idea that it was popular so far away from this country.

Over the years other writers have composed additional verses to Amazing Grace, and in fact Amazing Grace was not the original name of the hymn. It is thought that perhaps some verses of some of Newtons other hymns were added to the song. Regardless, the six stanzas below were what appeared in the first edition of the Olney Hymns, near the date of Newton’s death. Enjoy the lyrics, it is one of my favorite songs.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d 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 reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ 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 promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this 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 call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

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