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.
â€™Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
â€™Tis grace hath 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.
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 called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
One of my favourite hymns, relatively unknown in Britain until quite recently, written by John Newton the former slaveship-master who later joined the ranks of the abolitionists.
I’ve tried to cite the hymn as John Newton wrote it, but if anyone out there thinks I’ve made any mistakes, I’d be glad to know. There’s a verse that is often included which I have omitted because it is certain that Newton didn’t write it.
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 first begun
Cyberhymnal says “the last stanÂza is by an unÂknown auÂthor; it apÂpeared as earÂly as 1829 in the BapÂtist SongÂster, by R. WinÂchell (WeÂthersÂfield, ConÂnecÂtiÂcut), as the last stanÂza of the song ‘JeÂruÂsaÂlem My HapÂpy Home.’ ”
Anyway, it isn’t a verse I like very much. I took against it when I heard a couple of Christians arguing (really!) about whether the first line should read ‘a thousand years’ or ‘ten thousand years’, and learning that Newton didn’t write it merely confirmed my prejudice. Mostly I don’t like it because it is redundant: Newton has the sentiment of it covered better in his 5th verse.
But whether you sing that verse or not, there’s no denying that this is a very fine hymn.