JTTH: Amazing Grace (Part One)

How Sweet and Aweful is the Place, the first hymn we looked at, is a song that many people probably don’t know (or at least don’t hear very often). So this time we’re turning to a hymn that nearly everyone with a Christian background knows.

Amazing Grace was written by John Newton, a pastor in England who lived during the eighteenth century. Every Sunday, it’s sung in churches all across the world, becoming so familiar that many of us don’t even pay attention to what we’re singing anymore. If you’ve spent any time in “Christian culture”, you can probably recite the lyrics to this song backwards and upside down, but as you read them, try to pretend that you’ve never heard this song before, and pay attention to the message of the words. And as we did with How Sweet and Aweful is the Place, let’s take this post just to get a feel for the words, and begin looking at their meaning next time.  

Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound

By John Newton

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

‘Twas 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 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

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


This is the sixth installment in the Journey Through the Hymns series. A new installment will be posted each Wednesday until the series’ completion.

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