Abrahamic / Middle Eastern Christianity Amazing Grace Lyrics And the History of This Beloved Spiritual Song by John Newton Share Flipboard Email Print Snap Decision/Getty Images Christianity Christian Prayers Christianity Origins The Bible The New Testament The Old Testament Practical Tools for Christians Christian Life For Teens Weddings Inspirational Bible Devotions Denominations of Christianity Funerals and Memorial Services Christian Holidays Christian Entertainment Key Terms in Christianity Catholicism Latter Day Saints View More By Mary Fairchild Christianity Expert General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry." our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Mary Fairchild Updated June 25, 2019 "Amazing Grace," the enduring Christian hymn, is one of the most well-known and beloved spiritual songs ever written. Amazing Grace Lyrics Amazing grace! How sweet the soundThat 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 appearThe hour I first believed.Through many dangers, toils and snaresI have already come;'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus farAnd grace will lead me home.The Lord has promised good to meHis word my hope secures;He will my shield and portion be,As long as life endures.Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,and mortal life shall cease,I shall possess within the veil,A life of joy and peace.When we've been there ten thousand yearsBright shining as the sun,We've no less days to sing God's praiseThan when we've first begun.--John Newton, 1725-1807 Penned by the Englishman John Newton The lyrics to "Amazing Grace" were penned by the Englishman John Newton (1725-1807). Once the captain of a slave ship, Newton converted to Christianity after an encounter with God in a violent storm at sea. The change in Newton's life was radical. Not only did he become an evangelical minister for the Church of England, but he also fought slavery as a social justice activist. Newton inspired and encouraged William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a British member of Parliament who fought to abolish slave trading in England. Newton's mother, a Christian, taught him the Bible as a young boy. But when Newton was seven years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. At 11, he left school and began taking voyages with his father, a merchant navy captain. He spent his teen years at sea until he was forced to join the Royal Navy in 1744. As a young rebel, he eventually deserted the Royal Navy and was discharged to a slave trading ship. An Arrogant Sinner Until Caught in a Fierce Storm Newton lived as an arrogant sinner until 1747, when his ship was caught in a fierce storm and he finally surrendered to God. After his conversion, he eventually left the sea and became an ordained Anglican minister at the age of 39. Newton's ministry was inspired and influenced by John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield. In 1779, together with the poet William Cowper, Newton published 280 of his hymns in the popular Olney Hymns. "Amazing Grace" was part of the collection. Until he died at the age of 82, Newton never stopped wondering at the grace of God that had saved an "old African blasphemer." Not long before his death, Newton preached in a loud voice, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior!" Chris Tomlin’s Contemporary Version In 2006, Chris Tomlin released a contemporary version of "Amazing Grace," the theme song for the 2007 film Amazing Grace. The historical drama celebrates the life of William Wilberforce, a zealous believer in God and human rights activist who battled through discouragement and illness for two decades to end the slave trade in England. Amazing graceHow sweet the soundThat saved a wretch like meI once was lost, but now I'm foundWas blind, but now I see'Twas grace that taught my heart to fearAnd grace my fears relievedHow precious did that grace appearThe hour I first believedMy chains are goneI've been set freeMy God, my Savior has ransomed meAnd like a flood, His mercy reignsUnending love, amazing graceThe Lord has promised good to meHis word my hope securesHe will my shield and portion beAs long as life enduresMy chains are goneI've been set freeMy God, my Savior has ransomed meAnd like a flood His mercy reignsUnending love, amazing graceThe earth shall soon dissolve like snowThe sun forbear to shineBut God, Who called me here below,Will be forever mine.Will be forever mine.You are forever mine. Sources Osbeck, K. W.. Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. (p. 170), Kregel Publications, (1996), Grand Rapids, MI.Galli, M., & Olsen, T.. 131 Christians Everyone Should Know. (p. 89), Broadman & Holman Publishers, (2000), Nashville, TN.