One of the most popular hymns known around the world is "Amazing Grace." The song's lyrics indicate a personal struggle that ultimately brings about an individual's heart to conversion with the boundless love and grace of God.
This conversion story is relatable to many around the globe, but it also happens to be the personal experience of John Newton, the man who penned this powerful hymn in 1772. Newton's early years were speckled with troublesome twists and turns which ultimately led him to a career in the Atlantic slave trade. After spending years traveling along the African coast, one particular night he and his crewmates encountered a turbulent storm along the coast of Ireland. The intensity of the storm was so severe, Newton was left with no choice but to cry out for the Lord's mercy. After hours of struggle while the ship was tossed about the ocean, Newton and his crew weathered the storm. This moment marked the distinct turning point in Newton's life. Overtime, he not only gave his heart to the Lord, he also studied theology, and became a clergyman. This also led him to abandon his support of the slave trade and become a staunch abolitionist who spoke and wrote against slavery.
This song, though written in England, was popularized, over the years, across the ocean in the newly formed United States and was sung as a message of hope by the enslaved. Throughout the centuries since the hymn was written, the song remains a popular song sung in churches across many denominations. In fact, it is estimated that this hymn is sung over 10 million times annually. Although this song was written in the latter part of Newton's life, it shows the miracle working power of God's Amazing Grace.
"[...] or the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him." 2 Chronicles 30:9.