Five Days of Hymn Stories
God is able to make all grace abound to you.
—2 Corinthians 9:8
John Newton was a licentious seaman and slave trader.
A violent storm off the coast of Ireland in 1748 moved him to beseech God for mercy. He became an ordained minister in 1764. While preaching for a church in Olney, England, he composed hymns as the conclusions of his sermons.
Considering himself a sinner who had been undeservedly chosen, he stood in awe of the grace of God. He wrote the words of Amazing Grace in 1772.
Shortly before his death, he said, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great Savior.”
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.
Any competent concept of grace
must begin and end at the cross.