John Newton had been raised by a godly mother. Yet Newton turned his back on his mother’s God and became a vile man who was deeply involved in the slave trade.
One night the ship he was on was on the verge of sinking at the hands of a violent storm. In the midst of the storm, Newton recalled:
I concluded my sins were too great to be forgiven. I waited with fear and impatience to receive my doom.
Finally the storm subsided and Newton tells what happened next:
I began to pray…to think of that Jesus that I had so often derided; I recollected his death: a death for sins not his own, but, as I remembered, for the sake of those who should put their trust in him.
Eventually Newton and the ship made shore in Ireland. Years later, this spared man became a minister of the gospel and an ardent abolitionist.
Throughout the globe, people still sing the song of Newton’s testimony which was originally titled, Faith’s Review and Expectation.
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.
T’was 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 that 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.
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 here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.