“‘Amazing Grace,’ How sweet the sound!”
The composer of the beloved hymn, John Newton (1725-1807), had this hymn first published in what is called “The Olney Hymns” book. It was an illustration of potent ideologies of the evangelical movement in England at the time.
The Amazing Grace tune as we know it was composed by E.D. Excell who written, composed, or arranged more than 2000 published songs. Shortly before John Newton’s death at age 82, he is quoted as proclaiming with 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 Saviour!” What amazing grace.
When John Newton wrote this hymn, he expressed well the limitlessness of God’s grace beyond our scope of comprehension.
The apostle of grace and revelator of the mystery, Paul, has given us a very full testimony of the wonders of His grace.
Paul writes to the Thessalonian saints, “Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and have given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
What treasures we possess by God’s marvelous grace! Not only that, but in Ephesians 2:13 it is said,
“But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. “
You see nothing in this wonderful hymn need be altered, but it is interesting to note that the song neither mentions the blood nor cross of Christ. We sing of God’s amazing grace, acknowledging that we receive that grace only by believing in the blood of Christ shed on the cross that saved a wretch like me!
Sing as unto the Lord