Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Psalm 119:133
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Love, Grace and Assurance
1
Amazing Grace

Lyrics by John Newton ... Music by Edwin O. Excell

1
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now I’m found,
Was blind, but now I see.

2
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!

3
Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath bro’t me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

4
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 first begun.

5
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life's path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed (conscripted) into service in the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service, he became involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland, so severely that he called out to God for mercy, a moment that marked his spiritual conversion. He continued his slave trading career until 1754 or 1755, when he ended his seafaring altogether and began studying Christian theology.

Ordained in the Church of England in 1764, Newton became curate of Olney, Buckinghamshire, where he began to write hymns with poet William Cowper. "Amazing Grace" was written to illustrate a sermon on New Year's Day of 1773. It is unknown if there was any music accompanying the verses; it may have simply been chanted by the congregation. It debuted in print in 1779 in Newton and Cowper's Olney Hymns but settled into relative obscurity in England. In the United States, however, "Amazing Grace" was used extensively during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century. It has been associated with more than 20 melodies, but in 1835 it was joined to a tune named "New Britain" to which it is most frequently sung today. While the author of “New Britain” is unknown, the arrangement typically used in hymnals is that arranged by Edwin O. Excell, probably in 1831 from the “Virginia Harmony” publication.

With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, "Amazing Grace" is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world. Author Gilbert Chase writes that it is "without a doubt the most famous of all the folk hymns," and Jonathan Aitken, a Newton biographer, estimates that it is performed about 10 million times annually. It has had particular influence in folk music, and has become an emblematic African American spiritual. Its universal message has been a significant factor in its crossover into secular music. "Amazing Grace" saw a resurgence in popularity in the U.S. during the 1960s and has been recorded thousands of times during and since the 20th century, occasionally appearing on popular music charts. The song is popular for funerals and haunting versions with bagpipes is frequently used in official funerals, such as for fallen policemen. The "Praise God" chorus at the end was added in modern times to turn it into a Praise hymn.

(Material referenced from https://en.wikipedia.org/)