Amazing Grace 3

In evil long I took delight
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my sight
And stopped my wild career.

I saw one hanging on atree
In agony and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me
As near his cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to change me with his death
Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there.

Alas, I knew not what I did
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.

A second look He gave which said
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid
I died that that thou mayest live.”

Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon, too.

With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy
yet live by Him I killed.

–John Newton, 1779 (author of the text of “Amazing Grace”)

(See the wonderful musical setting by Bob Kauflin)

Amazing Grace

Epitaph of John Newton (author of the text of “Amazing Grace”):

“John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine,
a seller of slaves in Africa,
was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,
preserved, restored, pardoned,
and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.”