On a plane ride once, I started talking to the family sitting next to me. We talked about praising God and hymns, and I asked them their favorite song. They told me the story of John Newton and I came back and listened to this song and read it. Ever since then, this has become my favorite English songs … reminds me of Guru Nanak’s lines, “If everyone sings Lord’s praises, he will not become bigger or smaller.” We sing his praises for ourselves, not for him. And John Newton pours this out from a personal perspective:
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.