Friday, December 21, 2007

John Newton

Our most recent Quote of the Week featured a quote from John Newton. Today marks the 200th anniversary of Newton's passing.

In his day, John Newton was unusually used of God in profound ways. He was a trusted counselor to William Wilberforce in his fight for the abolition of slavery and collaborated with renown poet, William Cowper. However, he is best known as the author of the most beloved hymn of all time - Amazing Grace.

Here are a couple of facts about Amazing Grace that you may not be aware of -

- The original title for the hymn was Faith's Review and Expectation

- The verse..."Thro' many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home."
...was inspired by 1 Chronicles 17:16 which reads - "And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, 'Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that you have brought me hitherto?"

- Newton did not write the last verse of the final version of the hymn as it is typically featured today. The verse beginning with "When we've been there ten thousand years...." was added to a version of Amazing Grace by Harriet Beecher Stowe in her novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and is attributed to John P. Rees.

The Desiring God blog also marked the day with a short post on John Newton.

1 comment:

Ted M. Gossard said...

Deb and I really like the film, "Amazing Grace" in which I think the actors for William Wilberforce and John Newton, do very well. And I know William Cowper wrote some great hymns on redemption.

And I love the bagpipes at the end, playing it, in that movie.

Thanks for sharing on this.