While many people know the words of the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace, few know the story behind the song. John Newton may be well-known for writing this inspiring song, but what do you know about his life leading up to it?
John Newton was a troubled young man with a quick and violent temper. His vulgarity even caused fellow sailors to blush. When he was caught for desertion he was whipped and sold into slavery. A ship captain, sent by his father, found him in West Africa.
During a rough storm at sea, God's grace got a hold of John Newton. He eventually became a pastor in the Church of England and wrote several of the church's most beloved hymns.
Prior to his spiritual conversion, the former slave was appointed captain of a slave ship himself. In a culture where human bondage was ordinary, it took time for Newton's conscience to be thoroughly transformed. When he managed to see the brutality of the slave trade for what it was, he turned on his former occupation and became a leading spiritual leader for the abolitionist movement.
Newton's Grace captures the true story of a Prodigal Son, the tale of miraculous forgiveness and change that lies behind the powerful words of one of the world's most beloved hymns.