Many of us are familiar with the song “Amazing Grace”. Today it is often associated with funerals and the promise of our eternal life. During the Civil War it was popular with slaves and abolitionists, and encouraged them to seek freedom that would come either in this life or after. Harriet Beecher Stowe references the song in her book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. But do you know who wrote this song?
The words to the song were written by a John Newton in 1779. The very short version of the story is Newton was a slave trader and had the nickname “The Great Blasphemer”. During a horrible storm he called out to God for help. Not only did God save his life that day, Newton’s heart was also changed. He eventually left the shipping trade and became a curate (an Anglican priest). Newton wrote this poem to accompany one of his sermons.
Then in 1835, William Walker combined the poem with a popular tune, resulting in the hymn we know and love today.
NOTE: The requirements have been simplified here. Please be sure to read the full text in the Girl Handbook to make sure you fully understand the requirements.