John Newton (1725–1807) Poet
Like other Sunday mornings, I started to write this blog, and could not help but remember the events of a decade ago. Looking for a musical tribute about September 11, 2001 which forever changed thousand of lives, and perhaps the course of history, I came across dozens of heartfelt tributes, online, from people all over the world. Many of those tributes contained one of the most recognized hymns in the English language.
From the music of a tune called “New Britain” and the words by an English poet and minister John Newton (1725–1807), came Amazing Grace; a song which is still today as meaningful and popular as it was when it was written in 1773.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…”
It is said that Newton wrote the verses inspired by personal experiences. While in the early part of his life, he had no religious conviction, later, through personal tribulations, he turned to the study of theology; and he was later ordained in the Church of England in 1764. Dedicated to writing hymns, on New Year’s Day, Newton wrote Amazing Grace for his Sunday sermon to illuminate a doctrine of forgiveness and redemption.
“Yea, when 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..then when we’ve first begun.
Amazing Grace, “how sweet the sound…” performed by Il Divo, a multinational singing group, is one of the best performances of this hymn, I’ve ever heard; and the video seems to capture images suitable for a day of remembrance.