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Faiths Review and Expectation - Amazing Grace!

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.

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object met my sight,
And stopped my wild career.

I saw one hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me,
As near his cross I stood.

Sure, ne’er untill my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to change me with his death,
Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins HIS BLOOD HAD SHED,
And helped to nail Him there.

Alas, I knew not what I did,
But all my tears were vain;
Where could my trembling soul be hid,
For I the LORD had slain.

A second look He gave that said;
“I freely all forgive” !
This blood is for my ramson paid,
“I died that thou mayest live.”

'Twas 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 snairs,
I have already come;
Tis Grace hath bro’t me safe thus far,
And Grace will lead me home.

The LORD has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
His will my sheild 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 vail,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But GOD who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun;
We’ve no less days to sing GOD’S praise,
Than when we first begun !

What tricky ground the most familiar paths can be! John Newton penned a hymn, which he named "Faith's Review and Expectation" which we mostly know as "Amazing Grace". Delving into its history some say it had 15 verses, others 13, others 12, others 6 and is most commonly sung as a 4 verse hymn when it is sung today.  The verses that (almost) all agree were penned by Newton are in bold above but all 13 verses are there. 

It is a hymn sung at every point - celebrating baptism, weddings (again one of the hymns are my own wedding), funerals as well as the ordinary sunday experience of corporate worship.  It is a hymn recently 'refreshed' in corporate singing as part of the soundtrack to the film "Amazing Grace" , with Chris Tomlin adding a chorus to the hymn:

My chains are gone - I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

It is a personal favourite for many and I think rightly so.  It expresses gratitude and reflects on truth.  John Newton was right.  This hymn causes one to reflect on the glories of Christ at work in the life of the Christian and looks forward to the hope of increasing clarity in knowing the glory of God in Christ Jesus.

Faith's review and expectation indeed! The additional verses and the recent chorus don't detract from Newton's original reflection and add to the review and expectation of the generations that have passed between the words hitting page and tunes hitting vocal chords: in private prayer and public congregation these words, that tune, has helped me and millions of others, to rejoice in the grace of God made freely available to sinners like you and me.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth... And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
John 1:14, 16-17


Some of the extra verses are by Newton and appeared as a new song called 'The Look' by Bob Kauflin on his Hymns project 'Upward'

The popular last verse was added as sung by a mad old character in 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' - fact that he'd sing the wrong verse showed how senile he was. Funny that we all sing it now!

Final trivia-tastic comment...It was sung at Mr. Spocks funeral. (Yes, I did write 'Mr' not 'Dr'). Yes, really really! Proving, I suppose, that the song truly has universal appeal...

Matt, thanks for the additional info. Mr Spock - really, in the film? funny...

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