By: Gary Toole
Down through the years the story was told of John Newton the drunken, wicked, evil slave trader.
He left home at an early age. A prodigal son of sorts turned sailor on the high seas. He was a mean man. That’s why in the song God anointed him to write, “Amazing Grace,” which actually was his personal testimony he called himself a wretch. The line goes, “ That saved a wretch like me.” What is so amazing about God’s amazing grace is that he can save anyone. No matter how mean and rotten they are. Grace is God’s unmerited favor toward mankind. Ephesians 2:8-9, by grace you are saved. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve and mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. Amen! So, the story goes that back home his mother was a poor scrub woman for the aristocrats and a wash woman and as she scrubbed and washed it was widely known that she would pray often, “ Lord, save my son John! Lord please save my John!” Bound for ship wreck in a storm John Newton called on God and his life was spared. He came home and because of the consistent prayers of a praying saintly, godly mother and because of the convicting power of the Holy Ghost John became a great preacher and wrote “Amazing Grace.” This song, not by chance but by divine order has been published, put into print and sung more than any other hymn in history. The amazing thing is that this is the only song that we know of that John wrote. But now Hollywood has done a film on this song and they kind of got the facts mixed up. I heard recently that it is now being told that his mother died when he was only three years old. Well, I don’t know about that but I’m sticking to my story, because half this country has been saved because of a praying mother. Can you say amen?