John Newton

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Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

John Newton (24 July 1725 - 21 December 1807) was a British clergyman and songwriter; he is most famous for writing the lyrics to the hymn, Amazing Grace.

Sourced

  • By one hour's intimate access to the throne of grace, where the Lord causes his glory to pass before the soul that seeks him, you may acquire more true spiritual knowledge and comfort, than by a day or a week's converse with the best of men, or the most studious perusal of many folios.
  • I am not what I ought to be — ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be — I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be — soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, "By the grace of God I am what I am."
    • As quoted in The Christian Pioneer (1856) edited by Joseph Foulkes Winks, p. 84
    • Often paraphrased as I am not the man I ought to be, I am not the man I wish to be, and I am not the man I hope to be, but by the grace of God, I am not the man I used to be."'

Olney Hymns (1779)

  • Zeal is that pure and heavenly flame,
    The fire of love supplies ;
    While that which often bears the name,
    Is self in a disguise.

    True zeal is merciful and mild,
    Can pity and forbear ;
    The false is headstrong, fierce and wild,
    And breathes revenge and war.

    • Hymn 70 : True and False Zeal

Amazing Grace

Originally titled: "Faith's Review and Expectation"
  • Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
    That sav'd a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found,
    Was blind, but now I see.
  • 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears reliev'd;
    How precious did that grace appear,
    The hour I first believ'd!
  • Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
  • The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who call'd me here below,
    Will be forever mine.

Misattributed

  • 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'd first begun.
    • These lines were not written by Newton, and come from another hymn "Jerusalem, My Happy Home" but they have often been added to "Amazing Grace" since the mid-nineteenth century.

Unsourced

  • God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts.
  • I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the course of the year to a great bundle of fagots, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry today, and then another, which we are to carry tomorrow, and so on. This we might easily manage, if we would only take the burden appointed for each day; but we choose to increase our troubles by carrying yesterday's stick over again today, and adding tomorrow's burden to the load, before we are required to bear it.
    • Variant: We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.
  • Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil. I am content to observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape from it, and with this I begin and end.
  • Our righteousness is in Him, and our hope depends, not upon the exercise of grace in us, but upon the fullness of grace and love in Him, and upon His obedience unto death.
  • So dress and conduct yourself so that people who have been in your company will not recall what you had on.
  • The Christian ministry is the worst of all trades, but the best of all professions.
  • The love I bear Christ is but a faint and feeble spark, but it is an emanation from himself: He kindled it and he keeps it alive; and because it is his work, I trust many waters shall not quench it.
  • This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.
  • Though troubles assail And dangers affright, Though friends should all fail And foes all unite; Yet one thing secures us, Whatever betide, The scripture assures us, The Lord will provide.
  • "What? Shall the old African blasphemer stop while he can still speak?".
    • Shortly before his death, at age 82, when it was suggested that he retire.
  • We serve a gracious Master who knows how to overrule even our mistakes to His glory and our own advantage.
  • When I was young, I was sure of many things; now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. He is well-taught who learns these two lessons.

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