The Word Among Us

January 2007 Issue

Amazing Grace

Behind a well-loved hymn—despicable sin and God’s incredible patience

By: Kevin Perrotta

On the night of March 21, 1748, in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland, the English merchant vessel Greyhound sailed into a severe storm. Within minutes, violent winds splintered the mast and crashing waves began to tear away the ship’s upper timbers.

Water pouring down from the deck inundated sailors struggling up ladders from berths below. Twenty-three-year-old John Newton watched as a...

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