In honour of John Newton’s birthday I’m posting this one from two years ago, which many of you fine followers probably missed. I trust you will enjoy these contemplations about the enduring nature of Newton’s Amazing Grace.
It just dawned on me that though I have been blogging for almost a year now on the subject of music and grace, I haven’t even made a single mention of that most famous combination of music and grace: John Newton’s “Amazing Grace“. It has been an anthem of hope and faith for generations.
But why has this hymn had such an impact? What does Newton point out about God’s grace that resonates with us so strongly? Is there something in the music which made it so popular?
At the time Newton penned Amazing Grace, hymnbooks did not contain music; they were simply religious poetry books. The first time Newton’s lines were joined to music was in 1808, in A Companion to the Countess of Huntingdon’s Hymns, set to the tune “Hephzibah” by English composer John Jenkins Husband. More than twenty musical settings of “Amazing Grace” circulated…
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