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Amazing Grace Words
John Newton wrote only 5 Verses - Others
added more. The "Ten Thousand Years"
verse was added by an American.
by John Newton
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13 Wonderful Verses

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The (original) words to this old favorite song were written by John Newton. He was in his earlier life a really thorough rascal, a genuine scoundrel, having been a slave trader and engaged in many of the other crimes and sins of his day. But God's amazing grace saved him, cleaned him up and made him into a famous Preacher and Pastor.

John Newton and his wife were also close friends of the famous British poet and songwriter, William Cowper. Cowper wrote one of my other favorites, "There Is a Fountain."

Newton became a powerful gospel preacher and pastor, and served in that capacity for most of his life after his conversion. He wrote a great deal also, much of which we still have today, including many very good songs, of which "Amazing Grace" is perhaps the most wonderful of all.

The Webmaster (James H. Dearmore) has the full set of John Newton's Works in his library (6 large volumes) as well as other smaller volumes by or about him. The modern reprint of Newton's works was published by Banner of Truth, and is probably still in print or at least in "old stock" in some stores. Buy it! It's well worth the price for any pastor, missionary, or layman seriously interested in learning from one of the "old masters" in the Lord's service!

For the last 43 years of his life he preached the gospel in Olney and London. At the age of 82, Newton said, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour." No wonder he understood so well grace--the completely undeserved mercy and favor of God.

We are told that the epitaph on Newton's tombstone reads as follows: "John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy." But a far greater testimony outlives Newton in the greatest of the hundreds of hymns he wrote, the wonderful "AMAZING GRACE."

Below we reproduce 13 verses for Newton's most famous song. If any of you on the web know of other verses, please email them to us. I do not know, but I wouldn't be surprised if there may be other verses besides these 13 verses following, written by various people through the years.


NOTE FROM WEBMASTER: Only five verses of the first 6 below are shown in the edition of Gadsby's Hymns I have in my own library, and I believe that the Trustees of the John Newton Museum in Olney only recognize those 5 as authentically and certainly written by John Newton himself.

Several years ago now, after one of the John Newton Museum Trustees wrote to me inquiring about the matter, I did some research on the question and found that the verse listed last here as no. 13 ("When we've been there ten thousand . . etc.) was apparently written by an American (some say it was written by a man named John Rees) and added later. The "Ten Thousand Years . . ." verse was also printed in Harriett Beecher Stowe's novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin". As to the authorsip of the rest of the non-Newton verses shown, I have no certain knowledge except as noted below.

The verses we have listed here as 1, 2 and 3 are shown in that order in my copy of the Gadsby Hymns. The verse we have in number 4 position is not shown at all in Gadsby. The verses we show as 5 and 6 are shown in Gadsby as 4 and 5. --- James Dearmore, Webmaster

1. 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.

2. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear.

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!

3. Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come.

'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home!

(4. Not in Gadsby) The Lord has promised good to me,

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

5. Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease;

I shall possess within the vail,

A life of joy and peace!

6. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine;

But God who called me here below

Shall be forever mine!

7. In evil long I took delight

Unawed by shame or fear;

'Til a new object met my sight,

And stopped my wild career.

8. I saw One hanging on a tree,

In agonies and blood;

Who fixed His languid eyes on me

As near His cross I stood.

9. Sure, never 'til my latest breath,

Can I forget that look

It seemed to charge me with His death

Though not a word He spoke.

10. My conscience owned and felt the guilt,

And plunged me in despair;

I saw my sins His blood had shed,

And helped to nail Him there.

11. 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!

This next verse following was sent to me recently. The gospelweb reader who sent it said it was written by Daniel Mitchell, a 15 year old boy in San Francisco, California. I have not tried to sing it, but it seems to fit well -- here it is!

12. Because he died upon the cross,

He paid the price for me.

He bought my soul for his glo-ry,

And now he's set me free.

The verse following below, numbered "13" here was apparently added by an American, many years ago to the old original version written by John Newton. It is one of my favorites to end this wonderful old song, whatever number of verses you may sing, but fits particularly well either just before the verse beginning, "The earth shall soon disolve . . . ." and is often used as the ending verse of the song.

13. 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!

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