A Great Old Hymn

“Then David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God, that you have brought me this far?  And as if this were not enough in your sight, O God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant.  You have looked upon me as though I were the most exalted of men.”

                                                                                                                                                1 Chronicles 17:16-17

                Richard Cecil in The Life of John Newton (edited by Marylynn Rouse, Published by Christian Focus Publications, 2000) writes in Appendix 7 regarding Newton’s great hymn “Amazing Grace” that it was written to accompany a sermon on the above Scripture passage.  This was a sermon in which called God’s people to an attitude of mind that expressed real gratitude to God for all of His blessings to us.  Newton entitled the hymn “Faith’s review and expectation”.  The original expresses real hope and gratitude to God, responding in faith to the marvellous grace given in Christ.

Here is the version which Cecil preserves for us.

“Faith’s Review and Expectation

1 Chronicles 17:16-17

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.


                ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

                And grace those fears relieved;

                How precious did that grace appear,

                The hour I first believed!


                Through many dangers, toils and snares,

                I have already come;

                ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

                And grace will lead me home.


                The Lord has promised good to me,

                His Word my hope secures;

                He will my shield and portion be,

                As long as life endures.


                Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

                And mortal life shall cease;

                I shall possess within the veil,

                A life of joy and peace.


                The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

                The sun forebear to shine;

                But God, who called me here below,

                Will be forever mine.”