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MARY’S MEANDERINGS: Sept. 25 — Once an infidel until something happened in his heart

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!

He didn’t have a magic formula, merely an expression of something that happened in his heart.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear. And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear…the hour I first believed.

He was once a wicked old sea captain.

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. ‘Tis grace hath bro’t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

He lived a dissolute life.

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.

His mother died when he was a small child. He quit school and went to sea. Eventually he became captain of his own ship and earned his living by trading slaves from Africa to America. God reached him when he almost lost his life in a storm on the high seas.

He didn’t find God by sailing up and down the high seas or by going to strange and exotic countries. God found him in his most dire extremity, and this encounter changed his life.

“Amazing Grace!” An expression of something that happened in his heart. It must have been…and he wrote his own epitaph which read in part…a clerk, once an infidel…a servant of slaves in Africa, buy by God’s mercy, he was preserved, restored and pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy. He became a warm and caring preacher.

His name? John Newton. We all know him best as the author of “Amazing Grace!”