That sav’d 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 my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!
Thro’ 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 promis’d 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 forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Those are the original published words; the origin of the tune is unknown.
These were penned by a former slave trader, who remembered the few lessons on religion learned at his mother's knee as a small boy before her early death while steering his slave ship through a terrible storm.
A few years later, even though he tried to ensure all slaves he brought over were well treated, he could no longer stomach his work, and became a cleric.
This song was one of many he wrote over his years of teaching and preaching.
Happy Birthday, John Newton. Little did you know you had written one of the English languages most widely recognized songs.
I think your mama would have been proud.
Amelia Earhart Day
Bolivar Day -- Ecuador; Venezuela
Festival of St. Eloi, French Basque
Jilwalla Jinks' Jamboree -- Fairy Calendar
National Day of the Cowboy
National Drive Through Day
National Tequila Day
Pioneer Day -- Mormon Christian
Pop a Wheelie Day
Public Opinion Day
Simon Bolivar Day -- Ecuador
St. Boris' Day (patron of Moscow, Russia)
Stirling Settler Day -- Stirling, Alberta, Canada
Tell an Old Joke Day
World Congress of Esperanto -- Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba, through the 31st
Bindi Irwin, 1998
Dhani Lennevald, 1984
Anna Paquin, 1982
Summer Glau, 1981
Eric Szmanda, 1975
Jennifer Lopez, 1969
Barry Bonds, 1964
Linda Carter, 1951
Michael Richards, 1949
Ruth Buzzi, 1936
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, 1900
Chief Dan George, 1899
Amelia Earhart, 1897
Oswald Chambers, 1874
Alexandre Dumas, pere, 1802
Simon Bolivar, 1783
John Newton, 1725
Today in History
Death in Kyoto, Japan, of Kamo no Chomei (b. 1155), Japanese author, poet (waka) and essayist, critic of Japanese vernacular poetry and major figure of Japanese poetics, 1216
Citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands strike against ban on foreign beer, 1487
Jacques Cartier plants a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and takes possession of the territory in the name of Francis I of France, 1534
Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate and replaced by her 1-year-old son James VI, 1567
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founds the trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which later becomes the city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701
A Spanish treasure fleet of 10 ships under Admiral Ubilla leaves Havana, Cuba for Spain; on the 31st, all ships will be lost and come to be known as the !715 Treasure Fleet, 1715
Slavery is abolished in Chile, 1823
The first opinion poll was carried out in Delaware, USA, 1824
Benjamin Bonneville leads the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains by using Wyoming's South Pass, 1832
After 17 months of travel, Brigham Young leads 148 Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, resulting in the establishment of Salt Lake City, 1847
The first tramway opened in England, 1861
Tennessee becomes the first U.S. State to be readmitted to the Union following the American Civil War, 1866
Captain Matthew Webb, who was the first person to swim the English Channel, drowned while trying to swim the rapids above Niagara Falls, 1883
O. Henry is released from prison in Austin, Texas after serving three years for embezzlement from a bank, 1901
Hiram Bingham III re-discovers Machu Picchu, "the Lost City of the Incas", 1911
The first insulin treatment is carried out, on a six-year-old girl, at St Guy's Hospital, London, 1925
The Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as an instrument of foreign policy, goes into effect, 1929*
The dust bowl heat wave reaches its peak, sending temperatures to 109°F (44°C) in Chicago and 104°F (40°C) in Milwaukee, 1935
During an official state visit to Canada, French President Charles de Gaulle declares to a crowd of over 100,000 in Montreal: Vive le Québec libre! ("Long live free Quebec!"), 1967
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria when he was a child, is sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria, becoming the first monarch in history to regain political power through democratic election to a different office, 2001
*Nice try, fellas.