This week the podcast has focused on the hymn “Amazing Grace.” John Newton wrote the lyrics in 1772. Sixty years later they were joined to the melody we now know. But the title was not set until nearly a hundred years after the lyrics were written. Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey published the song with the title “Amazing Grace.” When John Newton first wrote it, he gave this title, “1 Chronicles 17:16–17, Faith’s Review and Expectation.”*
I bet you didn’t know that. I am so glad Moody and Sankey gave it the current title.
Here’s something else you may not know, the fifth verse of the hymn. Many hymnals leave it out. That’s too bad, because it is part of the natural progression of the verses. The first verse focuses on the experience of salvation by grace. Then they focus on the grace present in our suffering which secures our future. This verse starts with our death and ends with life. It goes like this,
“Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.”
It reminds us of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (NIV)