John Newton (1725-1807): Newton was an English Anglican clergyman who served as a sailor in the Royal Navy for a period, and later as the captain of slave ships. He became ordained as an evangelical Anglican cleric, served Olney, Buckinghamshire for two decades, and also wrote hymns, known for “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”
In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
He fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath,
Shall I forget that look!
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayest live.”
Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too!