Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Music Video: Amazing Grace - the story & John Newton


The words to the popular hymn "Amazing Grace" were written by a man who was both a slave trader and abolitionist. John Newton was a man of paradoxes: for many years he earned his living from the slave trade, and yet he was for a short while a slave himself, planting lime trees in Sierra Leone.

In 1748 John almost lost his life at sea in a dreadful storm off the coast of Newfoundland. He prayed, "If this will not do, the Lord have mercy upon us." The ship survived the storm.  This led Newton to his new life as a minister and anti-slavery activist. He recollected both his deliverance from the storm, and his life without God, in his most famous creation.


John Newton resigned from his job as captain of a ship that transported slaves.


John became a clergyman in Olney, England.


Together with his friend William Cowper, a poet, John published a book of hymns, which included the one known as "Amazing Grace.


John wrote a pamphlet that described his "Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade." He was trying to convince the government that slavery was an unlawful and evil thing.


John Newton died at the age of 82. That same year, Britain abolished the slave trade, meaning that slaves would not be "imported" as cargo from other countries.

A marble plaque at St. Mary Woolnoth carried the epitaph which Newton himself wrote:

cross ancient

John Newton, Clerk


Once an infidel and libertine
A servant of slaves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour
restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach
the Gospel which he had long laboured to destroy.
He ministered,
Near sixteen years in Olney, in Bucks,
And twenty-eight years in this Church.



Romantic Music Video:
Amazing Grace - Instrumental, Saxophone
抒情音乐:奇异恩典 萨克斯管

Amazing Grace 奇异恩典 - sung by Charlotte Church

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