Skip to main content

Amazing Grace --An Analysis of John Newton's Poem. Monday's Inspiration, 33. To my Friend Chris Mills and Family

Manatita is an esteemed author living in London, UK. He writes spiritual books, flash fiction and esoteric poetry, his favourite genre.

Wisdom-Quotes from Sri Chinmoy

"Compassion and grace are the same thing, but compassion is much more intense. The same grace, when it has tremendous intensity is called compassion. Water is everywhere, but when there is a torrential rain, you can say compassion is descending. It is like a heavy downpour from Above, with tremendous force, Grace is also water, but water is here, there, everywhere." -Sri Chinmoy

As I write this piece about how amazing Grace can be, I am reminded of one of my poetical performances late last year. I did a poem called Interwoven, written for Black History Month, during which I sang the first stanza of Amazing Grace. One man up front started to sing the song, another, and then another followed him and before long, the whole audience was standing and singing the song. It was one of the most amazing responses that I have ever had, while reciting poetry.

Amazing Grace is a timeless and perhaps unmatched song, that has healed many souls and have been saving lives since 1779. This is when the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton wrote and published the song. Of course, Grace Itself is perhaps the ‘pinnacle tool’ of the Divine, which has been around from the dawn of Creation.

What is Grace? Ellen G White, Author and American Christian pioneer of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, referred to it as God’s goodness and God’s mercy. The Buddhists speak of ‘Mehta’ (Loving-kindness) and Karuna (Compassion). Yoga Philosophy uses the word Kripa (Grace), and it can be read in several spiritual treatises as well as being spoken of endlessly by the Sat guru’s (Souls who are one with the Supreme Self) themselves.

All the Eastern Masters that I hold in high esteem speak of everything as 100% God’s Grace and God’s Compassion. So, for example, when we are in the abyss and in need of God’s Light to enfold us, it is the Divine Itself who is there with us, giving us an experience necessary for our spiritual progress or inner growth. The good Psalmist David says it best:-

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (KJV) Psalm 23:4.

Author of 'Amazing Grace.'


Writing in the Christian scriptures, the Apostle Paul states:-

“For by Grace are you saved through faith and not of yourselves. It is a gift of God and not of works, lest any man should boast.” The Holy Bible, KJV, Ephesians 2: V 8, 9.

I was once told a remarkable story by a woman who prayed all night. Her husband had left her and she had lost her job. She ran out of money and had two children to feed. One night she prayed and prayed until she fell asleep and was awakened by the telephone ringing. This woman had one single gift. She knew how to make cakes.

The first phone call was for an order to make a cake and the woman at the end of the line, hearing her friend’s plight, offered to buy and pay for the ingredients as well. This woman told me that for the entire day, her telephone never stopped ringing; many of the calls from people who wanted her to make cakes for them.

Another quick story is of a patient who was rather fond of saying: “Patience, Lord, patience.” She had a terminal problem and was not expected to survive. The nurse who told me that story, said that every time she went past this woman’s bed, she found her on her knees praying. However, the funny thing is that all she ever said was “Patience, Lord, patience.”

This woman got well and went home and the same nurse saw her shopping two years later. She had forgotten the nurse, but she reminded the woman of the hospital and ward and enquired how she was. Yes, it was indeed the same woman and she told the nurse that she was now fine.


Today I wish to look at this immortal song, but before I do, let me just say that Sri Chinmoy, my spiritual teacher, agrees that All is Grace … that ultimately God is the only Doer. He describes Grace and Compassion as the same. The former is like rain and the latter is a torrential downpour of the same rain. For our souls, of course.

John Newton speaks of Grace as a musical healer and Saviour. Furthermore, Grace is a precious teacher, responsible for our fears as well as the getting rid of them. It is important here to realise, that Grace abides in both states. It is already there in our shadows and our toils, just simply awaiting the appropriate moment, to take us home. I believe that John Newton was a very spiritual man.

The great Paramahansa Yogi of the eighteenth century, Sri Ramakrishna, likened Grace to sunshine. All we ever need to do, is to open our curtains and the Light will come in. Translated this means that to attract Grace, intensity and receptivity are essential components, being present only when the fears and shadows of the Heart … the inner vessel, has dissipated.

Newton tells us that Grace is a reliever. When we have a bad asthma attack, we take salbutamol and steroids. So too, Grace, in a spiritual way, is the Higher Force necessary to shield and save us, from our own impediments or obstacles standing in the way of Truth. Newton finally comforts us by reminding us that the Lord keeps His word and never fails. He entreats us to praise Him at the end, as we did at the beginning.

Scroll to Continue

Here is the song and poem:-

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

'Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through 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 promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures

Yet, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we have been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
we have no less days to sing God's praise
than when we have first begun


You will have noticed that the first stanza speaks of a ‘sweet sound’. God is both Sound and Silence and the Yogi’s talk of what they call the Aum or soundless sound. Aum is the mother of all mantras, as it is actually the voice of God. Grace comes from this same Source that praises, saves, protects and flows from God’s Goodness and Love, all the way throughout the entire song.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. He made all things; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” The Holy Bible, John 1 -4 KJV

It is worth mentioning that God-men, Saviours’ … call them what we will, can transmit and do transmit that Grace to us, but contrary to some belief, we do have to do some of the work… prepare ourselves. Now here is the paradox. The Messiahs tell us, that while self-effort is necessary, it will ultimately take us to the place where we come to realise, that it is God who was carrying us all along.

It is said that Newton wrote Amazing Grace from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life's Path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences, that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination. He served in the Royal Navy, and after leaving, he became involved in the Atlantic slave trade.

In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland, so severely, that Newton called out to God for mercy, a moment that marked his spiritual conversion. He continued his slave-trading career until 1754 or 1755, when he ended his seafaring altogether and began studying .Christian theology.

Wisdom-Quotes from Sri Chinmoy

"God’s grace is responsible for everything, but before we feel it, it is always advisable for us to make a conscious personal effort. If we do not consciously make a personal effort, then we will never be able to know the highest Truth. We shall see that personal effort is nothing but God’s hidden grace. Without the Grace-Power, everything is out of reach. With the Grace-Power, everything is within easy reach." -Sri Chinmoy

Amazing Grace

© 2018 manatita44


manatita44 (author) from london on March 30, 2018:

Dearest Brother,

So sorry I became a little tearful. For some reason I always think of you as being married, but yes, now I remember you telling me or writing somewhere of some aspects of your story before.

I'm so glad you have such an excellent example of Grace! Not that your wife left, of course, but that she had God and you ... your family, to offer the quality that she so richly deserves. God continue to bless you both.

There's a woman I see fairly often in hospital. We relate very well. She speaks of 'let go and let God.' This is another way also of saying the sunshine thing I wrote about and which you have also expressed in a different way.

I keep telling others how similar we all are ... that we share so much in common as children of the One. That's why it pains me so much when humans speak of division and boxes.

Once again, my deep condolences to you, of course but your writing gives us solace and joy and I suspect that it helps you too. Yes, David understood it all, as did Job and others too numerous to mention. Newton could have died on the slave ship and Paul was granted a mystical gift on his way to Damascus. The world benefited from these two events.

Our Lord's continued blessings to Sandy in heaven. I feel like I knew her. She's safe in His care. Alleuyia! Praise be!

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on March 29, 2018:

manatita, Dear friend, These words bring back so much of what I have come through over the past few years. I could go all the way back to my birth, but I'll begin in 1998 when my dear wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. My sons, wife, and I spent the next ten years loving each other and milking every ounce of good out of life. It was by grace, God's compassion that Sandy had ten years of high quality life. The worst part, the downturn, lasted only a few hours, again, by God's grace. On April 1, 2018, I will have completed another period of ten years, those without Sandy. I've walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I've tried to escape the darkness. The best thing I have done is to cling to a concept of a Higher Power, one who is greater than I am.

" our curtains and the Light will come in." These are similar to words I used in my most recent attempt at poetry. I will move it to HP soon.

My heart is full of gratitude for your words in this hub. The man Newton and his song have been a source of strength to me over the years. The man, his song, the words, the life of the man and the context of the writing of it, the message, me and millions receiving that is all the same thing, God's grace and compassion. And now we pass it on, don't we?

manatita44 (author) from london on March 27, 2018:

Glad that you liked the story. There are so much more! Alas! I went to 1500 words. A bit long for me. Grace is a bit like Love. Speechless ... unfathomable... a birthless and deathless

Bliss immortal. Thank you so much!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on March 27, 2018:

I loved the story interwoven with the poetry and lyrics of the hymn. In my church, the definition of grace is "undeserved love." Two simple words, but a concept that is powerful and humbling.

manatita44 (author) from london on March 27, 2018:

Yes. Readmikenow.

You are so right. They are very powerful and meaningful words! Thank you so much! Appreciated!

Readmikenow on March 27, 2018:

The poem/song of Amazing Grace is just as inspirational as the life of the man who wrote it. Good article. I enjoyed reading it. I have seen more than one person come to tears when taking the time to listen to the words and experience their meaning.

manatita44 (author) from london on March 27, 2018:

Thank you Dee.

You see the variety. I wanted to add so much more on this crucial subject! Alas! I was already up to 1500 words. You loving and thorough sentiments are noted. Happy Easter!

Yes Gypsy. Such an astonishing song and the words have universal appeal. Thanks a lot!


God bless you too. Have a great day and Happy Easter!!

Yes Linda.

One can add so much more and still fall short. Grace is unfathomable!!

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on March 27, 2018:

A wonderful and inspirational tribute. I have always love Amazing Grace.

Nikki Khan from London on March 27, 2018:

This is just amazing to pay your tribute to Chris Mills, a great person.

Loved all the description and quotes of Sri Chinmoy.

You weaved it very well Manatita ji!

Bless you.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 26, 2018:

This is a very interesting description of the nature of Grace. "Amazing Grace" is a moving song. Thank you for sharing the lyrics and your thoughts, Manatita.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 26, 2018:

There are so many spectacular features in this article. The quotes, your various definitions of grace, the beautiful illustrations and even the music tapes are all exceptional. Thanks for a really meaningful spiritual lift.

manatita44 (author) from london on March 26, 2018:


Grace of God indeed! So much Grace today! (Chuckle) Gratitude.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 26, 2018:

supremely written manatita44... as only you know how. by the Grace of God?

manatita44 (author) from london on March 26, 2018:

Eric, can the devottee of Love think differently when he/she says that the Light of the Beloved dwells in all?.God bless your mom.

manatita44 (author) from london on March 26, 2018:

Thanks Bill.



Thank you so much!! Have a great day!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 26, 2018:

Wonderful weaving of our differing cultures all recognizing Grace. My mom was not devout in anyway and certainly not a church goer. However she directed that "how great thou art" and amazing grace be song at her "funeral celebration". I reckon each of us have a personal Grace just for us.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2018:

Chris Mills is DA MAN! As are you,my friend. Blessings to you both.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on March 26, 2018:

"And Grace will lead me home..."

Thank you, my beloved Brother, for this Graceful beginning of the week!

You've made my day, and now I'll try to do the same to anyone I meet!

"With the Grace-Power, everything is within easy reach."

Blessed by His Amazing Grace

and thankful for my Brothers


Related Articles