John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace, actually wrote several hundred other hymns. There’s something about his songs, you can see that he was in awe of God and the salvation he received but never deserved. When someone is forgiven much, they have much to be thankful for!
Just as an aside, did everyone have to be named John? No wonder we call these men by their last names. What’s it like in heaven? Someone shouts ‘hey John’ and three thousand men stand and say ‘yes?’. Surely there were other names to choose from. Am I the only one that gets all the Johns of history confused? Beloved I hope this hymn blesses you, like it blesses me. I pray today that your fellowship was sweet and that you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Be good Berean’s, my dear friends, and study to show yourselves approved.
A believer, free from care,
May in chains or dungeons sing,
(If the Lord be with him there)
And he happier than a king
Paul and Silas thus confined,
Though their backs were torn by whips,
Yet possessing peace of mind,
Sung his praise with joyful lips.
Suddenly the prison shook,
Open flew the iron doors,
And the gaoler, terror-struck,
Now his captives’ help implores:
Trembling at their feet he fell,
“Tell me first, what must I do
To be saved from grief and hell?
None can tell me this but you.”
“Look to Jesus, (they replied)
If on him thou canst believe;
By the death that he has died,
Thou salvation shall receive:”
While the living word he heard,
Faith sprung up within his heart,
And released from all he feared,
In their joy his soul had part.
Sinners, Christ is still the same,
O that you could likewise fear!
Then the mention of his name
Would be music to your ear;
Jesus rescues Satan’s slaves,
His dear wounds still plead, “Forgive!”
Jesus to the utmost saves
Sinners look on him and live.