For the past 250 years, the song “Amazing Grace” has been a well-known reminder of hope amid tragedy. In honor of that milestone, Bruce Hindmarsh, the world’s leading scholar on John Newton, and Craig Borlase, bestselling ghostwriter of dramatic memoirs, teamed up to tell this amazing account of redemption.
The result is “Amazing Grace: The Life of John Newton and the Surprising Story Behind the Song.”
Taking factual information from John Newton’s autobiography written in 1764, the authors added details drawn from historical sources to make “Amazing Grace” read like a novel. It’s an account of the horrible life-altering events John Newton experienced, including numerous failures and active participation in the slave trade.
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It also relates how Newton’s early life influenced his later life. His father, a sea captain, was distant, militaristic and abusive. And Newton was orphaned at a young age.
Once, when trying to go on an adventure with friends to a British battleship, he ran late and watched helplessly as his friends capsized and drowned on the way there.
He lied. He swore. He rebelled at every opportunity. He continued a forbidden romance with the daughter of a family friend. This led to Newton deserting and losing his highly coveted rank of midshipman, which resulted in being whipped and housed with the slaves on board the ship. He seriously contemplated suicide.
These experiences are included in just the first few chapters. The book goes on to narrate how Newton went from the lowest of lows to knowing God’s redemptive power and writing “Amazing Grace.”
“Amazing Grace: The Life of John Newton and the Surprising Story Behind the Song” is available now at Amazon and other major booksellers.
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