Only God's amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane, slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. The context of a life lived harshly, makes the light of grace shine brightly.
John Newton was a very harsh, slave-trading sea captain with a reputation for profanity, coarseness and debauchery (nasty-living), which even shocked other sailors that knew him. John was not always this way and he would not remain this way. His Mother had prayed (since he was a child) that he would become a Minister and taught him scripture from a young age.
Years later, as a salty-slave trader, John had found himself in a raging storm with little hope of survival, when he then remembered the lessons from God’s Word. God’s Word and surviving the storm had reawakened something. Later, John Newton left slave-trading, became a minister of the gospel and perhaps, wrote the most famous hymn in the world. As he reflected on his spotted life, Newton penned these words, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.”