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In his old age, when he could no longer see to read, John Newton, the author of “Amazing Grace” heard someone recite this verse, “By the grace of God–I am what I am.” 1 Corinthians 15:10. He remained silent a short time, and then said:
I am not what I ought to be. Ah! how imperfect and deficient.
I am not what I might be, considering my privileges and opportunities.
I am not what I wish to be. God, who knows my heart–knows I wish to be like Him.
I am not what I hope to be. Before long, I will drop this clay tabernacle, to be like Him and see Him as He is!
Yet, I am not what I once was–a child of sin, and slave of the devil!
Though not all these–not what I ought to be, not what I might be, not what I wish or hope to be, and not what I once was–I think I can truly say with the apostle, “By the grace of God–I am what I am!”
At the age of 82, Newton said, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner–and that Christ is a great Savior!”
John Newton’s tombstone reads: “John Newton, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy!”
“By the grace of God I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10