William Wilberforce and “Amazing Grace”

On July 26, 1833, William Wilberforce received news that the Slavery Abolition Act passed—a culmination of four decades fighting to abolish slavery in the British Empire—crediting the influence of John Newton, a former captain of slave ships!

Disgusted with his role in the slave trade, Newton left the sea. Influenced by preachers John and Charles Wesley, he began Bible studies in his home, and eventually was ordained into Anglican ministry. For each Thursday evening prayer service, Newton wrote a hymn, including “Amazing Grace!"

His remarkable journey was dramatically retold in the acclaimed Broadway musical, “Amazing Grace”—to be performed live at Museum of the Bible’s World Stage Theater when the museum opens in November 2017!

Share

More Book Minute Features

April 06, 2020

With a Mighty Hand

The Haggadah is one of the most popular texts in Jewish tradition.Hebrew for “telling,” the Haggadah is the guidebook for the Seder, the ceremonial me...
March 30, 2020

Nebuchadnezzar’s Inscription

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned several times in the Bible including his dramatic story of repentance in the Book of Daniel, Chapter...
March 16, 2020

Miserere mei Deus - Psalm 51

Miserere mei Deus (“Have mercy on me, O God”) by Gregorio Allegri, using the words from Psalm 51, is one of the most beautiful compositions ever writt...