“My memory is nearly gone. But I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.”
Final words whispered from a dying man’s lips to a dear friend before his breath failed him. That man was John Newton.
Once a captain and investor of slavery ships from Africa. Dealing in the auctioning of black men, women, and children throughout England. Newton would go on to write one of the most famous Christian hymns – Amazing Grace. Newton awoke to find his ship caught in a severe storm off the coast of Ireland and about to sink. In response, Newton began praying for God's mercy, after which the storm began to die down. As a result, he opened up the Bible, read in the New Testament about the value of human life, the horror of sin and the offer of grace for the guilty. It would be a moment that would change his life and many others.
Years later, he would pen the words,
Amazing grace How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me…
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Saviour has ransomed me
The gospel drives us not to self-pity or self-loathing. Rather humble-confidence.
In the work of Christ, I find myself a great sinner and find a great Saviour. Who speaks a greater word over me than that of my sin.