Trivia Notes from John Newton

Psalm 87 “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”

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The song Amazing Grace was written by a slave trader but born again by God’s will, John Newton. What you may not realize is that after that he abandoned that trade he went on to be the parish priest of Olney Church in England. While reading this psalm he was overjoyed to read the words in our title and sought help from his neighbor, William Cowper, a classical writer. With Cowper’s assistance, Newton was able to publish a hymnal including a hymn by this title. Also, you may not know but the Confederate General Andrew Jackson loved this hymn and awakened his soldiers one morning as he sang it.

The words of this hymn come from Ps 87:3 “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” This is the place God calls “home” here on earth. He chose Zion for his dwelling place and it was there that Abraham came to worship as did others. It was there that Solomon erected the Temple in which the Ark resided. Now we are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit resides in us. Paul wrote: “do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Does God speak of glorious things about you?

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