IN evil long I took delight,
   Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new wonder shocked my sight,
    And stopped my wild career.
2  I saw One hanging on a tree,
    In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His loving eyes on me,
    As near His cross I stood.
3  Never until my latest breath
    Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
    Though not a word He spoke.
4  My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
    And fell to deep despair;
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
    And helped to nail Him there.
5  Another look He gave, which said,
    ‘I freely all forgive;
This blood has for your ransom paid;
    I die, that you may live.’
6  Thus while His death my sin displays
    In all its ugly hue,
Such is the wonder of His grace,
    It seals my pardon too.
John Newton, 1725-1807