During the first half of the eighteenth century, English-speaking Protestantism was profoundly affected by a series of revivals, or religious awakenings, that helped to define an emerging evangelical impulse. "Amazing Grace," a hymn published in 1779 by John Newton, a slave trader turned Anglican cleric who himself underwent a moving conversion, evocatively expresses the character of that impulse.
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Its title is therefore fitting as the title for a book that attempts to describe both the evangelical impulse and some of the institutions, re-
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