The distressed Father, also a Pastor, earnestly cried out in a letter to the President of Moody Bible Institute. The Pastor’s prodigal son, William Newell, was breaking a parent’s heart. The loving father begged for his son to be allowed to enroll at the Institute. At long last and under certain conditions, the request was granted.
To make a long story very short, several years later, William Newell became a beloved professor at Moody.
In 1895, William was thinking about his testimony for several weeks. One day while on his way to a lecture…the words came flooding into his mind. He slipped into an empty classroom and scratched the verses down on an empty envelope. As he hurried on to class, he ran into the Director of Music, Daniel Towner. Handing him the envelope William asked if he would consider writing some music for the words. So moved by the words, Daniel immediately sat at his piano and composed a tune. When William’s class was done, he and Daniel stood around the piano to sing for the first time this very moving hymn.
William once said that had he not gone through his troubled years, he might never have fully understood the importance of God’s grace at Calvary!