Monday, 17 January 2011

More Newton

We sang this, John Newton, hymn yesterday.

Let worldly minds the world pursue,
It has no charms for me;
Once I admired its trifles too,
But grace has set me free.

Its pleasures now no longer please,
No more content afford;
Far from my heart be joys like these,
Now I have seen the Lord.

As by the light of opening day
The stars are all concealed
So earthly pleasures fade away,
When Jesus is revealed.

Creatures no more divide my choice,
I bid them all depart;
His name, and love, and gracious voice,
Have fixed my roving heart.

Now, Lord, I would be Thine alone,
And wholly live to Thee;
But may I hope that Thou wilt own
A worthless worm, like me?

Yes! though of sinners I'm the worst,
I cannot doubt Thy will;
For if Thou had not loved me first
I had refused Thee still.

I written this out from our facsimile copy of Olney Hymns. It is slightly painful to read having "f" for "s" in old style. Having said that, it is a great way to stop skim reading!
The younger children and I visited Olney, last summer. John Newton was curate at Olney and a near neighbour of the poet William Cowper. The town houses the Cowper and Newton Museum which is worth a visit although it did seem rather out of sympathy with the convictions of these two men. The curators were more interested in telling us about the Second World War garden out the back.
John Newton's grave is in a corner of the churchyard.
Sadly, the most important part of the memorial is right at the back by a wall and difficult to see. This defeated my dubious photographic skills so I will copy what it says
John Newton clerk
once an infidel and libertine
a servant of slaves in Africa was
by the rich mercy of our
preserved, restored, pardoned
and appointed to preach the faith he
had long laboured to destroy
near 16 years a curate of this parish
and 28 years as rector of St Mary Walnorth

Just last week, I found a great Newton hymn, or more really a prayer, on Penned Pebbles with comment that cannot but speak to the heart of believing mothers. Do read this-it is very precious.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful hymn and your visit to Olney. Thank you much also for the referral. May God bless you richly with more of His grace and good will!