John Newton wrote other hymns

You know, the man behind Amazing Grace. I learned this yesterday when reading Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God, in which he quotes from the last verse of a hymn titled “We Were Sinners Once as You Are”. I couldn’t find it on Youtube anywhere, so I don’t know how the music to it goes. But I found the words at this blog, in a post titled “Hymns I’m Angry I didn’t Learn As a Child”! Here they are.

Shall men pretend to pleasure
Who never knew the Lord?
Can all the worldling’s treasure
True peace of mind afford?
They shall obtain this jewel
In what their hearts desire,
When they by adding fuel
Can quench the flame of fire.

Till you can bid the ocean,
When furious tempests roar,
Forget its wonted motion,
And rage, and swell, no more:
In vain your expectation
To find content in sin;
Or freedom from vexation,
While passions reign within.

Come, turn your thoughts to Jesus,
If you would good possess;
‘Tis he alone that frees us
From guilt, and from distress:
While he, by faith, is present,
The sinner’s troubles cease;
His ways are truly pleasant,
And all his paths are peace.

Our time in sin we wasted,
And fed upon the wind;
Until his love we tasted,
No comfort could we find:
But now we stand to witness
His pow’r and grace to you;
May you perceive its fitness,
And call upon him too!

Our pleasure and our duty,
Though opposite before;
Since we have seen his beauty,
Are joined to part no more:
It is our highest pleasure,
No less than duty’s call;
To love him beyond measure,
And serve him with our all.

In addition to the last verse, I really like the imagery at the beginning of verse 4. “Our time in sin we wasted, and fed upon the wind.” How futile indeed to feed upon the wind.

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