"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Friday, September 01, 2006

Favorite Hymns - Amazing Grace

This post serves a dual purpose for me, my Sunday hymn post and my Tuesday quote post. I'm travelling on business Tuesday and will likely not get the opportunity to do that post, so this is both a hymn and a quote, both of which are from John Newton.

Amazing Grace
John Newton

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.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

This is the best known hymn of Christianity. The life of the author, John Newton, is a wonderful story of grace. But I used this hymn to share with you other words of Newton, that reflect that this hymn was not just a passing moment, but a passion. The following is from an article entitled More than a Calvinist. To all of us TR's, this article is worth our time. I'm simply going to post his concluding remarks to whet your spiritual appetite.

May we not say with the Psalmist, "Lord, what is man!" yea, what an enigma, what a poor inconsistent creature is a believer! He knows the Lord; he knows himself. His understanding is enlightened to apprehend and contemplate the great mysteries of the gospel. He has just ideas of the evil of sin, the vanity of the world, the beauties of holiness, and the nature of true happiness. He was once "darkness, but now he is light in the Lord." He has access to God by Jesus Christ; to whom he is united, and in whom he lives by faith. While the principles he has received are enlivened by the agency of the Holy Spirit, he can do all things. He is humble, gentle, patient, watchful, faithful. He rejoices in afflictions, triumphs over temptations, lives upon the foretastes of eternal glory, and counts not his life dear, so he may glorify God his Saviour, and finish his course with joy. But his strength is not his own; he is absolutely dependent, and is still encompassed with infirmities. and burdened with a depraved nature. If the Lord withdraws his power, he becomes weak as another man, and drops, as a stone sinks to the earth by its own weight. His inherent knowledge may be compared to the windows of a house, which can transmit the light, but cannot retain it. Without renewed and continual communications from the Spirit of grace, he is unable to withstand the smallest temptation, to endure the slightest trial, to perform the least service in a due manner, or even to think a good thought. He knows this, and yet he too often forgets it. But the Lord reminds him of it frequently, by suspending that assistance without which he can do nothing. Then he feels what he is, and is easily prevailed upon to act in contradiction to his better judgment. This repeated experience of his own weakness teaches him by degrees where his strength lies; that it is not in any thing he has already attained, or can call his own, but the grace, power, and faithfulness of his Saviour. He learns to cease from his own understanding, to be ashamed of his best endeavours, to abhor himself in dust and ashes, and to glory only in the Lord.

From hence we may observe, that believers who have most knowledge, are not therefore necessarily the most spiritual. Some may and do walk more honorably and more comfortably with two talents, than others with five. He who experimentally knows his own weakness, and depends simply upon the Lord, will surely thrive, though his acquired attainments and abilities may be but small; and he who has the greatest gifts, the clearest judgment, and the most extensive knowledge, if he indulges high thoughts of his advantages, is in imminent danger of mistaking, and falling at every step; for the Lord will suffer none whom he loves to boast in themselves. He will guide the meek with his eyes, and fill the hungry with good things; but the rich he sendeth empty away. It is an invariable maxim in his kingdom, that whosoever exalteth himself, shall be abased; but he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

A copy of this article in Logos/Libronix format is available here.


Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks for including all seven verses...

1:05 AM EDT  

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