John Newton

(24 July 1725 – 21 December 1807 / London, England)

Bitter and Sweet


Kindle, Saviour, in my heart,
A flame of love divine;
Hear, for mine I trust thou art,
And sure I would be thine;
If my soul has felt thy grace,
If to me thy name is known;
Why should trifles fill the place
Due to thyself alone?

'Tis a strange mysterious life
I live from day to day;
Light and darkness, peace and strife,
Bear an alternate sway:
When I think the battle won,
I have to fight it o'er again;
When I say I'm overthrown,
Relief I soon obtain.

Often at the mercy-seat,
While calling on thy name,
Swarms of evil thoughts I meet,
Which fill my soul with shame.
Agitated in my mind,
Like a feather in the air,
Can I thus a blessing find?
My soul, can this be pray'r?

But when Christ, my Lord and Friend,
Is pleas'd to show his pow'r
All at once my troubles end,
And I've a golden hour;
Then I see his smiling face,
Feel the pledge of joys to come:
Often, Lord, repeat this grace
Till thou shalt call me home.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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