Monday, December 10, 2007


I think I have found a new brother in the Lord to increase my joy in Christ--John Newton. He's the guy that wrote Amazing Grace. His life was one of Amazing Grace. Reading this man's writings and reading his biographies I am awestruck at the level of love this man had. I realize that his level of love comes from a deep sense and understanding of grace in his own life. He is a beautiful reflection of Luke 7:47. I think he loved much because the roots of grace were driven deep into his heart. Hopefully in the coming months you will see more Newton quotes. Here is a poem from his Olney Hymns.

On man, in his own image made,
How much did GOD bestow?
The whole creation homage paid,
And owned him LORD, below!

He dwelt in Eden’s garden, stored
With sweets for every sense;
And there with his descending LORD
He walked in confidence.

But O! by sin how quickly changed!
His honor forfeited,
His heart, from God and truth, estranged,
His conscience filled with dread!

Now from his Maker’s voice he flees,
Which was before his joy:
And thinks to hide, amidst the trees,
From an All–seeing eye.

Compelled to answer to his name,
With stubbornness and pride
He cast, on God himself, the blame,
Nor once for mercy cried.

But grace, unasked, his heart subdued
And all his guilt forgave;
By faith, the promised seed he viewed,
And felt his pow’r to save.

Thus we ourselves would justify,
Though we the Law transgress;
Like him, unable to deny,
Unwilling to confess.

But when by faith the sinner sees
A pardon bought with blood;
Then he forsakes his foolish pleas,
And gladly turns to God.
The sixth stanza (I think it's a stanza) especially hits me. As I think about how hopeless Adam was in his sin, I begin to remember my lost condition. Not only my lost condition do I remember but also my continuing battle with sin. When I begin to feel the weight of that hopelessness I am astounded that God in His free mercy (but grace, unasked, his heart subdued) reached down and saved me.

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