As I was reading today: A Sweet Taste of Newton


The second stanza of the poem below is one I’ve had inscribed on the flyleaf of my Bible for nearly 20 years. It wasn’t until today that I happened upon the entire text as recorded in Vol 3 of Newtons works containing the “Olney Hymns”.  Newton prefaced this collection of his poems to be sung in worship with the following words: “If the Lord, whom I serve, has been pleased to favour me with that mediocrity of talent, which may qualify me for usefulness to the weak and the poor of his flock, without quite disgusting persons of superior discernment, I have reason to be satisfied.”

I will own being one of the weak and poor of Christ’s flock, who have found this useful. May you as well.


LXII. The good Physician

1 HOW lost was my condition,
Till Jesus made me whole!
There is but one Physician
Can cure a sin-sick soul!
Next door to death he found me,
And snatch’d me from the grave,
To tell to all around me,
His wond’rous pow’r to save.

2 The worst of all diseases
Is light, compar’d with sin;
On ev’ry part it seizes,
But rages most within:
’Tis palsy, plague, and fever,
And madness, all combin’d;
And none but a believer
The least relief can find.

3 From men great skill professing
I thought a cure to gain;
But this prov’d more distressing,
And added to my pain:
Some said that nothing ail’d me,
Some gave me up for lost;
Thus ev’ry refuge fail’d me,
And all my hopes were cross’d.

4 At length this great Physician,
How matchless is his grace!
Accepted my petition,
And undertook my case:
First gave me sight to view him,
For sin my eyes had seal’d;
Then bid me look unto him;
I look’d, and I was heal’d.

5 A dying, risen Jesus,
Seen by the eye of faith,
At once from danger frees us,
And saves the soul from death:
Come then to this Physician,
His help he’ll freely give,
He makes no hard condition,
’Tis only—look and live.
Newton, John & Richard Cecil. 1824. The Works of John Newton. . Vol. 3. London: Hamilton, Adams & Co.

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