Olney Hymns Book 1 Hymn 7

Though troubles assail...

Manuscript Hymn No. 194

194 v1

Chapter 22:14

The LORD will provide *

Though troubles assail,
And dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail,
And foes all unite;
Yet one thing secures us,
Whatever betide,
The scripture assures us,
The LORD will provide.

The birds without barn
Or storehouse are fed,
From them let us learn
To trust for our bread:
His saints, what is fitting,
Shall ne'er be denied,
So long as 'tis written,
The LORD will provide.

We may, like the ships,
By tempests be tost
On perilous deeps,
But cannot be lost:
Though Satan enrages
The wind and the tide,
The promise engages,
The LORD will provide.

His call we obey,
Like Abram of old,
Not knowing our way,
But faith makes us bold;
For though we are strangers,
We have a good guide,
And trust in all dangers,
The LORD will provide.

When Satan appears
To stop up our path,
And fill us with fears,
We triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us,
Though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise,
The LORD will provide.

He tells us we're weak,
Our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek
We ne'er shall obtain;
But when such suggestions
Our spirits have plied,
This answers all questions,
The LORD will provide.

No strength of our own,
Or goodness we claim;
Yet since we have known
The Saviour’s great name,
In this our strong tower
For safety we hide,
The LORD is our power,
The LORD will provide.

When life sinks apace,
And death is in view,
This word of his grace
Shall comfort us through:
No fearing or doubting
With CHRIST on our side,
We hope to die shouting,
The LORD will provide.

* subtitles assumed from previous hymn No. 6 by Willliam Cowper

[a good tune for this is Houghton (by John Henry Gauntlett), suitable also for Begone unbelief]

John Newton bw better 150 x 55
  from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:

Thursday 2nd February 1775
The night closed with mercy on the Lord’s part, and folly on mine. I find not one corruption of my vile heart is dead, though some seem now and then to be asleep. Dust and ashes is my name. My all is sin and misery. Thus the subject of my sermon became my own [1 John 2:1 …And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous]. But O how difficult to act as I can easily advise others.

Sunday 5 February 1775
Hymn in the Evening The Lord will provide… J Woolston took his farewell in prayer being to leave the town in a day or two.

Isaiah 28:16
John 1:12
Hymn No. 194

[On this date Newton preached from the above texts at his church, St Peter & St Paul, Olney, during the morning and afternoon services, and from this hymn at the informal evening service]

Tuesday 7 February 1775
John Wollaston[sic], one of our praying men, left Olney this morning.

12 January 1801: Betsy to Sophia Ring
“I often think of our singing the night before we left [Basingstoke] and wish you could think of the name of the tune… the words: 'The Lord will provide' That hymn has been made a blessing to many in seasons of distress, the mother of a family in Olney who in these calamitous times have hardly bread to eat, wrote me word lately it had been a comfort to her.”

22 January 1808: Betsy to Sophia Ring, following the death of her ‘Papa’, John Newton:
“I have not yet forgot the singing of the hymn there the night before we parted ‘The Lord will provide.’"

Image copyright:

Hymn: MS Eng 1317, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Diary: John Newton Collection, CO199, Princeton University

Marylynn Rouse, 29/08/2013