Olney Hymns Book 2 Hymn 36
See! the corn again in ear!...
Manuscript Hymn No. 209
See! the corn again in ear!
How the fields and valleys smile!
Harvest now is drawing near,
To repay the farmer's toil:
Gracious Lord, secure the crop,
Satisfy the poor with food;
In thy mercy is our hope,
We have sinned but thou art good.
While I view the plenteous grain
As it ripens on the stalk,
May I not instruction gain
Helpful to my daily walk?
All this plenty of the field
Was produced from foreign seeds;
For the earth itself would yield
Only crops of useless weeds.
Though, when newly sown, it lay
Hid awhile beneath the ground
(Some might think it thrown away),
Now a large increase is found:
Though concealed, it was not lost,
Though it died, it lives again;
Eastern storms, and nipping frosts,
Have opposed its growth in vain.
Let the praise be all the Lord's,
As the benefit is ours!
He, in season, still affords
Kindly heat, and gentle showers:
By his care the produce thrives,
Waving o'er the furrowed lands;
And when harvest-time arrives,
Ready for the reaper stands.
Thus in barren hearts he sows
Precious seeds of heavenly joy; (a)
Sin and hell in vain oppose,
None can grace's crop destroy:
Threatened oft, yet still it blooms,
After many changes past,
Death, the reaper, when he comes,
Finds it fully ripe at last.
(a) Hosea 14:7; Mark 4:26-29
from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:
Thursday 22 June 1775
[incorrectly 15 in diary]
Yesterday and today till almost teatime (when he left us) taken up with Mr Collins. Met the children; since Mr Teedon has set up his school, their number is increased to above 50. Preached in the evening. Buried Mary Kent. She was awakened the first sermon I preached at Olney. She was then about 70, of a bad character, and a warm opposer of the Gospel. She was very poor, of a very weak capacity, but from the time she joined us, she walked quietly; she died in her sleep and I trust died in the Lord, and is now with him.
Friday 23 June
I have done little with my pen this week, but made a hymn, and answered Mr Scott’s last letter, which has been often in my hand and from various interruptions could only finish tonight, then went to hear Mr Ashburner from Joel 3:18. He goes tomorrow.
Saturday 24 June
Not idle. And yet but little done. Walked in the evening, had but little liberty of spirit in prayer. This is my almost daily complaint.
Sunday 25 June
[incorrectly 18 in diary]
Unworthy as I am, still supported. My own mind seemed dull and unaffected, but I was not straitened in any part of the daily services. A call in the evening from Mr [Caleb] Evans of Bristol, and Mr Dunscomb of [left blank] and went myself with them to call on Mr Beedom[Beddome]. They are to dine with me on Tuesday. Hymn No. 209 on the approaching harvest.
Solomon’s Song 1:4
1 Thessalonians 2:18
[Hymn No. 209]
[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]
Hymn: MS Eng 1317, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Marylynn Rouse, 11/09/2013