Olney Hymns Book 3 Hymn 53

Oh, speak that gracious word again...

Manuscript Hymn No. 202

202 v1


Peace restored

Oh, speak that gracious word again,
And cheer my drooping heart! [1]
No voice but thine can soothe my pain,
Or bid my fears depart.

And canst thou still vouchsafe to own
A wretch so vile as I?
And may I still approach thy throne,
And Abba, Father, cry?

Oh then let saints and angels join,
And help me to proclaim
The grace that healed a breach like mine,
And put my foes to shame!

How oft did Satan's cruel boast
My troubled soul affright!
He told me I was surely lost,
And God had left me quite. (a)

Guilt made me fear, lest all were true
The lying tempter said!
But now the Lord appears in view,
My enemy is fled.

My Saviour, by his powerful word,
Has turned my night to day;
And his salvation's joys restored,
Which I had sinned away.

Dear Lord I wonder and adore,
Thy grace is all divine;
Oh keep me, that I sin no more
Against such love as thine!

[1] a few editions (e.g. 1788,1792) changed 'drooping' to 'broken' but the original 'drooping' was restored in later editions (e.g. 1797, 1807)
(a) Psalm 71:11
John Newton bw better 150 x 55
  from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:

Monday 1 May 1775
After breakfast went to Collingtree in a Chaise. Mrs Nind and Sally with me. Mr Nind and Jones on horseback. Preached at 3 to a good congregation, though I think I have seen a larger there. I had liberty and it was a pleasant journey. Returned safe at eight.  Galatians 4:15 [What then has become of the blessing you felt? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.]
Tuesday 2 May
Walked with Mr Nind to Mr Robinson’s. He has a desire of being near us, and we are willing to put things in a train, and then to leave the event to the Lord’s wise and gracious disposal. Great House Colossians 3:11. [Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.] I found more to say than I expected.
Thursday 4 May
Brother and Sister Nind left us yesterday afternoon and in the evening Mr Morse came. Met the children. Mr Morse preached at night from Deuteronomy 33:29. [Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs.]
Saturday 6 May
Mr Morse returned yesterday. Soon after Mr Teedon, a School Master of Bedford, came in consequence of a letter I sent him. He has been disappointed, and I think ill-treated, at least if his own story be true. A School Master is much wanted here, and as he is of a serious turn, I have hope if he can settle with us, it may be to his advantage and to the furtherance of my views. Went about the town with him, and met with as much encouragement as (considering the place) I could wish. He returned home this morning. A walk in the evening, favoured with some liberty. Yet I fear the thorn is still in my foot.
Sunday 7 May
Assisted through the day. And had good liberty in the forenoon, but in a woful frame as usual at the Sacrament. Congregations large. Evening Hymn No. 202.
2 Samuel 23:5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.
Ps 119:136 My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.
Hymn No. 202

[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]

Image copyright:

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

Marylynn Rouse, 12/09/2013