Olney Hymns Book 3 Hymn 66
Fix my heart and eyes on thine...
Manuscript Hymn No. 218
DEDICATION & SURRENDER
Fix my heart and eyes on thine!
What are other objects worth?
But to see thy glory shine,
Is a heaven begun on earth:
Trifles can no longer move,
Oh, I tread on all beside,
When I feel my Saviour's love,
And remember how he died.
Now my search is at an end,
Now my wishes rove no more!
Thus my moments I would spend,
Love, and wonder, and adore:
Jesus, source of excellence!
All thy glorious love reveal!
Kingdoms shall not bribe me hence,
While this happiness I feel.
Take my heart, 'tis all thine own,
To thy will my spirit frame;
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone,
Over all I have, or am:
If a foolish thought shall dare
To rebel against thy word,
Slay it, Lord, and do not spare,
Let it feel thy Spirit's sword.
Making thus the Lord my choice,
I have nothing more to choose,
But to listen to thy voice,
And my will in thine to lose:
Thus, whatever may betide,
I shall safe and happy be;
Still content and satisfied,
Having all, in having thee.
from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:
Monday 2 October 1775
Purposing a visit to Mr Barham tomorrow, we had the prayer meeting this evening. I hope it was a good time. I spoke from Psalm 3:1,2 [Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah]. House pretty full. It is wonderful what liberty I sometimes find in public, when my heart is in a wretched state.
Tuesday 3 October
Our morning prayer meeting proved much thinner than before I went to London; I expected this would be the case as winter should approach. There were however about 40 present. And I hope the Lord was in the midst of us. After breakfast we set off and had a pleasant journey to Bedford. The Lord made our journey pleasant, though I feel a corrupt nature in every place. I expounded in the mornings – and attended at the [Moravian] Chapel every evening but the last. On Saturday [7th] the Lord brought us safe home, though the chaise broke down with us twice. We had a little delay and inconvenience, but he preserved us from harm. In the evening Mrs Ekins unexpectedly came to us.
Sunday 8 October
My heart has this day has been looking to the Lord – and he helped me in what was before me. In the evening at the Great House I had most liberty in speaking from Hymn No. 218 which I hastily put together last night after my return. My spirit seems a little softened, I see the way of peace clearly, but alas how hard have I hitherto found it to walk in it, though I am continually pointing it out to others.
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Hymn No 218 [presumably a reflection on his time with the (Moravian) Barham family in Bedford over the preceding days. Of the Foster-Barhams, Newton wrote to Joshua Symonds: ‘I love that house. There seems to be no leisure in it to talk about persons or opinions – the enquiry there is concerning Jesus, how to love him more and serve him better, how to derive from him and to render to him. If this is to be a Moravian, I do not wonder that they are reproached and scorned. Where the Spirit of the Gospel is, there the Cross will be.’]
[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
Diary: John Newton Collection, CO199, Princeton University
Marylynn Rouse, 12/09/2013