Olney Hymns Book 3 Hymn 67

Ten thousand talents once I owed...

Manuscript Hymn No. 244

244 v1a

244 v1b


The happy debtor

Ten thousand talents once I owed,
And nothing had to pay;
But Jesus freed me from the load,
And washed my debt away.

Yet since the Lord forgave my sin,
And blotted out my score;
Much more indebted I have been,
Than e'er I was before.

My guilt is cancelled quite, I know,
And satisfaction made;
But the vast debt of love I owe
Can never be repaid.

The love I owe for sin forgiven,
For power to believe,
For present peace, and promised heaven,
No angel can conceive.

That love of thine! thou sinner's Friend!
Witness thy bleeding heart!
My little all can ne'er extend
To pay a thousandth part.

Nay more, the poor returns I make
I first from thee obtain; (a)
And 'tis of grace, that thou wilt take
Such poor returns again.

'Tis well it shall my glory be
(Let who will boast their store)
In time and to eternity,
To owe thee more and more.

(a) 1 Chronicles 29:14

Similar Hymns: [relating to this whole section]
Book 1, Hymns 27, 50, 70, 93, 122
Book 2, Hymns 23, 90

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

Monday 27 May 1776
Morning at Weston – informed that Mrs Ruck has left me a legacy. It was kind in her, but chiefly O Lord I would see and acknowledge thy goodness.  It is thou only who givest me favour in the sight of my fellow creatures.  This is chiefly agreeable to me, as a token of her regard for thy Gospel, which she frequently heard and would have always heard if she could.  In our last conversation she told me that her views had been greatly altered.  I hope she is now with thee.  In the evening a long walk with Mr Whitford, which prevented my retirement.
Tuesday 28 May
This afternoon the people began to come to town, against tomorrow.  We had several strangers at the Great House.  I have to thank thee, my Lord for some liberty in speaking – the subject was the beginning of Hopeful’s account of his experience.  We lodged Mr Ryland, Symonds and some others.
Wednesday 29 May
Attended the Baptists’ Association.  The great number of people, obliged them to quit the Meeting House, and assemble sub dio, in an orchard.  Mr Guy began with an earnest and powerful prayer, then Mr Evans preached from Psalm 80:19 Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. He spoke seriously and well, but was short, and seemed rather disconcerted by the necessity of preaching outdoors.  Then Mr Gill prayed, and Mr Ryland preached from Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. His originality and zeal were strongly marked throughout his sermon.  Thou gavest him power in speaking, and I hope many were impressed.  Mr Hull concluded in prayer.  At five in the evening another sermon, Mr Hall the preacher, text Revelation 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. A good discourse.  The congregations were very large and attentive.  At home we were full of business having many friends to entertain, chiefly Mrs Trinder and her scholars. But all went on well, and it was upon the whole a very agreeable day. Do thou O Lord command a blessing on it.
Thursday 30 May
Could do little this morning but attend the calls of friends. Afternoon heard Mr Dunscombe from John 4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? I liked him much, and was thankful on his account, as thou hast been pleased to cast my brother and sister Nind's lot under his ministry. I hear thou hast opened for them another settlement. O favour them with thy blessing in it, especially with a blessing to their souls. In the evening I preached; five or six of the Ministers who remained in town, came to church. I was desirous to speak so as they might be comforted and might know that unworthy as we are, and though we are not gathered exactly in their way, thou art pleased to favour us with thy presence. I thank thee that thou didst enable me. Thou mightest justly have put me to shame before them, but thou art pleased to honour me. I spoke with freedom, and I believe with acceptance.
Zechariah 2:10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.
Saturday 1 June
Yesterday the ministers remaining in town breakfasted with me. We seemed all mutually pleased. I thank thee my Lord, thou hast I trust given me a heart to love thy people of every name, and I am willing to discover thine image without respect of parties. Another week closes. Alas how poorly am I furnished for the approaching Sabbath. But my fullness is in thee. May this satisfy me, yet so, as that I may diligently expect thy operations in the use of thine appointed means.
Sunday 2 June
A cold and barren frame in the morning. In the forenoon preached at a venture. The text was necessary to finish the Psalm, but I knew not what to say. Surely thou didst help me. Alas that ever I should be ungrateful and foolish again. Thou didst likewise prevent a disorder I expected at church, from a sett of rude, poor creatures who want per force to lead in the singing. In the afternoon likewise I spoke from hand to mouth. Our evening meeting was thin, Mr Knight who spent most of yesterday with me, preaching for Mr Whitford. I spoke with some freedom.
Psalm 45:17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Hymn No. 244

[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