The Power and Triumph of Faith
Supported by the word,
Though in himself a worm,
The servant of the Lord
Can wondrous acts perform:
Without dismay he boldly treads
Where’er the path of duty leads.
The haughty king in vain,
With fury on his brow,
Believers would constrain
To golden gods to bow:
The furnace could not make them fear,
Because they knew the Lord was near.
As vain was the decree
Which charged them not to pray:
Daniel still bowed his knee,
And worshiped thrice a day.
Trusting in God, he feared not men,
Though threatened with the lions' den.
Secure they might refuse
Compliance with such laws;
For what had they to lose,
When God espoused their cause?
He made the hungry lions crouch;
Nor durst the fire his children touch.
The Lord is still the same,
A mighty shield and tower,
And they who trust his name
Are guarded by his power;
He can the rage of lions tame,
And bear them harmless through the flame.
Yet we too often shrink
When trials are in view;
Expecting we must sink,
And never can get through:
But could we once believe indeed,
From all these fears we should be freed.
from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:
Sunday 11 January 1778
How often do I attempt and limit thee, by distrusting thy power or by setting up my own will in preference to thine. Lord give me dependence, submission and faith, and let thy name be to me a hiding place, and a resting place.
Tuesday 13 January 1778
When I came home found letters from Mr Nind and Dr Ford; the intelligence was painful – chiefly so, in what concerns my Dear. Lord pardon and pity my weakness – there my feelings are sensible and quick indeed. But I would leave all with thee.
Thursday 15 January 1778
My subject tonight, and indeed it is often the case, leaves me self-convicted. Ah my Lord, I can tell others of the honour and privilege of waiting upon thee. How are enobling, delightful and necessary prayer is, and yet still mourn under an awful reluctance to it, and straightness in it. Romans 12:12 [Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer]
Sunday 18 January 1778
O my Lord give a blessing to the people and to me also, and grant that we may grow in the knowledge of thy name, and in the exercise of love, and may daily profit under thy teaching.
Mrs Newman hurt her ankle yesterday and could not go out, which confined my Dear till evening, then she went to the Great House – the first time of her being abroad to worship since New Year's day. I praise thee gracious Lord for this mercy and beg we may both live to thy praise.
Psalm 91:14,15 [Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.]
Hymn No. 298
[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]