Olney Hymns Book 1 Hymn 134
By various maxims, forms, and rules...
Manuscript Hymn No. 210
Looking unto JESUS
By various maxims, forms, and rules,
That pass for wisdom in the schools,
I strove my passion to restrain;
But all my efforts proved in vain.
But since the Saviour I have known
My rules are all reduced to one,
To keep my Lord, by faith, in view;
This strength supplies, and motives too.
I see him lead a suffering life,
Patient amidst reproach and strife;
And from his pattern courage take
To bear, and suffer for his sake.
Upon the cross I see him bleed,
And by the sight from guilt am freed;
This sight destroys the life of sin,
And quickens heavenly life within.
To look to Jesus as he rose,
Confirms my faith, disarms my foes;
Satan I shame and overcome,
By pointing to my Saviour’s tomb.
Exalted on his glorious throne,
I see him make my cause his own;
Then all my anxious cares subside,
For Jesus lives, and will provide.
I see him look with pity down,
And hold in view the conqueror’s crown;
If pressed with griefs and cares before,
My soul revives, nor asks for more.
By faith I see the hour at hand,
When in his presence I shall stand;
Then it will be my endless bliss,
To see him where, and as he is.
from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:
Monday 26 June 1775
In the afternoon Mr Robinson of Leicester called; we soon set the bells to give notice of preaching.
Tuesday 27 June 1775
Mr Robinson attended the morning meeting with us and prayed; soon after he proceeded for Cambridge. ... The three Baptist Ministers came to dinner and Mr Symonds with them; stayed till half past four. The time was spent very agreeably. I drank tea with them at Mrs Andrews’. When returned, found Mr and Mrs Barham, contracted the service at the Great House. Spoke from Revelation 3:10 [Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.]. At seven went to the Baptist Meeting. Mr Beddome preached first from 2 Corinthians 1:24. Then Mr Evans from John 3:3. The latter was a good sermon, but the former gave me a pleasure I seldom find in hearing. It was an excellent discourse indeed, and the Lord was pleased to give me some softenings and relentings of heart. It is long since I had such an opportunity. O Lord soften me yet more and enable me to rejoice in thy peace.
Wednesday 28 June 1775
After breakfast, Mr and Mrs Barham returned, and Mr Symonds after dinner. Little opportunity for retirement today.
Thursday 29 June 1775
Mr Barham came to dinner, and returned in the evening. Brought his other three daughters who are to stay with us a few days. In the evening preached. Think the congregation on the Fair Evenings is upon the increase yearly. Psalm 34:8 [O taste and see that the Lord is good:blessed is the man that trusteth in him.]
Sunday 2 July 1775
At night was enlarged again. Spoke from Hymn No. 110 [210 intended]. The evening rainy, or we should have been overfull, as the Baptist Minsiter is gone, and they had no supply. But Mr Bull Junior preached at the lower meeting.
Hymn No. 110 [210 intended]
[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