Olney Hymns Book 3 Hymn 43
Sight, hearing, feeling, taste and smell...
Manuscript Hymn No. 179 [1 vol 2]
Faith a new and comprehensive sense
Sight, hearing, feeling, taste and smell,
Are gifts we highly prize;
But faith does singly each excel,
And all the five comprise.
More piercing than the eagle's sight,
It views the world unknown,
Surveys the glorious realms of light,
And Jesus on the throne.
It hears the mighty voice of God,
And ponders what he saith;
His word and works, his gifts and rod,
Have each a voice to faith.
It feels the touch of heavenly power, (a)
And from that boundless source,
Derives fresh vigour every hour
To run its daily course.
The truth and goodness of the Lord
Are suited to its taste; (b)
Mean is the worldling's pampered board,
To faith's perpetual feast.
It smells the dear Redeemer's name
Like ointment poured forth; (c)
Faith only knows, or can proclaim,
Its favour or its worth.
Till saving faith possess the mind,
In vain of sense we boast;
We are but senseless, tasteless, blind,
And deaf, and dead, and lost.
(a) Luke 8:46
(b) Psalm 119:103
(c) Song of Solomon 1:3 [note this was the text for How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, Book 1, Hymn 57 and see also the sermon on this text]
from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:
[As this hymn is not dated in Newton's diary, but precedes the first known date of 13 November 1774 for these ms hymns, which is for No. 183, it seems probable that it was written for October 1774]
Tuesday 4 October 1774
Yesterday indolent as I sometimes feel on a Monday. In the evening was at one of the little prayer meetings and this morning joined with one at the Great House, which has been held early these two Tuesdays chiefly on account of the present appearances of the times. Evening spoke from Colossians 1:24,25 – had a full house.
Thursday 6 October
Spent yesterday forenoon at Weston, breakfasted with Mr Harrison, whom the Lord has been pleased to revive lately. This morning met the children. In the evening was confused, and had not the liberty which I am usually favoured with at the Lectures; for the most part I think them my best times. But I may wonder I am not straightened oftener.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Sunday 9 October
Helped to go through this day with some liberty of spirit outwardly in public. But alas the most important subjects and when I seem to speak of them with most earnestness, make a faint impression upon my heart. And where I judge by my feelings only, I might suspect whether I believed them, or whether I believed myself interested in them. And yet I cannot quicken my own soul. Surely I do receive them as truths, and desire to make them the governing principles of my conduct.
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
[Hymn No. 179?]
[note several differences in the ms version, linked above]
[On this date Newton preached from the above texts at his church, St Peter & St Paul, Olney, during the morning and afternoon services, and probably from this hymn at the informal evening service]
Hymn: MS Eng 1317, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Diary: John Newton Collection, CO199, Princeton University