The Disciples at Sea

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 114

Constrained by their Lord to embark,
And venture, without him, to sea;
The season tempestuous and dark,
How grieved the disciples must be!
But though he remained on the shore,
He spent the night for them in prayer;
They still were as safe as before,
And equally under his care.

2. They strove, though in vain, for a while,
The force of the waves to withstand;
But when they were wearied with toil,
They saw their dear Saviour at hand:
They gladly received him on board,
His presence their spirits revived;
The sea became calm at his word,
And soon at their port they arrived.

3. We, like the disciples, are tossed
By storms, on a perilous deep;
But cannot be possibly lost,
For Jesus has charge of the ship:
Though billows and winds are enraged,
And threaten to make us their sport;
This pilot his word has engaged
To bring us, in safety, to port.

4. If sometimes we struggle alone,
And he is withdrawn from our view;
It makes us more willing to own,
We nothing, without him, can do:
Then Satan our hopes would assail,
But Jesus is still within call;
And when our poor efforts quite fail,
He comes in good time and does all.

5. Yet, Lord, we are ready to shrink.
Unless we thy presence perceive;
O save us (we cry) or we sink,
We would, but we cannot believe
The night has been long and severe,
The winds and the seas are still high;
Dear Saviour, this moment appear,
And say to our souls, It is I!

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