Peter Released From Prison

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 122

Fervent persevering prayers
Are faith's assured resource,
Brazen gates, and iron bars,
In vain withstand their force:
Peter when in prison cast,
Though by soldiers kept with care;
Though the doors were bolted fast,
Was soon released by prayer.

2. While he slept an angel came
And spread a light around;
Touched, and called him by his name,
And raised him from the ground:
All his chains and fetters burst,
Every door wide open flew;
Peter thought he dreamed, at first,
But found the vision true.

3. Thus the Lord can make a way
To bring his saints relief;
'Tis their part, to wait and pray,
In spite of unbelief:
He can break through walls of stone,
Sink the mountain to a plain;
They, to whom his name is known;
Can never pray in vain.

4. Thus in chains of guilt and sin,
Poor sinners sleeping lie;
No alarm is felt within,
Although condemned to die:
Till descending from above
Mercy smiling in his eyes
Jesus, with a voice of love,
Awakes, and bids them rise.

5. Glad the summons they obey,
And liberty desire;
Strait their fetters melt away,
Like wax before the fire:
By the word of him who died,
Guilty pris'ners to release;
Every door flies open wide,
And they depart in peace.

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