Humbled and Silenced By Mercy

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 70

Once perishing in blood I lay,
Creatures no help could give,
But Jesus passed me in the way,
He saw, and bid me live.

2. Though Satan still his rule maintained,
And all his arts employed;
That mighty Word his rage restrained,
I could not be destroyed.

3. At length the time of love arrived
When I my Lord should know,
Then Satan, of his pow'r deprived,
Was forced to let me go.

4. O can I e'er that day forget
When Jesus kindly spoke!
Poor soul, my blood has paid thy debt,
And now I break thy yoke.

5. Henceforth I take thee for my own,
And give myself to thee;
Forsake the idols thou hast known,
And yield thyself to me.

6. Ah, worthless heart! it promised fair,
And said it would be thine;
I little thought it e'er would dare
Again with idols join.

7. Lord, dost thou such backslidings heal,
And pardon all that's past?
Sure, if I am not made of steel,
Thou hast prevailed at last.

8. My tongue, which rashly spoke before,
This mercy will restrain;
Surely I now shall boast no more,
Nor censure, nor complain.

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