Scripture Verse

I am with you always. Matthew 28:20

Introduction

portrait
John Newton
(1725–1807)

Words: John New­ton, 1776.

Music: Sol­i­tude (Downes) Lew­is T. Downes, 1851 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Downes (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

Origin of the Hymn

Bull, in his life of New­ton, gives the fol­low­ing account of the or­i­gin of this hymn:—

In No­vem­ber [1776] Mr. New­ton un­der­went an op­er­a­tion for a tu­mour in his thigh. He was mer­ci­ful­ly brought through it, and was ve­ry soon able to re­sume his or­din­a­ry du­ties. On this oc­ca­sion he comp­osed the 71st hymn, Bk. ii. in the Ol­ney Hymns.

As in­ti­mat­ed, the hymn ap­peared in the Ol­ney Hymns, 1779, in 7 st. of 4 l., and head­ed Part­ing. It came in­to use in the old­er col­lect­ions, and is still found in a few hymn­als both in G. Bri­tain and Am­er­i­ca. The hymn, For a sea­son called to part, which is giv­en in the New Cong., 1859, No. 848, and oth­er col­lect­ions, es­pe­ci­al­ly in Am­er­i­ca, is co­mposed of st. iv., v., and vi. of this hymn.

Julian, p. 85.

Lyrics

As the sun’s enlivening eye
Shines on every place the same;
So the Lord is always nigh
To the souls that love His name.

When they move at duty’s call,
He is with them by the way;
He is ever with them all,
Those who go, and those who stay.

From His holy mercy seat
Nothing can their souls confine;
Still in spirit they may meet,
And in sweet communion join.

For a season called to part,
Let us then ourselves commend
To the gracious eye and heart,
Of our ever-present Friend.

Jesus, hear our humble prayer!
Tender shepherd of Thy sheep!
Let Thy mercy and Thy care
All our souls in safety keep.

In Thy strength may we be strong,
Sweeten every cross and pain;
Give us, if we live, ere long
Here to meet in peace again.

Then, if Thou Thy help afford,
Ebenezers shall be reared;
And our souls shall praise the Lord
Who our poor petitions heard.