Scripture Verse

My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee; and I am afraid of Thy judgments. Psalm 119:120


John Newton (1725–1807)

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 3, num­ber 6. The bur­dened sin­ner.

Music: Old 104th in the Whole Book of Psalmes, by Tho­mas Ra­vens­croft, 1621 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Thomas Ravenscroft (1592–1635)


Ah, what can I do,
Or where be se­cure?
If jus­tice pur­sue,
What heart can en­dure?
When God speaks in thun­der
And makes Him­self known,
The heart breaks asun­der,
Though hard as a stone.

With ter­ror I read
My sins’ hea­vy score,
The num­ber ex­ceeds
The sands on the shore;
Guilt makes me un­able
To stand or to flee,
So Cain mur­dered Abel,
And trem­bled like me.

Each sin, like his blood,
With ter­ri­ble cry,
Calls loud­ly on God
To strike from on high:
Nor can my re­pent­ance,
Extorted by fear,
Reverse the just sen­tence;
’Tis just, though se­vere.

The case is too plain,
I have my own choice;
Again, and again,
I slight­ed His voice;
His warn­ings ne­glect­ed,
His pa­tience abused,
His Gos­pel re­ject­ed,
His mer­cy re­fused.

And must I then go,
Forever to dwell
In tor­ments and woe
With de­vils in hell?
Oh where is the Sav­ior
I scorned in times past?
His word in my fa­vor
Would save me at last.

Lord Je­sus, on Thee
I ven­ture to call,
Oh look up­on me,
The vil­est of all!
For whom didst Thou lang­uish
And bleed on the tree?
Oh pi­ty my ang­uish,
And say, ’Twas for thee.

A case such as mine
Will ho­nor Thy pow­er;
All hell will re­pine,
All Heav’n will adore;
If in con­dem­na­tion
Strict jus­tice takes place,
It shines in sal­va­tion
More glo­ri­ous through grace.