Words: John Newton (1725–1807). The first publication we have seen for this hymn is in The Psalms of David (New York: Hodge, Allen & Campbell, 1789).
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Bless, O Lord, the opening year,
To each soul assembled here:
Clothe Thy Word with power divine,
Make us willing to be Thine.
Shepherd of Thy blood-bought sheep!
Teach the stony heart to weep;
Let the blind have eyes to see,
See themselves, and look on Thee!
Let the minds of all our youth
Feel the force of sacred truth;
While the Gospel call they hear,
May they learn to love and fear.
Show them what their ways have been,
Show the desert of their sin;
Then Thy dying love reveal,
This shall melt a heart of steel.
Where Thou hast Thy work begun,
Give new strength the race to run;
Scatter darkness, doubts and fears,
Wipe away the mourners’ tears.
Bless us all both old and young;
Call forth praise from every tongue:
Let the whole assembly prove
All Thy power, and all Thy love.