Scripture Verse

A friend of tax collectors and sinners. Luke 7:34


C. Newman Hall (1816–1902)

Words: C. New­man Hall, 1857.

Music: Carl­ton Jo­seph Barn­by, 1869 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

Joseph Barnby (1838–1896)

Origin of the Hymn

This hymn was com­posed for the au­thor’s fa­ther, John Vine Hall, who wrote the well known tract ti­tled The Sin­ner’s Friend.

It is dated Bol­ton Ab­bey, Sep­tem­ber 1857, and was first pub­lished in the au­thor’s Hymns Com­posed at Bol­ton Ab­bey and Other Rhymes, Lon­don, 1858.

Nutter, p. 72


Friend of sinners, Lord of glo­ry,
Lowly, mighty, brother, king!
Musing o’er Thy wondrous story,
Grateful we Thy praises sing:
Friend to help us, cheer us, save us,
In whom power and pity blend—
Praise we must the grace which gave us
Jesus Christ, the sinners’ friend.

Friend who ne­ver fails nor grieves us,
Faithful, tender, constant, kind;
Friend who at all times receives us,
Friend who came the lost to find.
Sorrow soothing, joys enhancing,
Loving until life shall end;
Then conferring bliss entrancing,
Still, in heaven, the sinners’ friend.

O to love and serve Thee better!
From all evil set us free;
Break, Lord, every sinful fetter;
Be each thought conformed to Thee:
Looking for Thy bright appearing,
May our spirits upward tend;
Till no longer doubting, fearing,
We behold the sinners’ friend.