Scripture Verse

Behold, I am vile. Job 40:4


John Newton

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 3, num­ber 7.

Music: Mon­sell (Barn­by) Jo­seph Barn­by, 1868 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Joseph Barnby


O Lord, how vile am I,
Unholy, and unclean!
How can I dare to venture nigh
With such a load of sin?

Is this polluted heart
A dwelling fit for Thee?
Swarming, alas! in every part
What evils do I see!

If I attempt to pray,
And lisp Thy holy name,
My thoughts are hurried soon away;
I know not where I am.

If in Thy word I look,
Such darkness fills my mind,
I only read a sealèd book,
But no relief can find.

Thy Gos­pel oft I hear,
But hear it still in vain;
Without desire, or love, or fear,
I like a stone remain.

Myself can hardly bear
This wretched heart of mine;
How hateful then must it appear
To those pure eyes of Thine?

And must I then indeed
Sink in despair and die?
Fain would I hope that Thou didst bleed
For such a wretch as I.

That blood which Thou hast spilt,
That grace which is Thine own;
Can cleanse the vilest sinner’s guilt,
And soften hearts of stone.

Low at Thy feet I bow,
Oh pity and forgive;
Here will I lie and wait, till Thou
Shalt bid me rise and live.