Scripture Verse

There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Introduction

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John Newton
1725–1807

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 1, num­ber 53. For an adap­ta­tion of this hymn, see One Is Kind Above All Oth­ers.

Music: All Saints Old Darm­stadt Ge­sang­buch, 1698 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

One there is, above all others,
Well deserves the name of friend;
His is love beyond a brother’s,
Costly, free, and knows no end:
They who once His kindness prove,
Find it ev­er­last­ing love!

Which of all our friends to save us,
Could or would have shed their blood?
But our Je­sus died to have us
Reconciled, in Him to God:
This was boundless love indeed!
Jesus is a friend in need.

Men, when raised to lofty stations,
Often know their friends no more;
Slight and scorn their poor relations
Though they valued them before.
But our Sav­ior always owns
Those whom He redeemed with groans.

When He lived on earth abasèd,
Friend of sinners was His name;
Now, above all glo­ry raisèd,
He rejoices in the same:
Still He calls them brethren, friends,
And to all their wants attends.

Could we bear from one another,
What He daily bears from us?
Yet this glo­ri­ous friend and brother,
Loves us though we treat Him thus:
Though for good we render ill,
He accounts us brethren still.

O for grace our hearts to soften!
Teach us, Lord, at length to love;
We, alas! forget too often,
What a friend we have above:
But when home our souls are brought,
We will love Thee as we ought.