Scripture Verse

Is this thy kindness to thy friend? 2 Samuel 16:17


John Newton

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 1, num­ber 30.

Music: Ham­burg Lo­well Ma­son, 1824. First ap­peared in The Bos­ton Han­del and Hay­dn So­ci­e­ty Col­lec­tion of Church Mu­sic, third ed­i­tion, 1825 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lowell Mason


Poor, weak and worthless though I am
I have a rich almighty friend;
Jesus, the Savior, is His name;
He freely loves, and without end.

He ransomed me from hell with blood,
And by His power my foes controlled;
He found me, wandering far from God,
And brought me to His chosen fold.

He cheers my heart, my wants supplies,
And says that I shall shortly be
Enthroned with Him above the skies;
Oh! what a friend is Christ to me.

But, ah! my inmost spirit mourns,
And well my eyes with tears may swim,
To think of my perverse returns:
I’ve been a faithless friend to Him.

Often my gracious friend I grieve,
Neglect, distrust, and disobey;
And often Satan’s lies believe,
Sooner than all my friend can say.

He bids me always freely come,
And promises whate’er I ask:
But I am straitened, cold and dumb,
And count my privilege a task.

Before the world that hates His course,
My treacherous heart has throbbed with shame;
Loath to forego the world’s applause,
I hardly dare avow His name.

Sure, were I not most vile and base,
I could not thus my friend requite!
And were not He the God of grace,
He’d frown and spurn me from His sight.