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.