Alas! by nature how depraved

Representative Text

1 Alas! by nature how depraved,
How prone to every ill!
Our lives to Satan how enslaved,
How obstinate our will!

2 And can such sinners be restored,
Such rebels reconciled!
Can grace sufficient means afford
To make the foe a child!

3 Yes, grace has sound the wondrous means
Which shall effectual prove;
To cleanse us from our countless sins,
And teach our hearts to love.

4 Jesus for us a ransom paid,
And died that we might live;
His blood a full atonement made,
And cried aloud, Forgive.

5 Yet one thing more mus grace provide,
To bring us home to God;
Or we shall slight the Lord, who died,
And trample on his blood.

6 The holy Spirit must reveal
The Savior's work and worth:
Then the hard heart begins to feel
A new and heavenly birth.

The Hartford Selection of Hymns from the most approved authors, 1799

7 Thus bought with blood, and born again,
Redeem'd and sav'd by grace;
Rebels in God's own house obtain
A son's and daughters place.

Author: John Newton

Newton, John, who was born in London, July 24, 1725, and died there Dec. 21, 1807, occupied an unique position among the founders of the Evangelical School, due as much to the romance of his young life and the striking history of his conversion, as to his force of character. His mother, a pious Dissenter, stored his childish mind with Scripture, but died when he was seven years old. At the age of eleven, after two years' schooling, during which he learned the rudiments of Latin, he went to sea with his father. His life at sea teems with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. The religious fits of his boyhood changed into settled infidelity, through the study of Shaftesbury and… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Alas! by nature how depraved
Author: John Newton
Language: English


Alas! by nature how depraved. J. Newton. [Lent.] Appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. ii., No. 29, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and based on the words, "How shall I put thee among the children?" Jer. iii. 19. As given in Snepp's Songs of Grace and Glory, 1872, No. 450, and elsewhere, it is composed of st. i.-iv. of the original. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


BANGOR (Tansur)

Traditionally used for Montgomery's text and for Peter Abelard's "Alone Thou Goest Forth, O Lord," BANGOR comes from William Tans'ur's A Compleat Melody: or the Harmony of Syon (the preface of which is dated 1734). In that collection the tune was a three-part setting for Psalm 12 (and for Psalm 11 i…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #14
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #14

Include 16 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us