Approach, my soul, the mercy seat

Representative Text

1 Approach, my soul, the mercy seat
where Jesus answers prayer;
there humbly fall before his feet,
for none can perish there.

2 Thy promise is my only plea;
with this I venture nigh:
thou callest burdened souls to thee,
and such, O Lord, am I.

3 Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
by Satan sorely pressed,
by war without and fears within,
I come to thee for rest.

4 Be thou my shield and hiding place,
that, sheltered near thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
and tell him thou hast died.

5 O wondrous love! to bleed and die,
to bear the cross and shame,
that guilty sinners, such as I,
might plead thy gracious name!

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #451

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: Approach, my soul, the mercy seat
Author: John Newton (1779)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Approach, my soul, the mercy seat. J. Newton. [Lent.] First published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. iii., No. 12, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and again in all later editions of the same work. It came into early use in the hymnals and has attained to a foremost position as one of the most popular of Newton's productions. In the Olney Hymns it is the second of two hymns headed, "The Effort." The first hymn by Newton on this same subject begins:— "Cheer up, my soul, there is a mercy seat." No. 11, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines as above. Its similarity to "Approach, my soul," has led some to suppose it to have been re-written by an unknown compiler. In the American College Hymnal, N. Y. 1876, stanzas ii., iii. and iv. are given as No. 280, "Lord, I am come, Thy promise is my plea." The use of this hymn in any form is very limited. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 11 of 11)

Ambassador Hymnal #421

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #547

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #553


Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #548

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Hymns to the Living God #277

The Baptist Hymnal #290


The Cyber Hymnal #211


The Cyber Hymnal #3726


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #284


Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #507

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #451

Include 554 pre-1979 instances
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