1 Could the creatures help or ease us,
Seldom should we think of prayer;
Few, if any, come to Jesus,
Till reduced to self-despair,
Long we either slight or doubt him,
But, when all the means we try
Prove we cannot do without him,
Then at last to him we cry.
2 Fear thou not, distressed believer;
Venture on his mighty name;
He is able to deliver,
And his love is still the same.
Can his pity or his power
Suffer thee to pray in vain?
Wait but his appointed hour,
And thy suit thou shalt obtain.
John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumultuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >