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 Thus the ruler when his daughter
Suffered much, though Christ was nigh,
Still deferred it, till he thought her
At the very point to die;
Though he mourned for her condition,
He did not entreat the Lord,
Till he found that no physician
But Himself, could help afford.
3 Jesus did not once upbraid him,
That he had no sooner come;
But a gracious answer made him,
And went straightway with him home;
Yet his faith was put to trial
When his servants came and said,
Though he gave thee no denial,
’Tis too late—the child is dead.
4 Jesus, to prevent his grieving,
Kindly spoke and eased his pain;
"Be not fearful, but believing,
Thou shalt see her live again";
When He found the people weeping,
"Cease," He said, "no longer mourn;
For she is not dead, but sleeping";
Then they laughed Him to scorn.
5 O Thou meek and lowly Savior,
How determined is Thy love!
Not this rude, unkind behavior,
Could Thy gracious purpose move;
Soon as He the room had entered,
Spoke, and took her by the hand;
Death at once his prey surrendered,
And she lived at His command.
6 Fear not then, 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 >