1. Darkness overspreads us here,
But the night wears fast away;
Jacob’s star will soon appear,
Leading on eternal day!
Now ’tis time to rouse from sleep,
Trim our lamps and stand prepared;
For our Lord strict watch to keep,
Lest He find us off our guard.
2. Let His people courage take,
Bear with a submissive mind
All they suffer for His sake,
Rich amends they soon will find:
He will wipe away their tears,
Near Himself appoint their lot;
All their sorrows, pains and fears,
Quickly then wilt be forgot.
3. Though already saved, by grace,
From the hour we first believed;
Yet while sin and war have place,
We have but a part received:
Still we for salvation wait,
Every hour it nearer comes!
Death will break the prison gate,
And admit us to our homes.
4. Sinners, what can you expect?
You who now the Savior dare;
Break His laws, His grace reject,
You must stand before His bar!
Tremble, lest He say, Depart!
Oh, the horrors of that sound!
Lord, make every careless heart,
Seek Thee while Thou may’st be found.
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 >
Converted to Christianity as a youth at a mission in Buffalo, New York, Marcus Morris Wells (b. Cooperstown, NY, 1815; d. Hartwick, NY, 1895) spent most of his life near Hartwick as a farmer and maker of farm implements. He is remembered in hymnody for writing both the text and tune of "Holy Spirit,…