1 Lord, afford a spring to me;
Let me feel like what I see;
Ah! my winter has been long!
Chilled my hopes and stopped my song.
Winter threatens to destroy
Faith, and love, and every joy;
If thy life was in the root,
Still I could not yield thee fruit.
2 Speak, and by thy gracious voice
Make my drooping soul rejoice;
O, beloved Saviour, haste,
Tell me all the storms are past!
On thy garden deign to smile;
Raise the plants, enrich the soil;
Soon thy presence will restore
Life to what seemed dead before.
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 >