1 Oh may the power which melts the rock
Be felt by all assembled here!
Or else our service will but mock
The God whom we profess to fear!
2 Lord, while thy judgments shake the land,
The people's eyes are fixed on thee!
We own thy just uplifted hand,
Which thousands cannon, will not see.
3 How long hast thou bestowed thy care
On this indulged ungrateful spot;
While other nations, far and near,
Have envied and admired our lot.
4 Here peace and liberty have dwelt,
The glorious gospel brightly shone;
And oft our enemies have felt,
That God has made our cause his own.
5 But ah! both heaven and earth have heard
Our vile requital of his love!
We, whom like children he has reared,
Rebels against his goodness prove.
6 His grace despised, his power defied,
And legions of the blackest crimes;
Profaneness, riot, lust and pride,
Are signs that mark the present times.
7 The Lord displeased has raised his rod,
Ah, where are now the faithful few
Who tremble for the ark of God,
And know what Israel ought to do.
8 Lord hear thy people every where,
Who meet to mourn, confess and pray;
The nations and thy churches spare,
And let thy wrath be turned away.
Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803
O may the power which melts the rock. J. Newton. [National Fast.] This is one of his Fast-day hymns published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book ii., No. 65, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines and headed, "Confession and Prayer, Dec. 13, 1776." In Cotterill's Selection, 1810, it was given in 6 stanzas and in this form it has come down to modern hymn books.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)