Confession and Prayer

O may the power which melts the rock

Author: John Newton
Published in 21 hymnals

Representative Text

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

Author: John Newton

Newton, John, who was born in London, July 24, 1725, and died there Dec. 21, 1807, occupied an unique position among the founders of the Evangelical School, due as much to the romance of his young life and the striking history of his conversion, as to his force of character. His mother, a pious Dissenter, stored his childish mind with Scripture, but died when he was seven years old. At the age of eleven, after two years' schooling, during which he learned the rudiments of Latin, he went to sea with his father. His life at sea teems with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. The religious fits of his boyhood changed into settled infidelity, through the study of Shaftesbury and… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O may the power which melts the rock
Title: Confession and Prayer
Author: John Newton
Language: English


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)



Instances (1 - 21 of 21)
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A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #442

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians. 9th ed. #d134

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Use of Christians #d106

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Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians #71

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Use of Christians. 8th ed. #d130

Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs, including Some Never Before in Print #d240

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Hymns, Selected and Original, for Public and Private Worship #692

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Hymns, Selected and Original: for public and private worship (1st ed.) #692

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Hymns: selected and original, for public and private worship (30th ed.) #692

The Halifax Selection of Hymns: intended as a Supplement to Dr. Watts' Psalms and Hymns #d303

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