1 See the gloomy gathering cloud,
Hanging o'er a sinful land!
Sure the Lord proclaims aloud,
Times of trouble are at hand;
Happy they who love his name!
They shall always find him near;
Though the earth were wrapped in flame,
They have no just cause for fear.
2 Hark! his voice in accents mild,
(Oh, how comforting and sweet)
Speaks to every humble child,
Pointing out a sure retreat!
"Come, and in my chambers hide,
To my saints of old well known;
There you safely may abide,
'Till the storm be overblown.
3 "You have only to repose
On my wisdom, love and care;
When my wrath consumes my foes,
Mercy shall my children spare;
while they perish in the flood,
You that bear my holy mark,
Sprinkled with atoning blood,
Shall be safe within the ark."
4 Sinners, see the ark prepared!
Hast to enter while there's room;
Though the Lord his arm has bared,
Mercy still retards your doom;
Seek him while there yet is hope,
Ere the day of grace be past,
Lest in wrath he gives you up,
And this call shall prove your last.
Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803
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 >