1 Stop, poor sinners, stop and think,
Before you further go!
Will you sport upon the brink
Of everlasting woe!
On the verge of ruin stop!
Now the friendly warning take--
Stay your footsteps, ere ye drop
Into the burning lake.
2 Say, have you an arm like God,
That you His will oppose?
Fear you not that iron rod
With which He breaks His foes?
Can you stand in that dread day,
When His judgment shall proclaim,
And the earth shall melt away
Like wax before the flame?
3 Ghastly death will quickly come.
And drag you to His bar;
Then to hear your awful doom,
Will fill you with despair!
And you sins will round you crowd;
You shall mark their crimson dye;
Each for vengeance crying loud,
And what can you reply?
4 Though your heart be made of steel,
Your forehead lined with brass;
God at length will make you feel;
He will not let you pass;
Sinners then in vain will call--
Those who now despise His grace--
"Rocks and mountains, on us fall,
And hide us from His face."
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 >