1 Stop, poor sinners! stop and think
Before you farther go!
Will you sport upon the brink
Of everlasting woe?
Once again I charge you stop!
For unless you warning take,
Ere you are aware, you 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 he judgment shall proclaim,
And the earth shall melt away
Like wax before the flame?
3 Pale-faced death will quickly come
To drag you to his bar
Then to hear your awful doom
Will fill you with despair:
All your sins will round you crowd,
Sins of a blood-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,
(Tho' they now despise his grace)
Rocks and mountains on us fall,
And hide us from his face.
5 But as yet there is a hope
You may his mercy know;
Though his arm is lifted up,
He still forbears the blow.
'Twas for sinners Jesus died,
Sinners he invites to come;
None who come shall be denied,
He says, "there still is room."
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 >