1. Time, with an unwearied hand,
Pushes round the seasons past,
And in life’s frail glass, the sand
Sinks apace, not long to last:
Many, well as you or I,
Who last year assembled thus;
In their silent graves now lie,
Graves will open soon for us!
2. Daily sin, and care, and strife,
While the Lord prolongs our breath,
Make it but a dying life,
Or a kind of living death:
Wretched they, and most forlorn,
Who no better portion know;
Better ne’er to have been born,
Than to have our all below.
3. When constrained to go alone,
Leaving all you love behind;
Entering on a world unknown,
What will then support your mind?
When the Lord His summons sends,
Earthly comforts lose their power;
Honors, riches, kindred, friends,
Cannot cheer a dying hour.
4. Happy souls who fear the Lord
Time is not too swift for you;
When your Savior gives the word,
Glad you’ll bid the world adieu:
Then He’ll wipe away your tears,
Near Himself appoint your place;
Swifter fly, ye rolling years,
Lord, we long to see Thy 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 >