Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Famine of the Word

Gladness was spread through Israel's host
When first they manna viewed;
They laboured who should gather most,
And thought it pleasant food.

But when they had it long enjoyed,
From day to day the same,
Their hearts were by the plenty cloyed,
Although from heaven it came.

Thus Gospel bread at first is prized,
And makes a people glad;
But afterwards too much despised,
When easy to be had:

But should the Lord, displeased, withhold
The bread his mercy sends;
To have our houses filled with gold
Would make but poor amends.

How tedious would the week appear,
How dull the Sabbath prove,
Could we no longer meet to hear
The precious truths we love?

How would believing parents bear,
To leave their heedless youth
Exposed to every fatal snare,
Without the light of truth?

The Gospel, and a praying few,
Our bulwark long have proved;
But Olney sure the day will rue
When these shall be removed.

Then sin in this once-favored town,
Will triumph unrestrained;
And wrath and vengeance hasten down,
No more by prayer detained:

Preserve us from this judgement, Lord,
For Jesus' sake we plead;
A famine of the Gospel word
Would be a stroke indeed!

----- John Newton

1 comment:

Robin said...

Apparently Newton faced the same dilemma that we do today - a cheap and easy gospel is naturally esteemed of little value to many today when most live in prosperity. We know that the gospel would be more prized if our people had a better sense of the dreadful wrath of God against wickedness and unbelief.