In Evil Long I Took Delight

(by John Newton–can be sung to the tune of Amazing Grace)

In evil long I took delight,
Unaw’d by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my flight,
And stopp’d my wild career.

I saw one hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
Who fix’d His languid eyes on me,
As near his cross I stood.

Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seem’d to charge me with His death,
Tho’ not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt, and ow’d the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And help’d to nail Him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did,
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.

A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is thy ransome paid,
I die, that thou mays’t live.”

Thus while His death my sin displays,
In all its blackest hue;
(Such is the mystery of the grave),
It seals my pardon too.

With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
My spirit now is fill’d
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I kill’d. ~~~

John Newton, 1779 (Number 57 in the Olney hymnal)

Comments are closed.