Bitter and Sweet

Though John Newton is not considered the poet and lyricist that other men and women have been, there is a simple message yet depth of wisdom to his words. Most everyone recognizes his most famous lyrics, Amazing Grace, that serves in some way as an autobiography: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Though not as well known, the following is an equally powerful poem from the pen of Newton.

1 Kindle, Saviour, in my heart,
A flame of love divine;
Hear, for mine I trust thou art,
And sure I would be thine;
If my soul has felt thy grace,
If to me thy name is known;
Why should trifles fill the place
Due to thyself alone?

2 ‘Tis a strange mysterious life
I live from day to day;
Light and darkness, peace and strife,
Bear an alternate sway:
When I think the battle won,
I have to fight it o’er again;
When I say I’m overthrown,
Relief I soon obtain.

3 Often at the mercy-seat,
While calling on thy name,
Swarms of evil thoughts I meet,
Which fill my soul with shame.
Agitated in my mind,
Like a feather in the air,
Can I thus a blessing find?
My soul, can this be pray’r?

4 But when Christ, my Lord and Friend,
Is pleas’d to show his pow’r
All at once my troubles end,
And I’ve a golden hour;
Then I see his smiling face,
Feel the pledge of joys to come:
Often, Lord, repeat this grace
Till thou shalt call me home.


3 Responses to “Bitter and Sweet”

  1. Andrew Hughes Says:

    That’s great! Is there music written for this or do we need to write some?

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Dan. “Why should trifles fill the place due to thyself alone?” What a convicting line! It puts my pursuits and amusements and ways I spend my time in perspective. They are trifles compared with Christ, who is my life.

  3. dvalentine Says:

    I am not aware that there is music written to this poem, so yes, we do need to write some!

    Minda – I couldn’t agree more.

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