Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Though Troubles Assail Us

John Newton, has a pretty popular story. He was born in London, in 1725, and raised by a godly mother (who taught him the Westminster Catechism), and had a sea-faring father. In his early years, John Newton, was a slave trader and led a, well, a sailors life. It was on a voyage, after a terrifying storm, that he wrote,
"I thought I saw the hand of God displayed in our favour. I began to pray: I could not utter the prayer of faith; I could not draw near to a reconciled God, and call him Father . . . the comfortless principles of infidelity were deeply riveted; . . . . The great question now was, how to obtain faith."
This was a quite a change from Newton's previous thought's, but he later said,
" I was greatly deficient in many respects. I was in some degree affected with a sense of my enormous sins, but I was little aware of the innate evils of my heart. I had no apprehension of . . . the hidden life of a Christian, as it consists in communion with God by Jesus Christ: a continual dependence on him. . . . I acknowledged the Lord's mercy in pardoning what was past, but depended chiefly upon my own resolution to do better for the time to come. . . . I cannot consider myself to have been a believer (in the full sense of the word) till a considerable time afterwards."

Later in life, John Newton became a devoted husband, a tender pastor, author, and friend to many well-known men.
I could go on to say more, but I've decided to make this brief. Kinda a "wet your appetite" biography.
Oh, when googling "John Newton", I stumbled upon this article by John Piper. I started reading it, then I stopped, and scrolled down...and down, down, down, and finally came to the end! All this to say, the blogpost is very long-- and I didn't finish it-- but from what I read, I would encourage you to read it (and tell me about it :P).

This hymn is one that my family discovered in our Trinity Hymnals (Baptist Ed.), because it has the same tune as Immortal, Invisible, which we love. When looking up this hymn, there are two more verses, which are not in the Trinity Hymnal, so I just left them out for now.

Though Trouble Assail Us

Though troubles assail us and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail us and foes all unite,
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The promise assures us, “The Lord will provide.”

The birds, without garner or storehouse, are fed;
From them let us learn to trust God for our bread.
His saints what is fitting shall ne’er be denied
So long as ’tis written, “The Lord will provide.”

When Satan assails us to stop up our path,
And courage all fails us, we triumph by faith.
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart cheering promise, “The Lord will provide.”

No strength of our own and no goodness we claim;
Yet, since we have known of the Savior’s great Name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide:
The Lord is our power, “The Lord will provide.”

-John Newton(1779)


Caro :)


Rebecca said...

Caro -- I don't remember when I was first introduced to this hymn, but I love it too! Thanks for the bio on John Newton; it helps one keep in perspective that he was a human being, just like the rest of us.

Carolina said...

Your welcome, and thanks for commenting. It's fun, for me at least, to hear what people have to say. :)

Lindele said...

There are actually four more verses. If you look this hymn up in Olney Hymns you can see them all. Also, Matthew Smith has recorded this hymn on his 2006 CD All I Owe. He does all eight verses, but he wrote a musical setting that combines two verses into one, so there are four long verses instead of eight shorter ones. I just recently found this in the Trinity hymnal and my church is singing it for the first time tomorrow morning.


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