December 29, 2021
A Hymn for the New Year
John Newton wrote hundreds of hymns, though we are only familiar with a very few of them today. He recruited his friend and poet William Cowper, who struggled with severe depression, to join him in writing hymns to help him with his struggles. These songs are gathered in the “Olney Hymnal”, as they were written for the church at Olney, England where Newton was pastor.
Many of the hymns were composed for particular events. The following was written for a New Years’ service, and may be encouraging to us as we come to the end of 2021.
The LORD, our salvation and light,The guide and the strength of our days;Has brought us together, tonight,A new memorial to raise:The year, we have now passed through,His goodness with blessings has crowned;Each morning his mercies were new,Then let our thanksgivings abound. Encompassed with dangers and snares,Temptations, and fears, and complaints;His ear he inclined to our prayers,His hand opened wide to our wants:We never besought him in vain,When burdened with sorrow or sin,He helped us again and again,Or where, before now, had we been? His gospel, throughout the long year,From Sabbath to Sabbath he gave;How oft has he met with us here,And shown himself mighty to save?His candlestick has been removedFrom churches once privileged thus;But, though we unworthy have proved,It still is continued to us. For so many mercies received,Alas! what returns have we made?His Spirit we often have grieved,And evil, for good, have repaid:How well it becomes us to cry,“O, who is a GOD like to thee?Who passest iniquities by,And plungest them deep in the sea!” To JESUS, who sits on the throne,Our best hallelujahs we bring;To thee it is owing alone,That we are permitted to sing:Assist us, we pray, to lamentThe sins of the year that is past;And grant that the next may be spentFar more to thy praise than the last.
We look forward to the blessings and open doors for ministry the Lord has for us in the coming year. We pray for God's blessings and opportunities in your lives as well!
Capitol Commission West Virginia