A Hymn and Prayer for the New Year

Now, gracious Lord, thine arm reveal,
And make thy glory known;
Now let us all thy presence feel,
And soften hearts of stone!

Help us to venture near thy throne,
And plead a Savior’s name;
For all that we can call our own,
Is vanity and shame.

From all the guilt of former sin
May mercy set us free;
And let the year we now begin,
Begin and end with thee.

Send down thy Spirit from above,
That saints may love thee more;
And sinners now may learn to love
Who never loved before.

And when before thee we appear
In our eternal home;
May growing numbers worship here,
And praise thee in our room.

John Newton (1725-1807)

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O Blessed God! How Kind

O blessed God! how kind
Are all Thy ways to me,
Whose dark benighted mind
Was enmity with Thee.
Yet now, subdued by sov’reign grace,
My spirit longs for Thine embrace.

How precious are Thy thoughts
That o’er my spirit roll!
They swell beyond my faults,
And captivate my soul:
How great the sum, how high they rise,
Can ne’er be known beneath the skies.

Preserved by Jesus, when
My feet made haste to hell!
And there should I have gone,
But Thou dost all things well:
Thy love was great, Thy mercy free,
Which from the pit delivered me.

A monument of grace,
A sinner saved by blood,
The streams of love I trace
Up to the Fountain, God,
And in His sov’reign counsels see
Eternal tho’ts of love to me.
John Kent, 1766-1843

The Mercy of God

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, Psalm 89:1

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections and bound my soul fast.

Without thy free mercy I could not live here,
Sin soon would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And he that first made me, still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I found.

The door of thy mercy stands open all day,
To the needy and poor, who knock by the way;
No sinner shall ever be empty sent back,
Who comes seeking mercy for Jesus’ dear sake.

Thy mercy in Jesus exempts me from hell;
Its glories I’ll sing, and its wonders I’ll tell:
‘Twas Jesus the friend when he hung on the tree,
That opened the channel of mercy for me.

Great Father of mercies, thy goodness I own,
And covenant love of thy crucified Son:
All praise to the Spirit, whose action divine,
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

–John Stocker