Sunday, October 01, 2006

How good is the God we adore

Ye children of God, through faith in His Son
Redeemed by His blood, and with Him made one;
This union with wonder and rapture be seen,
Which nothing shall sunder, without or within.

This pardon, this peace, which none can destroy,
This treasure of grace, this heavn’ly joy,
The worthless may crave it; it always comes free;
The vilest may have it, ‘twas given to me.

‘Tis not our good deeds, good tempers, nor frames;
From grace it proceeds, and all is the Lamb’s
No goodness, no fitness, expects he from us;
This I can well witness, for none could be worse.

Sick sinner, expect no balm but Christ’s blood;
Thy own works reject, the bad and the good;
None ever miscarry that on Him rely,
Though filthy as Mary, Manasseh, or I.

-- by Joseph Hart

From Julian's History: Joseph Hart was born in London in 1712. His early life is hidden in obscurity. His education was fairly good; and from the testimony of his brother-in-law and successor in the ministry in Jewin Street, John Hughes, 'his civil calling was for some time that of a teacher of the learned languages'. His early life, according to his own experience which he prefaced to his hymns, was a curious mixture of loose conduct, serious conviction of sin, and endeavours after amendment of life, and not until Whitsuntide, 1757, did he realize a permanent change, which was brought about mainly through his attending the Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane, London, and hearing a sermon on Rev. 3: 10. During the next two years many of his most impassioned hymns were written. These appeared as "Hymns Composed on Various Subjects with the Author's Experience, London, 1759". During this year, he became the minister of the Independent Chapel, Jewin St., London. In 1762, he added a "Supplement" to his hymns and in 1765 an "Appendix"...Hart died on May 24th. 1768. At one time his hymns were widely used, especially by Calvinistic Nonconformists. Many of them are of great merit and are marked by great earnestness and passionate love of the Redeemer.

Hart's hymns also include:

How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful unchangeable Friend:
Whose love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end!

'Tis Jesus, the First and the Last,
Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home;
We'll praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that's to come.

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