How welcome to the saints, when pressed
With six days noise, and care, and toil,
Is the returning day of rest,
Which hides them from the world awhile.
Now, from the throng withdrawn away,
They seem to breathe a different air;
Composed and softened by the day,
All things another aspect wear.
How happy if their lot is cast,
Where statedly the gospel sounds
The word is honey to their taste,
Renews their strength, and heals their wounds!
Though pinched with poverty at home,
With sharp afflictions daily fed;
It makes amends, if they can come
To God's own house for heav'nly bread!
With joy they hasten to the place,
Where they their Savior oft have met;
And while they feast upon his grace,
Their burdens and their griefs forget.
We thank thee for thy day, O Lord,
Here we thy promised presence seek;
Open thine hand, with blessings stored,
And give us Manna for the week.
John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779