The ice and snow we lately saw,
Which covered all the ground;
Are melted soon before the thaw,
And can no more be found.
Could all the art of man suffice
To move away the snow,
To clear the rivers from the ice,
Or make the waters flow?
No, 'tis the work of GOD alone;
An emblem of the pow'r
By which he melts the heart of stone,
In his appointed hour.
All outward means, till he appears,
Will ineffectual prove;
Though much the sinner sees and hears,
He cannot learn to love.
But let the stoutest sinner feel
The soft'ning warmth of grace;
Though hard as ice, or rocks, or steel,
His heart dissolves apace.
Seeing the blood which JESUS spilt,
To save his soul from woe,
His hatred, unbelief, and guilt,
All melt away like snow.
Jesus, we in thy name entreat,
Reveal thy gracious arm;
And grant thy Spirit's kindly heat,
Our frozen hearts to warm.
John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779