Sunday, February 28, 2010

A question for Texians

...and Republican Texians in particular.
Tomorrow is the primary election in Texas. The Republican Executive Committee has placed five propositions on the Republican primary ballot. These questions are designed to collect the opinions of active Republican voters on these issues.

I wonder what you might think of this one:
Ballot Proposition #5: Sonograms
The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram to be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion.

Abortion murders should be illegal. Unfortunately they are not. The design of this legislation to require sonograms would be to cut down on the amount of legal abortions. But who is going to pay for this? The doctor, the woman getting the sonogram, or Texas taxpayers?

How will/would you vote on this?

[Note: feel free to comment whether or not you live in Texas or are a Republican. All that is required for you to comment is to have one (a comment).]

Friday, February 26, 2010

The call of God

On another blog there has been some discussion of the call of God, whether it is a call to preach, a call to pastor, etc. With this already on my mind, yesterday while in a Christian book store I noticed a little book on the shelf titled Is God Calling Me?: Answering the Question Every Leader Asks by Jeff Iorg. So I picked it up for a quick scan. I didn't buy it, but found it interesting.

In what might be the heart of the book, Iorg claims that God calls in three ways: 1.) dramatic experiences, 2.) reasoned decisions, and 3.) the prompting of others (or a combination of the three).

Would you agree or disagree with any or all of these three? If you agree with one (or two or all three), what would be your defense of it? New Testament examples?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The greatest work on earth

I recently read a preacher write that pastoring a New Testament church is the greatest work on earth. Is that so? On what authority? Does the Bible teach that?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2/3 Christian

The love of God wants what is good for us.
The wisdom of God knows what is good for us.
The power of God does what is good for us.

Meditating on the above, I began to wonder whether many of us are just "2/3 Christians". How many accept the first two as axioms, yet water down and explain away the third? Yet Paul writes, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hate crimes?

Yesterday I read Atheist sign = hate speech. I was already thinking about the subject of hate speech/hate crimes earlier. Recently I have heard it bandied about by "our side". By "our side", I mean those who have traditionally opposed hate crime/hate speech bills and laws. Now they seem to want in on the act, too. I say we need to remain consistent.

With the recent rash of church building burnings in East Texas, the word "hate crime" has been attached to that. Sure they are crimes rising from hate. Most crimes are. But these should not be pursued for special punishment because of what the people were thinking. Burning a church building is a crime, whether done to cover a theft or because one hates Christianity. In this country one is free to not be a Christian or even oppose Christianity. He is not free to kill Christians, burn church buildings, etc. Murder and arson are crimes.

We who oppose the concept of hate crimes don't need to change our tune when we think it might benefit us. We need to remain consistent.

[Notes: 1. This post is no judgment on whether the sign mentioned in the article was appropriately placed. Just that "free speech" is not "hate speech". 2. Two young men have been arrested related to burning the Dover Baptist Church near Tyler.]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Get over it

I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"
They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat
Get over it (By Don Henley)

Thursday February 18
Beset by financial and tax problems, Joe Stack lashes out by flying his plane into an Austin, Texas IRS building.

Friday February 12
About to lose her job, University of Alabama neurobiology professor Amy Bishop lashes out by shooting six colleagues at a faculty meeting Friday, murdering three.

Every day
Hurting, miserable, sick and in debt, John and Jane Doe drag themselves out of bed, drink a strong cup of coffee, put on a smile and head off to work. They don't blame someone else and they don't kill anyone. May their tribe increase!

In another life, long before Don Henley wrote "Get Over It", I was an Eagles fan. Though not still a fan, the title of this song has something that resonates with me from time to time. It is too abrasive, for we as Christians are called to be compassionate. But all the whining and blaming at times fills us to the brim and with a craving to shout "get over it"!

Many people -- including, perhaps, Joe Stack and Amy Bishop -- think they are alone in their misery. What has happened to me is worse than anything that has happened to anyone else. My troubles are more than I can bear. We've all been there; done that. But it is not true. Life is full of John and Jane Does who are hurting just as much as you and I are, but "got over it". They are those who work in order that they may eat, love their enemies, bless those that curse them, do good to those that hate them, and pray for those that despitefully use & persecute them. They're called Christians.

"Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye...Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." -- Peter, an apostle

Sunday, February 21, 2010

God is love

Come, ye that know and fear the Lord,
And raise your thoughts above:
Let every heart and voice accord,
To sing that "God is love."

This precious truth His Word declares,
And all His mercies prove;
Jesus, the gift of gifts, appears,
To show that "God is love."

Behold His patience, bearing long
With those who from Him rove;
'Till mighty grace their heart subdues,
To teach them -- "God is love."

Oh, may we all, while here below,
This best of blessings prove;
Till warmer hearts, in brighter worlds,
Proclaim that "God is love."

By George Burder (1752-1832)

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More music links

Public Domain Music is a site of copyrighted MIDI files, and text files of their lyrics, created by Benjamin Robert Tubb -- based on original sheet music sources in the public domain. Looks like there may be some good stuff there.

Sacred Harp
(pictures from Sacred Harp singings)
Crissy 's Public Gallery
Martha Beverly's photostream
Mary W. 's Public Gallery

Southern Gospel
Gospel singing conventions

Friday, February 19, 2010

In a graveyard

In a graveyard. 6s. (February 12, 2010)

1. Gone but not forgotten
Engraved upon the stone
But the stone was broken
And lying all alone.
2. Who here beneath the ground
Sleeps in this silent tomb?
And shall we, too, be found
In such a lonesome doom?
3. Gone and soon forgotten
As mem'ries fade away
Time goes on a-marching
And night replaces day.
4. Lying, unremembered--
Yes, O, how sad to see!
Nay, how glad unnumbered,
If God remember thee!!

On a snowy day a week ago, perhaps I was thinking gloomy thoughts. In this little poem I tried to capture the feeling I once had walking through a graveyard and seeing an old dilapidated stone bearing the testimony "Gone but not forgotten." How incongruous! How depressing! It made an impression on me. I bought some epoxy and put the stone back together.

But, in perspective, it is only sad in nature's realm. In the last verse I try to set aside the human emotion to remember what is of true and lasting spiritual worth.

Today, 164 years ago

On this day, February 19, 1846, the independent Republic of Texas became a state of the United States, with North Carolina native James Pinckney Henderson its first governor.

Our county seat is named after Governor Henderson.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In the news

Mount Vernon Statement
The Mount Vernon Statement " an attempt to draft a document that conservatives -- whether they're Tea Party conservatives or social or economic or foreign policy conservatives -- can get behind and begin the process of reclaiming the Republican Party for small-government conservatives," says chairman of Conservative Richard Viguerie.

Read it and tell me what you think.

Religious homosexual marriage support
Over 150 religious leaders in Iowa sent a letter to lawmakers, supporting homosexual marriage. The letter can be found HERE. Is 150 very many in Iowa? How many oppose it?

Census fraud
Census fraud example of gov't ineptitude
In addition to this, ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has signed on as a partner with the U.S. Census Bureau. They have a history of voter fraud.

Austin Plane Crash
Texas Small Plane Crash Might Be Intentional Act, Officials Say

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Will a Man Rob God

An internal Southern Baptist squabble has brought to my attention two previously unnoticed papers on the subject of tithing.

“Will a Man Rob God?” (Malachi 3:8): A Study of Tithing in the Old and New Testaments

Reconstructing a Biblical Model for Giving: A Discussion of Relevant Systematic Issues and New Testament Principles

These are two parts of the same subject. The first deals with the Old and New Testament verses on tithing, and the second with principles used to support tithing and finally a suggestion for "a more excellent way": or as one of the writers put it -- "...the New Testament contains sufficient guidance for our giving". The papers are written by Andreas Köstenberger (Southeastern Seminary) and David A. Croteau (Liberty University).

A reader at
Bart Barber's blog, commenting on the squabble, wrote, "If any good comes from this whole brouhaha, I hope it will be that a few people will read Croteau and Kostenberger's excellent paper." I hope so, too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No unlimited submission

In 1798 Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which includes:

"Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force..."

[Adding an interesting quote: "Politicians are the only people in world who create problems and then campaign against them." -- Charlie Reese]

Monday, February 15, 2010

The wheat and tares

The wheat and tares. L.M.
Matthew 13:37-42

Though in the outward church below
The wheat and tares together grow;
Jesus ere long will weed the crop,
And pluck the tares, in anger, up.

Will it relieve their horrors there,
To recollect their stations here?
How much they heard, how much they knew,
How long amongst the wheat they grew!

O! this will aggravate their case!
They perished under means of grace;
To them the word of life and faith,
Became an instrument of death.

We seem alike when thus we meet,
Strangers might think we all are wheat;
But to the Lord's all-searching eyes,
Each heart appears without disguise.

The tares are spared for various ends,
Some, for the sake of praying friends;
Others, the LORD, against their will,
Employs his counsels to fulfill.

But though they grow so tall and strong,
His plan will not require them long;
In harvest, when he saves his own,
The tares shall into hell be thrown.

John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Opposites of love

In different places and on different occasions, I have different people prevaricate on what the opposite of love is. Some have made some good points, and have suggested some of the following are opposite of love.

Rev. 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Proverbs 6:25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:
Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love , and a time to hate

All of the above have some elements that are the opposite of love. While love is a feeling, apathy is no feeling at well. Lust takes an expression of love and consumes it for itself. Cupid, in ancient Greece known as Eros, is the ubiquitous symbol of today's holiday of love. Interestingly, eros, one of the Greek's words for "love", is not used at all in the New Testament.

Although many have suggested other "opposites" for love that have some merit, it seems to me that hate is the word used in the Bible as the most direct opposite of love -- Ecclesiastes 3:8 being an excellent example.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Touch not God's anointed

Recently a stir was created over a prominent Grapevine pastor linked to luxury. Millions of dollars with little or no congregational accountability seems suspicious. But one thing that is disconcerting to me is the fact that some think a pastor or "great Christian leader" can't be questioned or called to account. For example, "Praying for @EdYoung this morning. The world doesn’t like it when we are effective for Christ so they attack. Glad Ed built on THE ROCK!" [From this source; italics mine] I have no problem with this man or anyone who feels led praying for Ed Young. But there is an implication in this statement that Ed Young is only being attacked because he is doing great things for Christ. It couldn't actually be true, could it?

Some pastors and Christian leaders think that they are untouchable -- whether they have insulated themselves systematically, or they are just dictatorial bullies who run roughshod over God's people. Some will smugly quote Psalms 105:15 - "Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm." First, I think this context refers to what God did for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and not preachers at all. Second, just because someone has anointed himself (or herself) does not make him "God's anointed".

As with the Bereans and the preaching of Paul, check things out to see whether they are so. Whether it is doctrines, morals or ethics, no preacher or Christian leader is above biblical judgment. They shouldn't hide behind either "touch not God's anointed" or a "don't worry, folks just don't like it when we are effective for Christ."

Regional news

This is happening right here around us. Not sure whether this is being reported widely.

Monday night (February 8, 2010) two church building fires -- of Dover Baptist Church and Clear Springs Missionary Baptist Church -- happened within an hour and a few miles of each other. This brings to a total of nine deliberately set fires of church buildings in East Texas since January 1, 2010. A church building in Temple in central Texas was also on set fire deliberately, according to the BATF.

2 latest east Texas church fires deemed arson
Map showing location of 7 church fires

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Breaking bread

Below is a list of New Testament verses I found with the combination of break/broken/etc. and bread. I have listed them as (1) those that most would agree are the Lord's Supper, (2) those that most would agree are eating, and (3) those that are disputed/not agreed upon. (Of course nothing is always agreed upon by Baptists! Yet.)

Lord's Supper
Matt. 26:26 - And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
Mark 14:22 - And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
Luke 22:19 - And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1 Cor. 10:16 - The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1 Cor. 11:23,24 - For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Eating bread
Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luke 24:35 - And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
Acts 27:35 - And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

Acts 2:42 - And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2:46 - And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Acts 20:7 - And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
Acts 20:11 - When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Some residual thoughts from Acts 20:1-13

"Hidden" in the story of Paul and company's trip to Troas are a few little issues that are slightly controversial.

1. Was there a church at Troas?
2. Did the disciples take the Lord's Supper?
3. Did Paul raise Eutychus from the dead?

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight...20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

I will discuss the first two together, because they are tied together in the minds of some. For others, this is probably not even a blip on their radar. This text and question is problematic to most Landmarkers, or at least to local-church-only communionists.

For many Baptists, the Lord's Supper is viewed as a church ordinance that should be taken in church capacity. So whether or not there was a church at Troas relates to the Lord's Supper as a church ordinance. For a smaller group of the whole, the Lord's Supper is viewed as a local-church-only church ordinance; that is, only the members of a local church is supposed to take the Lord's Supper together.

Davis Huckabee, in The Ordinances of the Church, puts it this way: "There are several erroneous assumptions about the events of this passage in Acts, viz., (1) That there was ever a church at Troas. (2) That the meal eaten was the Lord’s Supper...(5) That Paul observed the Lord’s Supper with a church of which he was not a member." J. R. Graves, in Intercommunion, Unscriptural and Inconsistent, resolved the issue to his satisfaction by both denying that there was a church at Troas and denying that the Lord's Supper was celebrated by Paul and his companions.

But the language of Acts 20 seems to indicate Eutychus, not a traveling companion (cf. v 4), was a disciple who was listening to Paul's speech, and that there were others there who were comforted by his being alive. The motivation for a drawn-out service on the eve of their departure was very likely that there were disciples in Troas they expected to see no more (cf. v. 25). This is not conclusive, but causes one to wonder whether some expositions are not driven more by assumptions outside the text.

Acts 20:9-10 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him...12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

In A Dictionary of the Bible by W. R. F. Browning, it is written that Eutychus fell from an upstairs window and that "Paul was able to assure the company that he was not fatally injured." Some think the language -- especially of Paul in v. 10 -- indicate that the people just thought he was dead and Paul discovered he was still alive.

I personally see the words "taken up dead" as meaning he was actually dead, and Paul brought him back to life. Some may want to deny miracles and resurrection by saying Eutychus wasn't dead. But others believe in the power of God and are simply trying to understand the words of the Bible. Whether Eutychus was alive or dead, we see that God has the power to either keep alive to raise back to life.

[Note: An interesting take on these two points is found in the writing of Jonathan Teram, who assures us, "Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday and broke bread with his disciples (Luke 24:30). In Troas, Eutychus was raised from the dead, then the disciples broke bread with each other."]

Follow-up of residual thoughts: possibilities at Troas.

Was there a church at Troas? Did they partake the Lord's Supper?

No church?
1.a. There was no church in Troas and the disciples gathered for a "potluck" meal together and worshiped together.
1.b. There was no church in Troas and the disciples gathered for a "potluck" meal together, observed the Lord's Supper and worshiped together.
1.c. There was no church in Troas and the disciples observed the Lord's Supper and worshiped together.

2.a. There was a church in Troas and the traveling disciples gathered with the church for a "potluck" meal together and worshiped together.
2.b. There was a church in Troas and the traveling disciples gathered with the church for a "potluck" meal together, observed the Lord's Supper and worshiped together.
2.c. There was a church in Troas and the traveling disciples gathered with the church, observed the Lord's Supper and worshiped together.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Prayer quote - Manton

"Every prayer is an acknowledgment of our weakness and dependence. Who would ask that of another which he thinketh to be in his own power?" -- Thomas Manton

Friday, February 05, 2010

Acts 20:1-12, brief thoughts

From Ephesus, Paul went to Macedonia and Achaia/Greece, then over to Asia. Some of the disciples had gone ahead and were already there when he (and at least Luke) arrived five days later. After spending about a week there, they continued on their journey.

"We are laborers together"
Acts 20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

It may be that many of us emphasize Paul so much that we forget that on most occasions he had traveling companions who labored and ministered with him. Verse 4 names those who went before him into Asia. Paul was an apostle, and fulfilled the ministry God gave him. But let us also remember that all have gifts differing according to the grace that is given to them and the Spirit of God gives to every man as He will. Thus, all to whom this grace is given are "laborers together with God". Therefore we ought not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Verse 4 reminds us that God calls each to his own calling, and each should fulfill that calling (and labor together with God).

"Not forsaking the assembling"
Act 20:7 begins "...upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together..." Regardless of their travels, the disciples took time to come together, worship together, study together, break bread together. The manner of some may be to forsake assembling. But a church IS an assembly; she should assemble. We do so for the good of ourselves and for one another. Some dictatorial pastors press this upon their members as a burden to bear -- be here every time the doors are open, don't be on vacation on Sunday, don't, don't, don't (and then they schedule their vacations and are gone). But the Lord's people have a desire to see one another, to assemble on the first day of the week and exhort one another, edify one another, teach one another. Verse 7 reminds us to come together.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Jesus baptized not

Eld. Wayne Gregory:

John 4:1-3 reads: "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee."

I am persuaded that the Spirit revealed that Jesus did not personally baptize in water except through his disciples for two reasons:

First, for the glory of Christ: John the Baptist declared: Luke 3:16, 17 “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.” It seems reasonable to me that Christ had a superior baptism to give that no other would or could perform. Clearly this event occurred later and is recorded along with its effects for us in the book of Acts 2. It was Christ’s baptism. He was the administrator of it alone; the element, which was used by Christ, was not water, but the Holy Ghost; and the recipient was the living organism of which Christ is Founder and Head – the church, which was the visible evidence of Mt. Zion, God’s dwelling place. This superior baptism with or in the Spirit seems to agree with the statement that Christ was far superior to John who baptized with (in) water. As truly as never a man spoke as Christ, never a man baptized as Christ, and that includes John the Baptist.

Second, for the comfort of His people: It appears to me that this emphasis of Christ not personally baptizing the disciples in water was for the peace and comfort of all who would follow after and teaches that baptism in water was to be and indeed continued to be performed by the disciples under Christ’s headship and direction. Brethren, had Christ baptized any in water, I would consider mine a poor substitute for that. In fact, I would forever be in great doubt whether I was baptized at all or had obeyed Christ’s positive command. Now, because I am taught here that the disciples baptized, not Christ, I can take some comfort that the baptism I have received is acceptable to Him being administered by one authorized by Christ also.

[By Wayne Gregory, in "Two Requests", Predestinarian Forum, February 1, 2010]

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Think about it

"Moving from culture-at-large to church culture, a Cowboy Church movement has arisen largely because the standard Southern Baptist church culture has almost nothing Southern about it. The music is Rock, the marketing is Madison Avenue, the platform dress is Abercrombie & Fitch, and the A-V technology is Times Square.

"What's Southern about that?"

The above quote is taken from
If Heaven Ain't A Lot Like Dixie? by Bart Barber, which you can read for the larger context. If you're not Southern Baptist, this may not grab you the same way as it will someone who is Southern Baptist. Nevertheless, this is an interesting conjecture about the rise and popularity of the "Cowboy Church". Is part of it because modern churches make themselves over into something that is foreign to their culture? Just wondering.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Below is one of many John Newton hymns I've never read before. I find much in it which touches my situation. Especially did I feel "Ere he called me well he knew, What a heart like mine would do" and especially do I love "I have sinned, but thou hast died: This is all I have to plead, This is all the plea I need!"


Yes! since God himself has said it,
On the promise I rely;
His good word demands my credit,
What can unbelief reply?
He is strong and can fulfill,
He is truth and therefore will.

As to all the doubts and questions,
Which my spirit often grieve,
These are Satan's sly suggestions,
And I need no answer give;
He would fain destroy my hope,
But the promise bears it up.

Sure the LORD thus far has brought me
By his watchful tender care;
Sure 'tis he himself has taught me
How to seek his face by prayer:
After so much mercy past,
Will he give me up at last?

True, I've been a foolish creature;
And have sinned against his grace;
But forgiveness is his nature,
Though he justly hides his face:
Ere he called me well he knew,
Isa 48:8
What a heart like mine would do.

In my Savior's intercession
Therefore I will still confide;
LORD accept my free contrition,
I have sinned, but thou hast died:
Rom 8:34
This is all I have to plead,
This is all the plea I need.

John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779