Sin enslav’d me many years,
And led me bound and blind;
Till at length a thousand fears
Came swarming o’er my mind.
Where, said I, in deep distress,
Will these sinful pleasures end?
How shall I secure my peace,
And make the Lord my friend.
Friends and ministers said much,
The gospel to enforce;
But my blindness still was such,
I chose a legal course:
Much I fasted, watch’d, and strove,
Scarce would show my face abroad,
Fear’d almost to speak or move,
A stranger still to God.
Thus afraid to trust His grace,
Long time did I rebel;
Till despairing of my case,
Down at His feet I fell.
Then my stubborn heart he broke.
And subdued me to his sway,
By a simple word he spoke,
“Thy sins are done away.”
Hymn LXIII: “The Heart Healed and Changed by Mercy,” The Works of the Rev. John Newton … to which are Prefixed Memoirs of His Life, Volume 2