IN EVIL LONG I TOOK DELIGHT
In evil long I took delight, Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight, And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree, In agony and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me, As near His cross I stood.
Sure, never to my latest breath, Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death, Though not a word He spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt, And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt, And helped to nail Him there.
A second look He gave, which said, “I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid; I die that thou mayst live.”
Thus, while His death my sin displays In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace, It seals my pardon too.
by John Newton, best known as author of Amazing Grace, less known as devoted sinner and slave trader whose mother’s prayers finally effected his return to the God of his boyhood. Beautiful tune to this; look it up, hear it on the ‘net.