On What Has Now Been Sown

The Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A. describes the writer of this hymn thus:

“John Newton, who was born in London, July 24, 1725, and died there Dec. 21, 1807, occupied an unique position among the founders of the Evangelical School, due as much to the romance of his young life and the striking history of his conversion, as to his force of character. His mother, a pious Dissenter, stored his childish mind with Scripture, but died when he was seven years old. At the age of eleven, after two years’ schooling, during which he learned the rudiments of Latin, he went to sea with his father. His life at sea teems with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. The religious fits of his boyhood changed into settled infidelity… , Disappointing repeatedly the plans of his father, he was flogged as a deserter from the navy, and for fifteen months lived, half-starved and ill-treated, in abject degradation under a slave-dealer in Africa… A chance reading of Thomas à Kempis sowed the seed of his conversion; which quickened under the awful contemplations of a night spent in steering a water-logged vessel in the face of apparent death (1748). He was then twenty-three. The six following years, during which he commanded a slave ship, matured his Christian belief. Nine years more, spent chiefly at Liverpool, in intercourse with Whitefield, Wesley, and Nonconformists, in the study of Hebrew and Greek, in exercises of devotion and occasional preaching among the Dissenters, elapsed before his ordination to the curacy of Olney, Bucks (1764). hymnary dot org

John Newton

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Lyrics - “On What has Now been Sown”

by John Newton, 1725-1807
 
1. On what has now been sown
Thy blessing, Lord, bestow;
The power is Thine alone
To make it spring and grow.
Do Thou in grace the harvest raise,
And Thou alone shalt have the praise.
 
2. To Thee our wants are known,
From Thee are all our powers;
Accept what is Thine own
And pardon what is ours.
Our praises, Lord, and prayers receive
And to Thy Word a blessing give.
 
3. Oh, grant that each of us
Now met before Thee here
May meet together thus
When Thou and Thine appear
And follow Thee to heaven, our home.
E’en so, Amen, Lord Jesus, come!
The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #46
Text: 1 Cor. 3:6
Author: John Newton, 1779, cento, alt.
Composer: John Darwall, 1770

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