Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sun, Snow and John Newton on Renewed Hope

The first of our real warm weather hit today in Toronto with temperatures reaching the 20 degrees C mark! Lovely when less than a month ago things looked like this:



It made me think of an old Newton hymn (there are several like it actually... I wonder if Newton wrote them to encourage Cowper through the winter months?) that I thought I would post for your use.

Bleak winter is subdued at length,
And forced to yield the day;
The sun has waited all his strength,
And driven him away.

And now long wished for spring is come,
How altered is the scene!
The trees and shrubs are dressed in bloom,
The earth arrayed in green.

Where’er we tread, beneath our feet
The clust’ring flowers spring;
The artless birds, in concert sweet,
Invite our hearts to sing.

But ah! in vain I strive to join,
Oppressed with sin and doubt;
I feel ’tis winter still, within,
Though all is spring without.

O! would my Savior from on high,
Break through these clouds and shine!
No creature then, more blest than I,
No song more loud than mine.

Till then—no softly warbling thrush,
Nor cowslip’s sweet perfume;
Nor beauties of each painted bush,
Can dissipate my gloom.

To Adam, soon as he transgressed,
Thus Eden bloomed in vain;
Not paradise could give him rest,
Or soothe his heart–felt pain.

Yet here an emblem I perceive
Of what the LORD can do;
Dear Savior, help me to believe
That I may flourish too.

Thy word can soon my hopes revive,
Can overcome my foes;
And make my languid graces thrive,
And blossom like the rose.