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Hymn 69

John Newton


On the fire at Olney. September 22, 1777.


Wearied by day with toils and cares,

How welcome is the peaceful night!

Sweet sleep our wasted strength repairs,

And fits us for returning light.

Yet when our eyes in sleep are closed,

Our rest may break ere well begun;

To dangers every hour exposed

We neither can foresee nor shun.

’Tis of the Lord that we can sleep

A single night without alarms;

His eye alone our lives can keep

Secure, amidst a thousand harms.

For months and years of safety past,

Ungrateful, we, alas! have been;

Though patient long, he spoke at last,

And bid the fire rebuke our sin.

The shout of fire! a dreadful cry,

Impressed each heart with deep dismay;

While the fierce blaze and red’ning sky,

Made midnight wear the face of day.

The throng and terror who can speak!

The various sounds that filled the air!

The infant’s wail, the mother’s shriek,

The voice of blasphemy and prayer!

But prayer prevailed, and saved the town;

The few, who loved the Savior’s name,

Were heard, and mercy hasted down

To change the wind, and stop the flame.

O, may that night be ne’er forgot!

LORD, still increase thy praying few!

Were OLNEY left without a Lot,

Ruin, like Sodom’s, would ensue.

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