Did you know that anyone can browse online through the hundreds of sacred hymn poems written by John Newton? Yes, it's true. John Newton's famous Olney Hymnal of 1779 is posted online at the Library of Congress Rare Books Division website. When I discovered Newton's Olney Hymnal, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the poems he wrote so many years ago. I wondered with astonishment, that of all his great hymns, only "Amazing Grace" is widely known. And unfortunately, that lovely hymn is also widely misunderstood. Everybody and their second cousin can belt out, "Amazing Grace", at the drop of a hat! Any occasion will do: an earthquake, a blizzard, troops coming home from war, the launching of a new yacht, the swatting of a fly - "Hey everybody! Let's sing, Amazing Grace!" It's especially the song of choice at the funeral of every unbeliever, isn't it? Every unrepentant, ungodly thief is entombed with the words to "Amazing Grace" on the lips of the mourners. Everybody sings it outside the prison gates when the convicted murderer is executed. It's a song everybody can agree on, that's for sure. Well, I looked at Newton's wonderful, unknown, forgotten hymn poems in The Olney Hymnal and I asked the LORD to give me grace to write new melodies for Newton's words, with the express intention of making known the Gospel of God's Free Grace in our day - the Gospel Mr. Newton loved and expounded with power, indeed. You may ask why his wonderful hymn poems are unknown and why "Amazing Grace" is so misunderstood. ANSWER: Due to the famine of the hearing of the Word of God, a dearth that has engulfed our nation and the whole world. So I present these hymns to you now, praying that many of God's children will be built-up in the true faith and edified in a day of deep spiritual darkness. (Oh, by the way, I hope to write a new melody for "Amazing Grace", hoping that all the Joan Baez, Engleburt Humperdinck, Lemonhead versions will disappear in the light of the truth of John Newton's immortal verse. May that old tune, that suffered so much abuse at the hands of strangers, be dissolved away and may the truth of Newton's words be refreshed and well-learned by seeking souls by means of a new melody!)
Our LORD Jesus Christ settled the matter of the salvation of his elect people long before you were born, long before this world was made! Oh yes, this is the truth of the Gospel of God's Sovereign Free Grace to chosen sinners in the Person and Work of His Darling Son, the LORD Jesus Christ. This is the God of the Bible - not the flimsy, cardboard god of modern evangelical will worship - not the sad, wimpy god who really loves everybody, but darn it all, will send you to hell if you don't be good. NO WAY! That's not the True and Living God! The Scripture declares that "...He shall save His people from their sins..." (Matthew 1:21), and for these chosen ones, the Israel of God, the elect from before the foundations of the earth, every stroke of the clock, every nano second in this dispensation of time, will bring the LORD Jesus Christ closer to their appointed hour of love. He will reveal Himself to each one by the hearing of the Word of God to their souls. They will know Him as the great and glorious God, Who Himself, took upon Himself the sin of His people. He suffered eternal hell on their behalf and thus, set them free from sin and death forevermore. Each child of the Living God, each bride of the Lamb, will hear the Word of God, will believe and will come to Him for cleansing, forgiveness, justification and life. For these blessed souls, "there is therefore now no condemnation", for they are indwelled with the Spirit of Christ, they walk in His Spirit and no longer walk after the way and fashion of this dying world. They recognize the false gospel of Cain and shun it, for it is blasphemy against their God and His Glorious Salvation. So tell me, what will you do to be saved? What would you give to know, for a certainty, that you have been cleansed of all your sin - past, present and future - and have received the gift of eternal life? What would you give to begin again, to begin a whole new day? What will you give to God to please Him? Do you deserve to enter into His Holy Hill, because you want to? Do you have a free will and have decided that serving God makes sense (as long as all your service will earn you something in the end)? ANSWER NOW THIS QUESTION: Will you give nothing? Will you do nothing? Can you simply believe that God has saved His people from their sins? Shall not the God of all the earth do whatsoever He is pleased to do with all His possessions?
I now present this music to you in His Holy Name, for Jacob's chosen race will come. May God's people be encouraged to proclaim the majesty of their LORD and Saviour in this present distress. Here are videos of 8 of my new hymns - each one is based on a specific Scripture Text. Be sure to read the blog comments and listen to the excellent sermons posted with each new hymn.