“We Were Once As You Are” (Duty, Pleasure & Beauty)

On Sunday July 3rd we considered the themes of Duty and Dependence, whereby the beauty of God overwhelms our hearts and what used to be a mere duty receives a whole new energy to be joyfully performed, even with pleasure!

The following Sunday we sang “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (original lyrics by Sir Robert Robinson) with added closing verses borrowed from one John Newton’s hymns. The fully hymn “We Were Once As You Are” is listed below, with the chosen verses emphasized (added at 3:21 in song).

Listen or download:

“We Were Once As You Are” (Olney Hymns) by John Newton (1779):

Shall men pretend to pleasure
Who never knew the Lord?
Can all the worldling’s treasure
True peace of mind afford?

They shall obtain this jewel
In what their hearts desire,
When they by adding fuel
Can quench the flame of fire.

Till you can bid the ocean,
When furious tempests roar,
Forget its wonted motion,
And rage, and swell, no more:

In vain your expectation
To find content in sin;
Or freedom from vexation,
While passions reign within.

Come, turn your thoughts to Jesus,
If you would good possess;
‘Tis he alone that frees us
From guilt, and from distress:

When he, by faith, is present,
The sinner’s troubles cease;
His ways are truly pleasant,
And all his paths are peace.

Our time in sin we wasted,
And fed upon the wind;
Until his love we tasted,
No comfort could we find:

But now we stand to witness
His pow’r and grace to you;
May you perceive its fitness,
And call upon him too!

Our pleasure and our duty,
Though opposite before;
Since we have seen his beauty,
Are joined to part no more:

It is our highest pleasure,
No less than duty’s call;
To love him beyond measure,
And serve him with our all.

Tags: , ,