I’ve often said that I wish sanctification included vocal redemption as well. Alas, I am proof that it does not. However, just because I can’t carry a tune doesn’t mean that I don’t love music that honors and glorifies the Lord Jesus. One of my favorite places to go and find wonderful verse is The Olney Hymn Collection at CCEL.org.
These hymns were written by John Newton and William Cowper in the 18th Century. They are expressions of Christian devotion and service, and demonstrate the beauty when we seek to build up the Body of Christ by singing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
Here’s a text written out of a study from Ezekiel. It is very fitting for our last few studies.
The Lord proclaims his grace abroad!
Behold, I change your hearts of stone;
Each shall renounce his idol god,
And serve, henceforth, the LORD alone.
My grace, a flowing stream, proceeds
To wash your filthiness away;
Ye shall abhor your former deeds,
And learn my statutes to obey.
My truth the great design insures,
I give myself away to you;
You shall be mine, I will be yours,
Your GOD unalterably true.
Yet not unsought, or unimplored,
The plenteous grace shall I confer;
No—your whole hearts shall seek the Lord,
I’ll put a praying spirit there.
From the first breath of life divine,
Down to the last expiring hour;
The gracious work shall all be mine,
Begun and ended in my pow’r.
– Olney Hymns #71