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Approach, my soul, the mercy seat

Approach, my soul, the mercy seat. John Newton* (1725-1807). First published in Olney Hymns (1779), Book III, ‘On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life’, where it is the second of two texts entitled ‘The effort’ in the section ‘Seeking, Pleading, and Hoping’. Its description of the Christian life as spiritually demanding and strenuous is characteristic of Newton. JJ states, ‘It came into early use in the hymnals and has attained to a foremost position as one of the most popular of Newton’s productions’ (p. 76). It did not, however, enter A&M until the Supplement (1889) to the Second Edition. Its popularity continued until the mid-20th century but then declined...

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