In evil long I took delight

In evil long I took delight. John Newton* (1725-1807). From  Olney Hymns, 1779, No. 57 of Book II. This Book was headed ‘On occasional Subjects’, sub-divided into four parts. This hymn was under ‘Providences’. It had eight 4-line stanzas (not seven as stated in JJ), headed ‘Looking at the cross’.  JJ noted that ‘it seems to be of special autobiographical interest as setting forth the great spiritual change which Newton underwent’ (p. 564). This may be so, and it is tempting to see it as a reflection of Newton’s career from slaver to parson. But it is closer to the practices of meditation, in which the believer is able to contemplate the figure of the suffering Saviour and reflect on its...

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