Saviour, visit thy plantation

Saviour, visit thy plantation. John Newton* (1725-1807).  This was Hymn LI in Book II (‘On Occasional Subjects’) of Olney Hymns (1779). Book II was divided into four sections, ‘Seasons’, ‘Ordinances’, ‘Providences’, and ‘Creation’. The present hymn was in section II. It was entitled ‘Prayer for a revival’. There were five 8-line stanzas, notable for Newton’s ability to sustain the gardening metaphor, and for a lament by his usually sanguine spirit:  Saviour, visit thy plantation,   Grant us, Lord, a gracious rain! All will come to desolation,   Unless thou return again: Keep no longer at a distance,   Shine upon us from on high; Lest, for want of thine assistance,   Ev’ry plant should droop...

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