Christ, a True Friend

Representative Text

1 One there is, above all others,
well deserves the name of Friend;
His is love beyond a brother's,
costly, free, and knows no end;
they who once His kindness prove,
find it everlasting love!

2 Which of all our friends to save us,
could or would have shed their blood?
But our Jesus died to have us
reconciled in Him to God;
this was boundless love indeed!
Jesus is a Friend in need.

3 Men, when raised to lofty stations,
often know their friends no more;
slight and scorn their poor relations
though they valued them before.
But our Savior always owns
those whom He redeemed with groans.

4 When He lived on earth abased,
Friend of sinners was His name;
now, above all glory raised,
He rejoices in the same;
still He calls them brethren, friends,
and to all their wants attends.

5 Could we bear from one another,
what He daily bears from us?
Yet this glorious Friend and Brother
loves us though we treat Him thus;
though for good we render ill,
He accounts us brethren still.

6 O for grace our hearts to soften!
Teach us, Lord, at length to love;
we, alas! forget too often
what a Friend we have above;
but when home our souls are brought,
we will love Thee as we ought.

Source: Psalms and Hymns to the Living God #319

Author: John Newton

John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumul­tuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: One there is, above all others, Well deserves the name of Friend
Title: Christ, a True Friend
Author: John Newton (1779)
Language: English
Notes: Spanish translation: See "Majestuoso Soberano" by Salvador Gómez Dickson
Copyright: Public Domain


LUX PRIMA (Gounod)

French romanticist composer Charles F. Gounod (PHH 165) wrote LUX PRIMA, which means "first light" in Latin. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Gounod left his native Paris and settled in England for five years. This sturdy tune was published in the Scottish Hymnary in 1872. It uses sev…

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