| Our God and Father, whose eternal mind
breathed life into our dust and gave us birth,
and of one blood created humankind
to live in peace as fellow-heirs of earth:
for all the long-oppressed in this our day,
whose night is starless, hear us as we pray.
Our Saviour Christ once chose a servant’s part,
maligned, rejected and unjustly tried;
teach us, who follow him, to lay to heart
what love he set on those for whom he died.
Before his cross, who rose and lives and saves,
we fellow-sinners kneel as fellow-slaves.
Your Name we praise for those who fought and won
to drive the slavers’ traffic from the sea;
who spent themselves until the task was done,
who broke the bonds and set the captives free:
on such a cause, on such a victor’s crown,
the stars of heaven shone more brightly down.
Hear now our prayers for those who suffer still
oppression, terror, misery and pain;
give to your ransomed church the strength of will
to frame a world where peace and justice reign:
where those on earth rejoice with those above,
free fellow-children of a Father’s love.
written for The John Newton Project to mark
the bicentenary in 2007 of legislation
by Parliament and Congress
to abolish British and American participation
in the slave trade.
Two new tunes have been composed
one by Christian Strover and another by Jon Riding.
© Timothy Dudley-Smith,
9 Ashlands, Ford, Salisbury, Wilts, SP4 6DY, in Europe (including and Eire) and Africa.
© 2005, Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188, United States of America and the rest of the world.
This text may be reproduced without further permission in orders of service and the like during 2006/7. Holders of a CCLI licence are asked to record use in the usual way. Please indicate: ‘Words © Timothy Dudley-Smith’. From 2008, holders of a valid Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) licence in any territory may reproduce this text for service/assembly booklets and overhead projection under the terms of their licence. For all other reproduction, please contact the copyright holder as appropriate.
The hymn is written to Unde et memores but may also be sung to Song 1 and Anirts.