Olney Hymns Book 1 Hymn 99

How kind the good Samaritan...

Manuscript Hymn No. 184

[also written as 6 Vol 2]

184 v1

Chapter 10:33-35

The good Samaritan

How kind the good Samaritan
To him who fell among the thieves!
Thus Jesus pities fallen man,
And heals the wounds the soul receives.

Oh! I remember well the day,
When sorely wounded, nearly slain,
Like that poor man I bleeding lay,
And groaned for help, but groaned in vain.

Men saw me in this helpless case,
And passed without compassion by;
Each neighbour turned away his face,
Unmoved by my mournful cry.

But he whose name had been my scorn
(As Jews Samaritans despise),
Came, when he saw me thus forlorn,
With love and pity in his eyes.

Gently he raised me from the ground,
Pressed me to lean upon his arm,
And into every gaping wound
He poured his own all-healing balm.

Unto his church my steps he led,
The house prepared for sinners lost,
Gave charge I should be clothed and fed,
And took upon him all the cost.

Thus saved from death, from want secured,
I wait till he again shall come,
(When I shall be completely cured),
And take me to his heavenly home.

There, through eternal boundless days,
When Nature’s wheel no longer rolls,
How shall I love, adore, and praise,
This good Samaritan to souls!

John Newton bw better 150 x 55
  from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:

Thursday 31 January 1765 [children’s meeting]
I have since found that some of my young folks were displeased, because two of the rewards fell upon the children of Dissenters. This will give me an occasion next time to show them the nature and evil of a party spirit, which begins to show itself very early, even in children.

Thursday 7 February 1765 [children’s meeting]
For a lesson I made one of them read the parable of the Good Samaritan, which I explained to them with a reference to their little prejudices about Church and Meeting.

Sunday 3 March 1765
Large congregations today, and I was favoured with some liberty. Song of Solomon 1:3

Extract from Sermon on Song of Solomon 1:3 [1]

Thy name is as ointment poured forth
This name compared to ointment. These were more frequent in use and many of more costly composition than common amongst us. Some were healing, applied to wound and bruises and putrefying sores. Now the sinner when he is awakened and comes to himself, finds himself like the man (Luke 10) stripped and wounded and half dead. Jesus like the good Samaritan comes with an eye of pity, to pour in the ointment of his name. This is a certain and the only cure for the wounds of sin. Many can witness to this. How when they began to feel their misery and see their danger, they made use of many means but found them all physicians of no value. Like the woman in the gospel when they had spent all their time and strength in this way they were no better but rather grew worse. But this ointment made them whole.

Sunday 20 November 1774
The Lord was pleased to help me through another Sabbath.

Romans 14:22
Isaiah 53:4
[Hymn No. 184 suggested, from having had No. 183 the previous Sunday]

[On this date Newton preached from the above texts at his church, St Peter & St Paul, Olney, during the morning and afternoon services, and from this hymn at the informal evening service]

[1] Newton's sermon on Song of Solomon 1:3 ties in very closely with his hymn How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, Olney Hymns, Book 1, Hymn 57

Image copyright:

Hymn: MS Eng 1317, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Diary: John Newton Collection, CO199, Princeton University

Marylynn Rouse, 10/09/2013