Olney Hymns Book 1 Hymn 102
My barns are full, my stores increase...
Manuscript Hymn No. 185
“My barns are full, my stores increase,
And now, for many years,
Soul, eat and drink, and take thine ease,
Secure from wants and fears.”
Thus while a worldling boasted once,
As many now presume,
He heard the Lord himself pronounce
His sudden, awful doom.
“This night, vain fool, thy soul must pass
Into a world unknown;
And who shall then the stores possess
Which thou hast called thine own?”
Thus blinded mortals fondly scheme
For happiness below:
Till death disturbs the pleasing dream,
And they awake to woe.
Ah! who can speak the vast dismay
That fills the sinner’s mind,
When torn, by Death’s strong hand away,
He leaves his all behind.
Wretches, who cleave to earthly things,
But are not rich to God;
Their dying hour is full of stings,
And hell their dark abode.
Dear Saviour, make us timely wise,
Thy gospel to attend,
That we may live above the skies,
When this poor life shall end.
from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:
Sunday 20 November 1774
Received an affecting and particular account of the death of the late unhappy Mr [Thomas] Bradshaw [joint Secretary to the Treasury]. From a low situation he was raised to riches and honours – but alas, what is this world! And what is life without the fear of God? How many are thus destroyed by the spirit of infidelity and the power of Satan. [Bradshaw shot himself]
Tuesday 22 November 1774
In the evening spoke from Colossians 2:3 [In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.]
Thursday 24 November 1774
Met the children. And in the evening preached from a text which I found left for me in the pulpit on Sunday. Isaiah 59:1,2 [Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.]
Sunday 27 November 1774
Mr [Samuel] Cooper [of Loxley] preached in the afternoon from Hebrews 11:13. The Lord has given me a quiet convenient lot, that I have not far to go or much hardship to suffer as a preacher. Many of his servants experience a variety of inconveniencies from which I am exempted. And all his favours call for such acknowledgements as my poor heart falls sadly short in making. Yet he is gracious.
Matthew 28:5 [And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.]
[No hymn stated, but Hymn No. 185 suggested, fitting the sequence of the past 3 weeks and matching the news of 20 November 1774]
[On this date Newton preached from the above texts at his church, St Peter & St Paul, Olney, during the morning and afternoon services, and probably from this hymn at the informal evening service]
Hymn: MS Eng 1317, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Diary: John Newton Collection, CO199, Princeton University
Marylynn Rouse, 10/09/2013