The Woman of Samaria
Jesus, to what didst thou submit
To save thy dear-bought flock from hell!
Like a poor traveller, see him sit,
Athirst and weary, by the well.
The woman, who for water came,
(What great events on small depend),
Then learnt the glory of his name,
The Well of life, the sinner's Friend!
Taught from her birth to hate the Jews,
And filled with party-pride; at first
Her zeal induced her to refuse
Water, to quench the Saviour's thirst.
But soon she knew the gift of God,
And Jesus, whom she scorned before,
Unasked, that drink on her bestowed
Which whoso tastes shall thirst no more.
His words her prejudice removed,
Her sin she felt, relief she found;
She saw and heard, believed and loved,
And ran to tell her neighbours round.
O come, this wondrous man behold!
The promised Saviour! this is he,
Whom ancient prophecies foretold,
Born, from our guilt to set us free.
Like her, in ignorance content,
I worshipped long I knew not what;
Like her, on other things intent,
I found him when I sought him not.
He told me all that e'er I did,
And told me all was pardoned too;
And now like her, as he has bid,
I live to point him out to you.
from John Newton's Diary, relevant to this hymn:
Tuesday 10 October 1775
Dined with Mr Bull. How different a man from formerly. He has had much affliction, and it has been much sanctified. Waited the coach for Miss Perry – brought her home with me. At the Great House spoke from Psalm 3:1-3 [Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.]
Thursday 12 October 1775
Met the children. And in the evenign preached with some liberty. Numbers 11:23 [And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.]
Saturday 14 October 1775
Mr Samuel Thornton came to dinner. My time much taken up with my company. Evening walked an hour in the garden.
Sunday 15 October 1775
Besides my usual service, preached at Clifton at ½ past 11, so that I was closely busied, and spoke many words in the course of the day. A good time at the Great House from Hymn No. 119 [219 intended].
Clifton: 1 Samuel 2:7
Hymn No. 119 [219 intended]
[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]