What think you of Christ? is the test,
To try both your state and your scheme;
You cannot be right in the rest,
Unless you think rightly of him.
As Jesus appears in your view,
As he is beloved or not;
So God is disposed to you,
And mercy or wrath are your lot.
Some take him a creature to be,
A man, or an angel at most:
Sure these have not feelings like me,
Nor know themselves wretched and lost.
So guilty, so helpless am I,
I durst not confide in his blood,
Nor on his protection rely,
Unless I were sure he is God.
Some call him Saviour, in word,
But mix their own works with his plan;
And hope he his help will afford,
When they have done all that they can:
If doings prove rather too light,
(A little, they own, they may fail),
They purpose to make up full weight,
By casting his name in the scale.
Some style him the pearl of great price,
And say he’s the fountain of joys;
Yet feed upon folly and vice,
And cleave to the world and its toys;
Like Judas, the Saviour they kiss,
And while they salute him, betray;
Ah! what will profession like this
Avail in his terrible day?
If ask’d, what of Jesus I think,
Though still my best thoughts are but poor,
I say, he’s my meat and my drink,
My life, and my strength, and my store;
My Shepherd, my Husband, my Friend,
My Saviour from sin and from thrall;
My hope from beginning to end,
My portion, my Lord, and my All.
John Newton [1725–1807], The Works of John Newton Volume Three, (Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 403–404.