A Grazing Mace

Sometimes we want life to shower blessings on us like rain. We think it is all about having our best life now. Instead,  life transforms into a cudgel, clubbing us down and bashing our selfish dreams into pieces; a grazing mace, if you will…

The author of Amazing Grace was a slave trader before his conversion.  He later became an Anglican priest. His name was John Newton and he was friends  with William Cowper.   Both wrote hymns.

I do not know the melody to this untitled hymn.  I read the lyrics as poetry:

By John Newton  (1725-1807)

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

And now one from his old friend William Cowper (1731-1800):

Light Shining out of Darkness

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the LORD by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
GOD is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

Enjoy these poems of Truth and Reason.

5 comments on “A Grazing Mace

  1. Roksolana says:

    Grazing mace…. yes, can relate to that! Great analogy. Then it also makes me think in circles again about being selfish in the sense of being sorry for myself.


    • drew says:

      Yes – well-said. I am VERY good at feeling sorry for myself. I think it is one of my spiritual gifts ! (?)
      Perhaps the post should have been named “A Mauling Feather”…but I wanted a tie-in to John Newton.
      I love the song Amazing Grace but, like John 3:16, it is overused. Thanks for your comments Roksolana.


  2. curt says:

    Brother, we ALWAYS want life to shower us with blessings…have your heard this hymn before? its quite powerful although I cannot sing it in good conscience.

    Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

    1. Jesus, I my cross have taken,
    All to leave and follow Thee.
    Destitute, despised, forsaken,
    Thou from hence my all shall be.
    Perish every fond ambition,
    All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
    Yet how rich is my condition!
    God and heaven are still my own.

    2. Let the world despise and leave me,
    They have left my Savior, too.
    Human hearts and looks deceive me;
    Thou art not, like them, untrue.
    O while Thou dost smile upon me,
    God of wisdom, love, and might,
    Foes may hate and friends disown me,
    Show Thy face and all is bright.

    3. Man may trouble and distress me,
    ’Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
    Life with trials hard may press me;
    Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
    Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me
    While Thy love is left to me;
    Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me,
    Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

    4. Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
    Come disaster, scorn and pain
    In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
    With Thy favor, loss is gain
    I have called Thee Abba Father,
    I have stayed my heart on Thee
    Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
    All must work for good to me.

    5. Soul, then know thy full salvation
    Rise o’er sin and fear and care
    Joy to find in every station,
    Something still to do or bear.
    Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
    Think what Father’s smiles are thine,
    Think that Jesus died to win thee,
    Child of heaven, canst thou repine.

    6. Haste thee on from grace to glory,
    Armed by faith, and winged by prayer.
    Heaven’s eternal days before thee,
    God’s own hand shall guide us there.
    Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
    Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
    Hope shall change to glad fruition,
    Faith to sight, and prayer to praise


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