John Newton is good for the soul

Posted on March 7, 2010 by


He wrote “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken” and most famously, “Amazing Grace.” But he also wrote a whole lot of other songs, and all of them are worth singing. This one did me good today. It will work with any tune, but I think it’s best sung to the tune of the theme song to Gilligan’s Island. The last line of each verse repeats once. Try it.

The Golden Calf
By John Newton

When Israel heard the fiery law,
From Sinai’s top proclaimed;
Their hearts seemed full of holy awe,
Their stubborn spirits tamed.

Yet, as forgetting all they knew,
Ere forty days were past;
With blazing Sinai still in view,
A molten calf they cast.

Yea, Aaron, God’s anointed priest,
Who on the mount had been
He durst prepare the idol-beast,
And lead them on to sin.

Lord, what is man! and what are we,
To recompense thee thus!
In their offence our own we see,
Their story points at us.

From Sinai we have heard thee speak,
And from mount Calv’ry too;
And yet to idols oft we seek,
While thou art in our view.

Some golden calf, or golden dream,
Some fancied creature-good,
Presumes to share the heart with him,
Who bought the whole with blood.

Lord, save us from our golden calves,
Our sin with grief we own;
We would no more be thine by halves,
But live to thee alone.