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Established 1999
A Wesleyan-Anglican Church in Boise, Idaho

Pilgrimages

An English Pilgrimage

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Entry 3, Thursday, First Week of Advent:
The Olney Way to Go

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
- Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

After searching for more than two years, I am very pleased to find at least the identity of the composer of a hymn tune I had heard used with the Rev. John Newton's "Let Us Love, and Sing, and Wonder", which is very high on my list of favorite hymns.

This breakthrough occurs today at the Cowper & Newton Museum at Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. If the hymn is to be added to the Epworth Chapel on the Green hymnal with that hymn tune, the copyright holder must be contacted and must consent, but at least now the direction to take is known.

The nearby Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, also in Olney, was pastored by the Rev. Newton, now more remembered for his post-conversion hymns than for his pre-conversion slave-trade business. The famed poet William Cowper moved to Olney so that he could benefit from Newton's ministry, and in consequence became Newton's friend and collaborator-and the only other author besides Newton whose hymns appeared in the Olney Hymns book which Newton caused to be published.

Newton's pulpit still in place, the curtained organ, the church graveyard where Newton was buried, the worship services that continue at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul to this day, the Newton hymns in which we express our prayers and praise today-these show me that Newton labored effectively, even brilliantly, for Christ.

To that end, in the preface to the Olney Hymns, Newton wrote:

The hour is approaching, and at my time of life cannot be very distant, when my heart, my pen, and my tongue, will no longer be able to move in their (the Olney parish people) service. But I trust, while my heart continues to beat, it will feel a warm desire for the prosperity of their souls; and while my hand can write, and my tongue speak, it will be the business and the pleasure of my life, to aim at promoting their growth and establishment in the grace of God our Saviour.

In Newton's memorable words:

"Let us love, and sing, and wonder,
Let us praise the Saviour's name!
He has hush'd the Law's loud thunder,
He has quench'd mount Sinai's flame:
He has wash'd us with his blood,
He has brought us nigh to God.

"Let us love the Lord who bought us,
Pity'd us when enemies;
Call'd us by his grace, and taught us,
Gave us ears, and gave us eyes:
He has wash'd us with his blood,
He presents our souls to God.

"Let us sing tho' fierce temptations
Threaten hard to bear us down!
For the Lord, our strong salvation,
Holds in view the conqu'rors crown:
He who wash'd us with his blood,
Soon will bring us home to God.

"Let us wonder, grace and justice,
Join and point to mercy's store;
When thro' grace in Christ our trust is,
Justice smiles, and asks no more:
He who wash'd us with his blood,
Has secur'd our way to God.

"Let us praise, and join the chorus
Of the saints, enthron'd on high:
Here they trusted him before us,
Now their praises fill the sky:
'Thou hast wash'd us with thy blood,
Thou art worthy, Lamb of God!' "

- Christopher

Theme Verse

Luke 1:78-79

Scripture Lessons

May 28: Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 110:1-5, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:49-53

May 21: Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 148:7-14, 1 Peter 3:8-18, John 15:1-8

Prayer Emphases

Nation: Peru

Denomination: Fellowship of Grace Brethren

Congregation: Park City Community Church, Park City, UT, and the Rev. Tracy Hausman

Ministry: Institute for Religious Freedom

Parishioners: Those living on Poplar Street

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