One there is, above all others,
Well deserves the name of Friend:
His is love beyond a brother's:
Costly, free, and knows no end;
They who once His kindness prove,
Find it everlasting love.

Which of all our friends, to save us,
Could, or would, have shed his blood?
But the Saviour died to have us
Reconciled in Him to God:
This was boundless love indeed!
Jesus is a Friend in need.

When He lived on earth abased,
'Friend of sinners' was His name;
Now, above all glory raised,
He rejoices in the same:
Still He calls them brethren, friends,
And to all their wants attends.

Could we bear from one another
What He daily bears from us?
Yet this glorious Friend and Brother
Loves us though we treat Him thus;
Though for good we render ill,
He accounts us brethren still.

O, for grace our hearts to soften!
Teach us, Lord, at length to love:
We, alas! forget too often
What a Friend we have above:
But when home our souls are brought,
We shall love Thee as we ought.

John Newton, 1725-1807


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