John Henry Newton (1725–1807)
The happy debtor.
Ten thousand talents once I owed,
And nothing had to pay;
But Jesus freed me from the load,
And washed my debt away.
Yet since the Lord forgave my sin,
And blotted out my score;
Much more indebted I have been
Than ere I was before.
My guilt is canceled quite I know,
And satisfaction made;
But the vast debt of love I owe,
Can never be repaid.
The love I owe for sin forgiven,
For power to believe,
For present peace, and promised heaven,
No angel can conceive.
That love of thine! thou sinner's Friend
Witness thy bleeding heart!
My little all can ne'er extend
To pay a thousandth part.
Nay more, the poor returns I make
I first from thee obtain;
And 'tis of grace, that thou wilt take
Such poor returns again.
'Tis well — it shall my glory be
(Let who will boast their store)
In time, and to eternity,
To owe thee more and more.
Taken from Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson, editors, Before the Door of God; An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 425pp.