O my soul, what means this sadness? Wherefore art thou thus cast down? Let thy griefs be turn’d to gladness,
Bid thy restless fears be gone;
Look to Jesus
And rejoice in his dear name. What tho’ Satan’s strong temptations
Vex and grieve thee day by day?
And thy sinful inclinations
Often fill thee with dismay?
Thou shalt conquer,
Thro’ the Lamb’s redeeming blood. Tho’ ten thousand ills beset thee,
From without and from within,
Jesus saith he’ll ne’er forget thee,
But will save from hell and sin:
He is faithful
To perform his gracious word. Tho’ distresses now attend thee,
And thou tread’st the thorny road,
His right hand shall still defend thee;
Soon he’ll bring thee home to God!
Therefore praise him—
Praise the great Redeemer’s name. O that I could now adore him
Like the heavenly host above,
Who for ever bow before him
And unceasing, sing his love!
When shall I your chorus join? John Fawcett (1740–1817)
Fawcett was converted at age 16 under the ministry of George Whitefield (preaching on John 3:14). At first he joined the Methodists, but three years later began attending the Baptist Church in Bradford, England. He was ordained a Baptist minister at Wainsgate, Yorkshire.
In 1772, he was invited to London to succeed Dr. John Gill as pastor of the Carter’s Lane Baptist Church. On the day of his departure, he had preached his farewell sermon, the wagons were loaded, and he was ready to go. But he was so overcome by the thought of leaving the congregation he had come to love, that he canceled his plans and stayed in Wainsgate. In 1793, Fawcett was invited to become president of the Baptist Academy in Bristol, but he similarly declined.