Glorious Things of You Are Spoken

One of Newton’s most well-known hymns, “Glorious things of thee are spoken,” was first published in 1779 in Olney Hymns, a collection of his and close friend William Cowper for public worship. Newton would later describe the publication as “a monument, to perpetuate the remembrance of an intimate and endeared friendship.”1 

Glorious things of you are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
He whose word cannot be broken
formed you for his own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
What can shake your sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
You may smile at all your foes.

See, the streams of living waters,
Springing from eternal love,
Well supply your sons and daughters
And all fear of want remove.
Who can faint while such a river
Ever will their thirst assuage?
Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,
Never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hov’ring,
See the cloud and fire appear
For a glory and a cov’ring,
Showing that the Lord is near.
Thus deriving from their banner
Light by night and shade by day,
Safe they feed upon the manna
Which he gives them on their way.

Saviour, since of Zion’s city
I thro’ grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in your name.
Fading are the world’s vain pleasures,
All their boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasures
None but Zion’s children know.

1umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-glorious-things-of-thee-are-spoken

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