Anglican Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith has written a new hymn for The John Newton Project to mark the bicentenary in 2007 of legislation by Parliament and Congress to abolish British and American participation in the slave trade.
Our God and Father, whose eternal mind
breathed life into our dust and gave us birth,
and of one blood created humankind
to live in peace as fellow-heirs of earth:
for all the long-oppressed in this our day,
whose night is starless, hear us as we pray.
Our Saviour Christ once chose a servant’s part,
maligned, rejected and unjustly tried;
teach us, who follow him, to lay to heart
what love he set on those for whom he died.
Before his cross, who rose and lives and saves,
we fellow-sinners kneel as fellow-slaves.
Your Name we praise for those who fought and won
to drive the slavers’ traffic from the sea;
who spent themselves until the task was done,
who broke the bonds and set the captives free:
on such a cause, on such a victor’s crown,
the stars of heaven shone more brightly down.
Hear now our prayers for those who suffer still
oppression, terror, misery and pain;
give to your ransomed church the strength of will
to frame a world where peace and justice reign:
where those on earth rejoice with those above,
free fellow-children of a Father’s love.
© copyright of Timothy Dudley-Smith, 9 Ashlands,
Ford, Salisbury, Wilts., England SP4 6DY in the
countries of Europe (including Great Britain and Ireland) and of Africa.
© copyright of Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream,
IL 60188, USA in the rest of the world.