Verse 1
O, speak that gracious word again, And cheer my drooping heart! No voice but thine can soothe my pain, Or bid my fears depart.

O my Saviour, by his pow’rful word, Has turned my night to day; His salvation’s joys have now restored, All I had sinned away; All that I had sinned away.

Verse 2
Guilt made me fear, lest all were true The lying tempter said! But now the LORD appears in view, My enemy is fled.

John Newton's original version of this song is made up of 7 verses that beautifully juxtapose the tension we often feel between the reality of our human sinfulness and the lavish grace of God extended to us in Jesus Christ. We know the promise of God's love and forgiveness is true; but we battle to really believe it and experience the freedom of the Gospel in our lives. Our failures tell us it just isn't possible. That's why I so love the stanza I use for the chorus: My Savior, by his pow’rful word, Has turned my night to day; And his salvation’s joys restored, Which I had sinned away. The burden is lifted and all doubts and insecurities are swallowed up in a realisation of, and resting in, the Gospel hope that restores all I had sinned away.

From time to time I use this song during communion in our Sunday worship service. I usually like to include one or two more verses, but decided to keep this recorded version a little shorter. See all Newton's original seven verses here.

Lyrics: John Newton. 1779 (Public Domain). Music & Arrangement: Trevor Skead. © 2017. All rights reserved.

The beautiful harmonies you hear are sung by Robin Murray. I'm also grateful to Brian Skeele and Chris Graham for the care and enthusiasm they have shown in the process of mixing and mastering my rudimentary home recordings.


I am a songwriter and worship leader from Cape Town, South Africa. One of my great joys is discovering beautiful verses from almost forgotten hymns and writing new music for them. In giving these old words new melodies, I hope to play my part in preserving some of the Church's lyrical treasures and contributing to her songbook of the ages. My prayer is that these songs will enrich the faith and lives of those who might hear them and perhaps even join me in singing them.

You can download my music by clicking through to my Bandcamp page. If you would like to help me make more music please consider donating a small something when you do.