Newton, Zeal Is that Pure and Heavenly Flame

I had not seen this hymn of Newton’s before tonight. I was introduced to it by D. A. Carson in his The Inclusive Language Debate: A Plea for Realism (Baker, 1998), p. 196.

1 Zeal is that pure and heavenly flame,
The fire of love supplies;
While that which often bears the name,
Is self in a disguise.

2 True zeal is merciful and mild,
Can pity and forbear;
The false is headstrong, fierce and wild,
And breathes revenge and war.

3 While zeal for truth the Christian warms,
He knows the worth of peace;
But self contends for names and forms,
Its party to increase.

4 Zeal has attained its highest aim,
Its end is satisfied;
If sinners love the Savior’s name,
Nor seeks it ought beside.

5 But self however well employed,
Has its own ends in view;
And says as boasting Jehu cried,
“Come see what I can do.”

6 Self may its poor reward obtain,
And be applauded here;
But zeal the best applause will gain,
When Jesus shall appear.

7 Dear Lord, the idol self dethrone,
And from our hearts remove;
And let no zeal by us be shown,
But that which springs from love.

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