Pensive Doubting Fearful Heart

This hymn about trust in God's love was originally written as a porm by English former slave ship captain turned evangelical Anglican priest John Newton (1725-1807), in 1779, dedicated to the Afflicted, Tossed With Tempests and Not Comforted. It may be inspired by Isaiah 49:13.

The text has meter 77 77 77 77.  It was originally published in Newton's Olney Hymns. No information about the tune it was originally set to has been located. But in recent years, at least two contemporary-Christian-music artists have recorded versions of it to:
  • An unnamed tune by Wendell Kimbrough, 2004, recorded by Red Mountain church (guitar chords available here, no sheet music located - the tune sounds similar to some Scared Harp tunes).
  • Another unnamed tune by Justin Smith, recorded and distributed by Indelible Grace.(their page includes sheet music and chords).


Downloads




Examples


Contemporary setting, lead singer with band, including banjo - professional recording:



Contemporary setting, lead singer with guitar-led band:



Instrumental - practise track of the Red Mountain Church tune:


Lyrics

Traditional language

Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what Christ the Saviour says;
Every word should joy impart,
Change thy mourning into praise:
Yes, he speaks, and speaks to thee,
May he help thee to believe!
Then thou presently wilt see,
Thou hast little cause to grieve.

Fear thou not, nor be ashamed,
All thy sorrows soon shall end
I who heav'n and earth have framed,
Am thy husband and thy friend
I the High and Holy One,
Israel's God by all adored;
As thy Saviour will be known,
Thy Redeemer and thy Lord.

For a moment I withdrew,
And thy heart was filled with pain;
But my mercies I'll renew,
Thou shalt soon rejoice again:
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease;
'Tis but for a moment's space,
Ending in eternal peace.

When my peaceful bow appears
Painted on the wat'ry cloud;
'Tis to dissipate thy fears,
Lest the earth should be o'erflowed:
'Tis an emblem too of grace,
Of my cov'nant love a sign;
Though the mountains leave their place,
Thou shalt be for ever mine.

Though afflicted, tempest-tossed,
Comfortless awhile thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou art graven on my heart
All thy walls I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in thee it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.


Modern English

Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what Christ the Saviour says;
Every word should joy impart,
Change your mourning into praise:
Yes, he speaks, and speaks to you,
May he help you to believe!
Then you presently will see,
You have little cause to grieve.

Fear you not, nor be ashamed,
All your sorrows soon shall end
I who heav'n and earth have framed,
Am your husband and your friend
I the High and Holy One,
Israel's God by all adored;
As your Saviour will be known,
Your Redeemer and your Lord.

For a moment I withdrew,
And your heart was filled with pain;
But my mercies I'll renew,
You shall soon rejoice again:
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease;
'Tis but for a moment's space,
Ending in eternal peace.

When my peaceful bow appears
Painted on the wat'ry cloud;
'Tis to dissipate your fears,
Lest the earth should be o'erflowed:
'Tis an emblem too of grace,
Of my cov'nant love a sign;
Though the mountains leave their place,
You shall be forever mine.

Though afflicted, tempest-tossed,
Comfortless awhile you are,
Do not think you can be lost,
You are graven on my heart
All your walls I will repair,
You shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in you it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.

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