On reading a biography of John Newton

I’d have lived on Clapham Green
And played upon its soil;
I’d have joined their century
And burnt up slavery’s spoils.
 
I’d have lived in Olney too
And written hymns with men
Whose poor hearts burnt with Gospel flame
And kindled it with pen.
 
But God has made me live today:
The world of Now is mine;
And so I’ll share that freeing flame
Which must redeem this time.

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