Answer to ‘Tis a Point

A short time ago I shared a beautiful little poem by John Newton: ‘Tis a Point I Long to Know. In that poem Newton professes the universal experience of the Christian in our searching, our wondering, our perplexity, and, eventually, our confidence. After I posted it, I learned that a friend of Newton’s penned a poetic response titled “Answer to ‘Tis a Point.”” I hope you’ll read it (aloud!) and be encouraged by it.

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What is this point you long to know,
methinks I hear you say, ’tis this –
I want to know I’m born of God,
an heir of everlasting bliss.

Is this the point you long to know?
The point is settled in my view –
for if you want to love your God,
it proves He first loved you.

I want to know Christ died for me,
I want to feel the seal within;
I want to know Christ’s precious blood,
was shed to wash away my sin.

I want to feel more love to Christ,
I want more liberty in prayer;
but when I looked within my heart,
it almost drives me to despair.

I want a mind more firmly fixed,
on Christ, my everlasting Head;
I want to feel my soul alive,
and not so barren and so dead.

I want more faith, a stronger faith,
I want to feel it’s power within;
I want to feel more love to God,
I want to feel less love to sin.

I want to live above the world,
and count it all but trash and toys;
I want more tokens of God’s grace,
some foretaste of eternal joys.

I want – I know not what I want,
I want that real, special good;
yet all my wants are summed up here,
I want to love! I want my God!

Is this the point you long to know?
The dead can neither feel nor see;
it is the slave that’s bound in chains,
that knows the worth of liberty.

So where a want like this is found,
I think I may be bold to say:
that God has fixed within thy heart,
what hell can never take away.

However small thy grace appears,
there’s plenty in thy Living Head;
these wants you feel, my Christian friend,
were never found amongst the dead.