Joseph Hart was an unbeliever. He had periods in his life where he lived in outward sin, and periods where he lived an outwardly moral life but inwardly committed the sin of self-righteousness, trusting his own works to save him. Then, for a time, he asserted that it didn’t matter how you live, as long as you believed God. (If this sounds to you like some people around today, it does to me, too.) During this period of his life, Hart wrote a pamphlet titled, “The Unreasonableness of Religion” against John Wesley.
In 1757, at the age of 45, Joseph Hart was saved by God’s grace through the preaching of George Whitefield. He repented of his past self-righteousness, repudiated his pamphlet and apologised to Wesley, and began a life of service to the Lord that lasted for 11 years until the Lord took him Home.
Hart wrote many hymns, and two years after his conversion he published Hymns Composed on Various Subjects, which he supplemented in 1762. The most famous of his hymns is Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy. If you don’t know it, click through, listen to the tune, and read the words! It’s a great hymn. (You have my permission to click through if you know it and just want to hear it, too. 🙂 )
This hymn is just a single stanza, though originally it was the final stanza of seven. It is sometimes sung, “This God is the God we adore” or “This, this is the God we adore.”
How Good is the God We Adore
How good is the God we adore
Our faithful, unchangeable friend
His love is as great as His power
And knows neither measure nor end
‘Tis Jesus the first and the last
Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home
We’ll praise Him for all that is past
And trust Him for all that’s to come.
We sing it to the tune GREENFIELDS, by J.S. Bach and Lewis Edson. The tune is most often used with John Newton’s hymn, “How tedious and tasteless the hours, when Jesus no longer I see.” The video below plays the tune three times, though Newton’s hymn has more verses. You can look up Newton’s hymn, or just sing this one three times, but I should warn you — if you sing this three times, you might be singing it all day!
The hymn is packed with Scriptural teaching:
“How good is the God we adore”
Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good.
I John 4:19 We love Him, because He first loved us.
“Our faithful, unchangeable friend”
I Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.
Malachi 3:6 I am the Lord, I change not.
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends.
“His love is as great as His power”
Romans 1:4 Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
“And knows neither measure nor end”
Psalm 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.
Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him.
“‘Tis Jesus the first and the last”
Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
“Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home”
Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
John 16:13 Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
“We’ll praise Him for all that is past”
I Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
“And trust Him for all that’s to come.”
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.
Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.