[When] in July 1752, he sailed in a new ship from Liverpool to Guinea. “I never knew,” says he, “sweeter or more frequent hours of Divine Communion than in my last two voyages to Guinea, when I was almost in secluded society on shipboard. I have wandered through the woods, reflecting on the goodness of the LORD. Many a time I have restored the beautiful lines of Propertius* to the right owner; lines full of wonder and comfort when in the mouth of a believer:
‘In desert woods with thee, my God,
Where human footsteps never trod,
How happy I could be!
‘Thou my repose from care, my light,
Amidst the darkness of the night,
In solitude my company.’
My thoughts after reading this are: How am I communing with God and His word? Can I glorify God more in my life?
(I think what Mr. Newton is saying about the ‘lines of Propertius’ is that even though Propertius is not a christian, the poetry that he has written is of a higher order so he can address it to the Almighty God in beautiful lines of verse; without a qualm. – Henty Crew )