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Love Increased by Suffering

“I love the Lord,” is still the strain

This heart delights to sing:

But I reply—your thoughts are vain,

Perhaps 'tis no such thing.

Before the power of love divine

Creation fades away;

Till only God is seen to shine

In all that we survey.

In gulfs of awful night we find

The God of our desires;

'Tis there he stamps the yielding mind,

And doubles all its fires.

Flames of encircling love invest,

And pierce it sweetly through;

'Tis filled with sacred joy, yet pressed

With sacred sorrow too.

Ah love! my heart is in the right—

Amidst a thousand woes,

To thee, its ever new delight,

And all its peace it owes.

Fresh causes of distress occur

Where'er I look or move;

The comforts I to all prefer

Are solitude and love.

Nor exile I nor prison fear;

Love makes my courage great;

I find a Saviour every where,

His grace in every state.

Nor castle walls, nor dungeons deep,

Exclude his quickening beams;

There I can sit, and sing, and weep,

And dwell on heavenly themes.

There sorrow, for his sake, is found

A joy beyond compare;

There no presumptuous thoughts abound,

No pride can enter there.

A Saviour doubles all my joys,

And sweetens all my pains,

His strength in my defence employs,

Consoles me and sustains.

I fear no ill, resent no wrong;

Nor feel a passion move,

When malice whets her slanderous tongue;

Such patience is in love.

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