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James Montgomery

"I have sinned against the Lord."--

I left the God of truth and light,

I left the God who gave me breath,

To wander in the wilds of night,

And perish in the snares of death.

Sweet was His service, and His yoke

Was light and easy to be borne;

Through all His bands of love I broke,

I cast away His gifts with scorn.


I danced in folly's giddy maze,

And drank the sea, and chased the wind;

But falsehood lurk'd in all her ways,

Her laughter left remorse behind.

I dream'd of bliss in pleasure's bowers,

While pillowing roses stayed my head;

But serpents hiss'd among the flowers;

I woke, and thorns were all my bed.

In riches, when I sought for joy,

And placed in sordid gain my trust,

I found that gold was all alloy,

And worldly treasure--fleeting dust.

I woo'd ambition, climb'd the pole,

And shone among the stars,--but fell,

Headlong in all my pride of soul,

Like Lucifer, from heaven to hell.

Heart-broken, friendless, poor, cast down,

Where shall the chief of sinners fly,

Almighty Vengeance! from thy frown--

Eternal Justice! from thine eye?

Lo, through the gloom of guilty fears,

My faith discerns a dawn of grace;

The Sun of Righteousness appears

In Jesus' reconciling face.

My suffering, slain, and risen Lord,

In sore distress I turn to Thee,

I claim acceptance on Thy word,

My God! my God! forsake not me.

Prostrate before the mercy seat,

I dare not, if I would, despair;

None ever perish'd at Thy feet,

And I will lie for ever there.

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