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The Just Shall Live by Faith
Come hither, all who serve the Lord,
Who fear and tremble at His word,
Hear me His lovingkindness tell;
Hear what He for my soul hath done,
And look to prove it in your own;
Expect His promised love to feel.
Come hither, all ye slaves of sin,
Ye beasts without, and fiends within,
Glad tidings unto all I show;
Jesus’s grace for all is free;
Jesus’s grace hath found out me,
And now He offers it to you.
Dead in the midst of life I was;
Unconscious of my Eden’s loss,
Long did I in the graves remain,
A fallen spirit, dark, and void,
Unknowing, and unknown of God,
I felt not, for I hugg’d, my chain.
He call’d: I answer’d to His call,
Confess’d my state, and mourn’d my fall,
And strove, and groan’d to be renew’d:
With gradual horror then I saw
The nature of the fiery law,
But knew not then a Saviour’s blood.
For ten long, legal years I lay
An helpless, though reluctant, prey
To pride, and lust, and earth, and hell:
Oft to repentance vain renew’d,
Self-confident for hours I stood,
And fell, and grieved, and rose, and fell.
I fasted, read, and work’d, and pray’d,
Call’d holy friendship to my aid,
And constant to the altar drew;
’Tis there, I cried, He must be found!
By vows, and new engagements bound,
All His commands I now shall do.
Soon as the trying hour return’d,
I sunk before the foes I scorn’d,
My firm resolves did all expire:
Why hath the law of sin prevail’d?
Why have the bonds of duty fail’d?
Alas! the tow hath touch’d the fire.
Hardly at last I all gave o’er,
I sought to free myself no more,
Too weak to burst the fowler’s snare;
Baffled by twice ten thousand foils.
I ceased to struggle in the toils,
And yielded to a just despair.
’Twas then my soul beheld from far
The glimmering of an orient Star,
That pierced and cheer’d my nature’s night:
Sweetly it dawn’d, and promised day;
Sorrow and sin it chased away,
And open’d into glorious light.
With other eyes I now could see
The Father reconciled to me;
Jesus the Just had satisfied:
Jesus had made my sufferings His,
Jesus was now my righteousness;
Jesus for me had lived and died.
From hence the Christian race I ran,
From hence the fight of faith began:
O, ’tis a good, but painful fight!
When heaviness o’erwhelms the soul,
When clouds and darkness round me roll,
And hide the Saviour from my sight.
Convinced my work was but begun,
How did I strive, and grieve, and groan,
Half yielded, yet refused to yield!
Tempted to give my Saviour up,
Deny my Lord, abjure my hope,
And basely cast away my shield.
My enemies and friends were join’d,
God’s children with the world’s combined
To shake my confidence in God:
Strongly they urged me to disclaim
My weaker title to the Lamb,
My interest in the atoning blood.
So frail, impure, and weak, could I
Presume for me He deign’d to die,
For me so cold, so void of love!
Jesu! they bid me Thee resign;
They would not have me call Thee mine,
Till the whole power of faith I prove.
What have I known since Thee I knew!
What trials hast Thou brought me through!
Hardly I yet can credit give:
Surely, my soul, ’tis all a dream
Saved as by fire (if saved) I seem,
If still the life of grace I live!
What have I felt, while torn within,
Full of the energy of sin,
Horror to think, and death to tell!
The Prince of Darkness ruled his hour,
Suffer’d to show forth all His power,
And shake me o’er the mouth of hell.
But, O! his tyranny is o’er!—
How shall my rescued soul adore
Thy strange, Thy unexampled grace!
A brand pluck’d from the fire I am;—
O Saviour, help me to proclaim,
Help me to show forth all Thy praise.
Fain would I spread through earth abroad
The goodness of my loving God,
And teach the world Thy grace to prove.
Unutterably good Thou art!
Read, Jesu, read my panting heart;
Thou seest it pants to break with love.
I only live to find Thee there:
The mansion for Thyself prepare,
In love anew my heart create:
The mighty change I long to feel:
For this my vehement soul stands still,
Restless—resign’d—for this I wait.
I know, my struggling nought avails,
My strength and foolish wisdom fails,
Vain is my toil, and vain my rest:
Only before Thy feet I lay,
The Potter Thou, and I the clay,
Thy will be done, Thy will is best.
I need not urge my eager plea,
The blood of sprinkling speaks for me,
Jesus for me vouchsafes to appear;
For me before the throne He stands,
Points to His side, and lifts His hands,
And shows that I am graven there!
Suffice it, Lord, I now believe:
To Thee my ransom’d soul I give;
Hide it, till all life’s storms be o’er:
O, keep it safe against that day!
Thou ever liv’st for me to pray:
Thy prayer be heard, I ask no more.
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