1 LONG have I seemed to serve thee, Lord,
With unavailing pain;
Fasted, and prayed, and read thy word,
And heard it preached in vain.
2 Oft did I with the assembly join,
And near thine altar drew;
A form of godliness was mine,
The power I never knew.
3 I rested in the outward law,
Nor knew its deep design;
The length and breadth I never saw,
And height, of love divine.
4 To please thee thus, at length I see,
Vainly I hoped and strove;
For what are outward things to thee,
Unless they spring from love?
5 I see the perfect law requires
Truth in the inward parts,
Our full consent, our whole desires,
Our undivided hearts.
6 But I of means have made my boast.
Of means an idol made;
The spirit in the letter lost,
The substance in the shade.
7 Where am I now, or what my hope?
What can my weakness do?
Jesus, to thee my soul looks up,
'Tis thou must make it new.