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Hymn 56

John Newton


Vanity of the creature sanctified.

Honey though the bee prepares,

An envenomed sting he wears;

Piercing thorns a guard compose

Round the fragrant blooming rose.

Where we think to find a sweet,

Oft a painful sting we meet:

When the rose invites our eye,

We forget the thorn is nigh.

Why are thus our hopes beguiled?

Why are all our pleasures spoiled?

Why do agony and woe

From our choicest comforts grow?

Sin has been the cause of all!

’Twas not thus before the fall:

What but pain, and thorn, and sting,

From the root of sin can spring?

Now with every good we find

Vanity and grief entwined;

What we feel, or what we fear,

All our joys embitter here.

Yet, through the Redeemer’s love,

These afflictions blessings prove;


He the wounding stings and thorns,

Into healing med’cines turns.

From the earth our hearts they wean,

Teach us on his arm to lean;

Urge us to a throne of grace,

Make us seek a resting place.

In the mansions of our King

Sweets abound without a sting;

Thornless there the roses blow,

And the joys unmingled flow.

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