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Hymn 81

John Newton


The beggar.

Mt 7:7-8

Encouraged by thy word

Of promise to the poor;

Behold, a beggar, LORD,

Waits at thy mercy’s door!

No hand, no heart, O LORD, but thine,

Can help or pity wants like mine.

The beggar’s usual plea

Relief from men to gain,

If offered unto thee,

I know thou would’st disdain:

And pleas which move thy gracious ear,

Are such as men would scorn to hear.

I have no right to say

That though I now am poor,

Yet once there was a day

When I possessed more:


Thou know’st that from my very birth,

I’ve been the poorest wretch on earth.

Nor can I dare profess,

As beggars often do,

Though great is my distress,

My wants have been but few:

If thou shouldst leave my soul to starve,

It would be what I well deserve.

’Twere folly to pretend

I never begged before;

Or if thou now befriend,

I’ll trouble thee no more:

Thou often hast relieved my pain,

And often I must come again.

Though crumbs are much too good

For such a dog as I;

No less than children’s food

My soul can satisfy:

O do not frown and bid me go,

I must have all thou canst bestow.

Nor can I willing be

Thy bounty to conceal

From others, who like me,

Their wants and hunger feel:

I’ll tell them of thy mercy’s store,

And try to send a thousand more.

Thy thoughts, thou only wise!

Our thoughts and ways transcend,

Far as the arched skies

Above the earth extend:

Isa 45:8,9 102

Such pleas as mine men would not bear,

But God receives a beggar’s prayer.

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