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Hymn 78

John Newton


The sluggard.


The wishes that the sluggard frames,

Prov 6:10; 24:30; 22:13; 20:4

Of course must fruitless prove;

With folded arms he stands and dreams,

But has no heart to move.

His field from others may be known,

The fence is broken through;

The ground with weeds is overgrown,

And no good crop in view.

No hardship, he, or toil, can bear,

No difficulty meet;

He wastes his hours at home, for fear

Of lions in the street.

What wonder then if sloth and sleep,

Distress and famine bring!

Can he in harvest hope to reap,

Who will not sow in spring?

’Tis often thus, in soul concerns,

We gospel–sluggards see;

Who if a wish would serve their turns,

Might true believers be.

But when the preacher bids them watch,

And seek, and strive, and pray,

1Cor 9:24 Lk 13:24

At every poor excuse they catch,

A lion’s in the way!

To use the means of grace, how loath!

We call them still in vain;

They yield to their beloved sloth,

And fold their arms again.

Dear Savior, let thy pow’r appear,

The outward call to aid;

These drowsy souls, can only hear

The voice, that wakes the dead.

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