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A Prayer Under Convictions

Father of Lights, from whom proceeds

Whate’er Thy every creature needs;

Whose goodness providently nigh

Feeds the young ravens when they cry;

To Thee I look: my heart prepare;

Suggest, and hearken to my prayer.

Since by Thy light myself I see

Naked, and poor, and void of Thee,

Thine eyes must all my thoughts survey,

Preventing what my lips would say:

Thou seest my wants; for help they call;

And ere I speak, Thou know’st them all.

Thou know’st the baseness of my mind,

Wayward, and impotent, and blind;

Thou know’st how unsubdued my will,

Averse to good, and prone to ill;

Thou know’st how wide my passions rove,

Nor check’d by fear, nor charm’d by love.

Fain would I know, as known by Thee,

And feel the indigence I see;

Fain would I all my vileness own,

And deep beneath the burden groan;

Abhor the pride that lurks within,

Detest and loathe myself and sin.

Ah, give me, Lord, myself to feel;

My total misery reveal:

Ah, give me, Lord, (I still would say,)

A heart to mourn, a heart to pray:

My business this, my only care,

My life, my every breath be prayer.

Scarce I begin my sad complaint,

When all my warmest wishes faint;

Hardly I lift my weeping eye,

When all my kindling ardours die;

Nor hopes nor fears my bosom move,

For still I cannot, cannot love.

Father, I want a thankful heart;

I want to taste how good Thou art;

To plunge me in Thy mercy’s sea,

And comprehend Thy love to me,—

The breadth, and length, and depth, and height

Of Love divinely infinite.

Father, I long my soul to raise,

And dwell for ever on Thy praise;

Thy praise with glorious joy to tell,

In ecstasy unspeakable;

While the full power of FAITH I know,

And reign triumphant here below.

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