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Too many, Lord, abuse Your grace

In this licentious day,

And while they boast they see Your face,

They turn their own away.

Your book displays a gracious light

That can the blind restore;

But these are dazzled by the sight,

And blinded still the more.

The pardon such presume upon,

They do not beg, but steal;

And when they plead it at Your throne,

Oh! Where’s the Spirit’s seal?

Was it for this, you lawless tribe,

The dear Redeemer bled?

Is this the grace the saints imbibe

From Christ the living head?

Ah, Lord, we know Your chosen few

Are fed with heavenly fare;

But these,—the wretched husks they chew,

Proclaim them what they are.

The liberty our hearts implore

Is not to live in sin;

But still to wait at Wisdom’s door,

Till Mercy calls us in.


- Olney Hymns, William Cowper, from Cowper’s Poems, Sheldon & Company, New York

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