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Backsliding:

Dear Lord! accept a sinful heart,

Which of itself complains,

And mourns, with much and frequent smart,

The evil it contains.


There fiery seeds of anger lurk,

Which often hurt my frame;

And wait but for the tempter’s work,

To fan them to a flame.


Legality holds out a bribe

To purchase life from Thee;

And Discontent would fain prescribe

How Thou shalt deal with me.


While Unbelief withstands Thy grace,

And puts the mercy by;

Presumption, with a brow of brass,

Says, “Give me, or I die!”


How eager are my thoughts to roam,

In quest of what they love!

But ah! when duty calls them home,

How heavily they move!


Oh, cleanse me in a Saviour’s blood,

Transform my by Thy power,

And make me Thy beloved abode,

And let me roam no more.

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

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