Long Have I Seemed to Serve Thee, Lord

Long have I seem'd to serve Thee, Lord,
With unavailing Pain;
Fasted, pray'd, and read thy Word,
And heard it preach'd, in vain.

Oft did I with th' Assembly join,
And near Thine Altar drew;
A Form of Godliness was mine.
The Pow'r I never knew.

To please Thee, thus (at last I see)
In vain I hop'd, and strove:
For what are Outward Things to Thee,
Unless they spring from Love?

I see the perfect Law requires
Truth in the Inward Parts,
Our full Consent, our whole Desires,
Our Undivided Hearts.

But I of Means have made my Boast,
Of Means an Idol made,
The spirit in the Letter lost,
The Substance in the Shade.

I rested in the Outward Law,
Nor knew its deep Design;
The Length, and Breadth, I never saw,
And Heighth of Love Divine.

Where am I now, or what my Hope?
What can my Weakness do?
Jesu! to Thee my Soul looks up,
'Tis Thou must make it new.

Thine is the Work, and Thine alone.
But shall I idly stand?
Shall I the written Rule disown,
And slight my GOD's command?

Wildly shall I from Thine turn back,
A better Path to find;
Thine Holy Ordinance forsake,
And cast thy Words behind?

Forbid it, gracious Lord, that I
Should ever learn Thee so!
No-–let me with Thy word comply,
If I thy Love would know.

Suffice for me, that Thou, my Lord,
Hast bid me fast, and pray:
Thy Will be done, thy Name ador'd;
'Tis only mine t'obey.

Thou bidst me search the sacred Leaves,
And taste the Hallow'd Bread:
The kind Commands my Soul receives,
And longs on Thee to feed.

Still for thy Loving Kindness, Lord,
I in thy Temple wait,
I look to find Thee in thy word,
Or at thy Table meet.

Here, in Thine own appointed Ways,
I wait to learn Thy will:
Silent I stand before thy Face,
And hear Thee say, "Be still!

Be still-–and know that I am GOD!"
'Tis all I live to know,
To feel the Virtue of thy Blood,
And spread its Praise below.

I wait my Vigour to renew,
Thine Image to retrieve,
The Veil of outward Things pass thro',
And gasp in Thee to live.

I work; and own the Labour vain:
And thus from Works I cease:
I strive, and see my fruitless Pain,
'Till GOD create my Peace.

Fruitless, 'till Thou Thyself impart,
Must all my Efforts prove:
They cannot change a sinful Heart,
They cannot purchase Love.

I do the Thing thy Laws enjoin,
And then the Strife gives o'er:
To Thee I then the whole resign:
I trust in Means no more.

I trust in Him who stands between
The Father's Wrath and me:
Jesu! Thou great Eternal Mean,
I look for all from Thee.

Thy Mercy pleads, thy Truth requires,
Thy Promise calls Thee down:
Not for the sake of my Desires–-----
But Oh! regard Thine own!

I seek no Motive out of Thee:
Thine own Desires fulfil:
If now thy Bowels yearn on me,
On me perform thy Will.

Doom, if Thou canst, to endless Pains,
And drive me from thy Face:
But if thy stronger Love constrains,
Let me be sav'd by Grace.