No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright:
And what she has she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.
How long beneath the law I lay
In bondage and distress;
I toll'd the precept to obey,
But toil'd without success.
Then, to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.
Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.
'What shall I do,' was then the word,
'That I may worthier grow?'
'What shall I render to the Lord?'
Is my inquiry now.
To see the law by Christ fulfilled
And hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.
More verses by William Cowper
- Olney Hymn 63: Not Of Works
- Olney Hymn 67: Longing To Be With Christ
- Olney Hymn 8: O Lord, I Will Praise Thee
- On A Bath, By Plato
- Olney Hymn 66: I Will Praise The Lord At All Times