To My Redeemer
A. H. M.
Alternate Zion's Harp Numbers: 77, 132
As I think of Thee, A gentle rapture
Overwhelms the soul that Thou dost love;
This is one of those bright precious moments
Granted Thy beloved from above.
One long train of dark and troubled hours
Shrouded me in youthful days gone by;
Since I've felt Thy great, almighty powers,
Light and strength flow on me from on high.
Ere I knew Thee and Thy sweet compassion,
My unhappy heart sought peace in vain;
For a thousand lusts of evil fashion
Burnt within me, yielding naught but pain.
Full of youthful zeal, I was pursuing
Nothing but deceit and vanity;
Sham and shadow I was ever wooing,
And the truth remained unknown to me.
Filled with false ambition, pride, and cunning,
Wanting meekness, sense of right, and light,
Into error's mazes I was running,
Oft unwilling, slave to sin's dread might.
Were I loved and honored, thus I fancied
All this longing would be satisfied;
And these came to me in ample measure,
Yet I felt that vacant, unfilled void.
Shepherdless in heathers dry and barren,
As a lost and famished sheep I strayed,
Finding naught to satisfy my hunger,
Naught whereby my thirst could be allayed.
O, in misery I would have perished,
Crushed by great affliction and distress,
Had I not by Thee been found and cherished,
Had I not by Thy grace been refreshed.
What a wretched life had been my portion;
Torn by doubt, remorse and fear was I,
Till at last my faith in Thee was anchored
And Thou heard'st my pleading and my cry!
Long a downcast spirit did depress me;
Now Thou cheerest both my heart and mind;
Only peace and happiness possess me
Since my blessed lot in Thee I find.
Since those sacred days of heav'nly blessing,
I can conquer over passions strong,
Over discontent and dark depression;
Heav'nly pleasure fills my breast with song.
Nor will there be dreary clouds above me
That will overcast my heaven's blue,
If I evermore, O Lord, will love Thee
Without discontent, to Thee be true.
Woe unto the world, such love despising,
That such joy in Jesus casts away;
For its value never realizing,
It is led by vanity astray!
O, forsake me not, Thou ever faithful,
Though to try me Thou Thy face dost hide;
Till I bear Thy likeness and impression,
Purge me as the gold is purified!
When my earthly life at last is finished
And in faith and love my race is run,
I shall praise Thee, Saviour, for Thy suff'rings
Which for me eternal rest has won.
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