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The Heart Healed and Changed by Mercy

Sin enslaved my many years,
And led me bound and blind;
Till at length a thousand fears
Came swarming o’er my mind.
“Where,” said I, in deep distress,
“Will these sinful pleasures end'
How shall I secure my peace,
And make the Lord my friend?”

Friends and ministers said much
The gospel to enforce;
But my blindness still was such,
I chose a legal course:
Much I fasted, watch’d and strove,
Scarce would shew my face abroad,
Fear’d almost to speak or move,
A stranger still to God.

Thus afraid to trust His grace,
Long time did I rebel;
Till despairing of my case,
Down at His feet I fell:
Then my stubborn heart He broke,
And subdued me to His sway;
By a simple word He spoke,
“Thy sins are done away.”

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