Scripture Verse

You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. Matthew 23:27


John B. Dykes (1823–1876)

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems (Bris­tol, Eng­land: Fe­lix Far­ley, 1742), pag­es 63–65.

Music: Ol­iv­et (Dykes) John B. Dykes, 1870 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Charles Wesley (1707–1788)


Ah! my dear, lov­ing Lord,
To Thee what shall I say?
Behold I trem­ble at Thy word,
And scarce pre­sume to pray:
Ten thou­sand wants have I,
Alas! I all things want,
And Thou hast bid me al­ways cry.
And ne­ver, ne­ver faint.

Yet now, Thou know’st, I fear,
I fear to ask Thy grace,
So oft­en have I, Lord, drawn near.
And mocked Thee to Thy face:
With all pol­lu­tions stained,
Thy hal­lowed courts I trod,
Thy name and temple I pro­faned
And dared to call Thee God.

Nigh with my lips I drew,
My lips were all un­clean;
Thee with my heart I ne­ver knew,
My heart was full of sin;
Far from the liv­ing God,
As far as hell from Heav’n,
Thy pu­ri­ty I still ab­horred,
Nor wished to be for­giv’n.

My na­ture I ob­eyed,
My own de­sires pur­sued,
And still a den of thieves I made,
The hal­lowed house of God;
The wor­ship He ap­proves
To Him I would not pay;
My self­ish ends, and crea­ture-loves
Had stole my heart away.

My sin and nak­ed­ness
I stu­died to dis­guise,
Spoke to my soul a flat­ter­ing peace,
And put out mine own eyes;
In fig leaves I ap­peared,
Nor with my form would part,
But still re­tained a con­science feared,
An hard, de­ceit­ful heart.

A good­ly, for­mal saint
I long ap­peared in sight,
By self and Sa­tan taught to paint
My tomb, my na­ture, white:
The Pha­ri­see with­in
Still un­dis­turbed re­mained,
The strong man armed with guilt of sin
Safe in his pa­lace reigned.

But O! the jeal­ous God
In my be­half came down,
Jesus Him­self the strong­er showed,
And claimed me for His own:
My Spi­rit He alarmed,
And brought into dis­tress,
He shook, and bound the strong man, armed
In His self right­eous­ness.

Faded my vir­tu­ous show,
My form with­out the pow­er,
The sin con­vinc­ing spi­rit blew,
And blast­ed ev­ery flow­er;
My mouth was stopped, and shame
Covered my guil­ty face,
I fell on the aton­ing Lamb,
And I was saved by grace.