Long have I seemed to serve Thee, Lord,
With unavailing pain:
I fasted, prayed, and read Thy Word,
And heard it preached in vain.
Oft did I with th’assembly join,
And near Thine altar drew;
A form of godliness was mine,
The power I never knew.
I rested in the outward law;
Nor knew its deep design:
The length and breadth I never saw,
The height of love divine.
To please Thee thus, at length I see,
I vainly hoped 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.
Where am I now, or what my hope?
What can my weakness do?
Jesus! to Thee my soul looks up:
’Tis Thou must make it new.