Scripture Verse

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Introduction

portrait
Arthur J. Mason
(1851–1928)
© National Portrait Gallery

Words: Ar­thur J. Ma­son, in the sup­ple­ment to Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1889.

Music: St. Fran­cis Xa­vi­er John Stain­er, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
John Stainer
(1840–1901)

Lyrics

O God, to know that Thou art just
Gives hope and peace within;
We could not in a mercy trust
Which takes no count of sin.

I fain would open to Thy sight
My utmost wickedness;
Set, Lord, in Thy most searching light
What I have done amiss.

No stern and needless law was Thine—
Hard to be understood—
But plainly read in every line,
Holy, and just, and good.

Though basely weak my fallen race,
And masterful my foes,
I had th’omnipotence of grace
To conquer, if I chose.

Well did I know the tender Heart
I outraged by my sin,
Yet with the world I would not part,
Nor reign my passions in.

My fault it was, O Lord, most high,
And not my fate alone:
Thou canst not suffer sin, nor I
In any way atone.

Yet there’s a plea that I may trust—
Christ died that I might live!
Cleanse me, my God, for Thou art just;
Be faithful, and forgive.