My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.@Galatians 4:19
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John Newton (1725-1807)

John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), Book 2, number 26. Traveling in birth for souls.

Arthur’s Seat John Goss, Hymns and Songs of Praise (New York: 1874) (🔊 pdf nwc).

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John Goss (1800-1880)

What contradictions meet
In ministers’ employ!
It is a bitter sweet,
A sorrow full of joy:
No other post affords a place
For equal honor, or disgrace!

Who can describe the pain
Which faithful preachers feel;
Constrained to speak, in vain,
To hearts as hard as steel?
Or who can tell the pleasures felt,
When stubborn hearts begin to melt?

The Savior’s dying love,
The soul’s amazing worth;
Their utmost efforts move,
And draw their bowels forth:
They pray and strive, their rest departs,
Till Christ be formed in sinners’ hearts.

If some small hope appear,
They still are not content;
But, with a jealous fear,
They watch for the event:
Too oft they find their hopes deceived,
Then, how their inmost souls are grieved!

But when their pains succeed,
And from the tender blade
The ripening ears proceed,
Their toils are overpaid:
No harvest joy can equal theirs,
To find the fruit of all their cares.

On what has now been sown
Thy blessing, Lord, bestow;
The power is Thine alone,
To make it spring and grow:
Do Thou the gracious harvest raise,
And Thou, alone, shalt have the praise.