I Would But Cannot Sing

by

I WOULD BUT CANNOT SING

Words: John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), number 126.

 

I would, but cannot sing,
Guilt has untuned my voice;
The serpent sin’s envenomed sting
Has poisoned all my joys.

I know the Lord is nigh,
And would, but cannot, pray;
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent
Though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
Till Jesus make it soft.

I would but cannot love,
Though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have pow’r to move
A soul so base as mine.

I would, but cannot rest
In God’s most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
Yet murmur at it still!

Oh could I but believe!
Then all would easy be;
I would, but cannot, Lord relieve,
My help must come from Thee!

But if indeed I would,
Though I can nothing do,
Yet the desire is something good,
For which my praise is due.

By nature prone to ill,
Till Thine appointed hour
I was as destitute of will,
As now I am of pow’r.

Wilt Thou not crown, at length,
The work Thou hast begun?
And with a will, afford me strength
In all Thy ways to run.

(HT: Cyber Hymnal)

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