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Love Constraining to Obedience

No strength of Nature can suffice
    To serve the Lord aright:
And what she has she misapplies,
    For want of clearer light.

How long beneath the Law I lay
    In bondage and distress;
I toiled the precept to obey,
    But toiled without success.

Then to abstain from outward sin
    Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
    I feel I hate it too.

Then all my servile works were done
    A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
    I freely choose His ways.

'What shall I do,' was then the word
    'That I may worthier grow?'
'What shall I render to the Lord?'
    Is my inquiry now.

To see the law by Christ fulfilled,
    And hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child,
    And duty into choice.

            -- William Cowper (1731-1800)

Live While You Live

'Live while you live,' the Epicure would say,
'And seize the pleasures of the present day.'
'Live while you live,' the sacred Preacher cries,
'And give to God each moment as it flies.'
Lord, in my views let both united be;
I live in pleasure, when I live to Thee.

            -- Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)

Ah! Give Me, Lord, the Single Eye

Ah! give me, Lord, the single eye,
    Which aims at nought but Thee:
I fain would live, and yet not I--
    But Jesus live in me.

Like Noah's dove, no rest I find
    But in Thy ark of peace;
Thy cross, the balance  of my mind;
    Thy wounds, my hiding-place.

In vain the tempter spreads the snare,
    If Thou my keeper art;
--Get thee behind me, God is near,
    My Saviour takes my part!

On Him my spirit I recline,
    Who put my nature on;
His light shall in my darkness shine,
    And guide me to His throne.

        -- Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778)

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