No Strength of Nature Can Suffice

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, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­i­ver, 1779).

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