Too many, Lord, abuse Thy grace,
In this licentious day;
And while they boast they see Thy face,
They turn their own away.
Thy Book displays a gracious light
That can the blind restore;
But these are dazzled by the sight,
And blinded still the more.
The pardon, such presume upon,
They do not beg, but steal;
And when they plead it at Thy throne,
Oh! where’s the Spirit’s seal?
Was it for this, ye lawless tribe,
The dear Redeemer bled?
Is this the grace the saints imbibe
From Christ the living Head?
Ah, Lord, we know Thy chosen few
Are fed with heavenly fare;
But these, the wretched husks they chew
Proclaim them what they are.
The liberty our hearts implore
Is not to live in sin;
But still to wait at wisdom’s door,
Till mercy calls us in.
-William Cowper, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779).