‘Tis a thing I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thoughts:
Do I love the Lord, or no?
Am I His? or am I not?
If I love, why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?
Hardly, sure, can they be worse,
Who have never heard His name.
Could my heart so hard remain,
Prayer a task and burden prove,
Every trifle give me pain,
If I knew a Savior’s love?
When I pray, or hear, or read,
Sin seems mixed with all I do;
Ye who love the Lord indeed,
Tell me, is it thus with you?
Yet I mourn my stubborn will,
Find my sin a grief and thrall;
Should I grieve for what I feel,
If I did not love at all?
Could I joy His saints to meet,
Love the ways I once abhorred,
Find at times the promise sweet,
If I did not love the Lord?
Lord, decide the doubtful case,
Thou who art Thy people’s Sun;
Shine upon Thy work of grace,
If it be indeed begun.
Let me love Thee more and more,John Newton
If I love at all, I pray;
If I have not loved before,
Help me to begin today.
Copied from my grandmother’s hymnal, Hymn Book, Methodist Episcopal Church, South: Nashville, TN, 1901, Hymn #362.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Psalm 139:23-24
Note: The hymns in this hymnal are not titled. So when I do not know the hymn, I make up a title or simply use the first line.
Photo taken in Milton, FL, 2021
Information about Horatius Bonar from Hymnary.org
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