Prayer For a Blessing

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William Cowper, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 2, hymn 8

Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth
The gift of saving grace;
And let the seed of sacred truth
Fall in a fruitful place.

2. Grace is a plant, where'er it grows,
Of pure and heav'nly root;
But fairest in the youngest shows,
And yields the sweetest fruit;

3. Ye careless ones, O hear betimes
The voice of sovereign love!
Your youth is stained with many crimes,
But mercy reigns above.

4. True, you are young, but there's a stone
Within the youngest breast;
Or half the crimes which you have done.
Would rob you of your rest.

5. For you the public prayer is made,
O! join the public prayer!
For you the secret tear is shed,
O shed yourselves a tear.

6. We pray that you may early prove
The Spirit's power to teach;
You cannot be too young to love
That Jesus whom we preach.

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