The Beggar

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Melody -
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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 81

Encouraged by thy word
Of promise to the poor;
Behold, a beggar, Lord,
Waits at thy mercy's door!
No hand, no heart, O Lord, but thine,
Can help or pity wants like mine.

2. The beggar's usual plea
Relief from men to gain,
If offered unto thee,
I know thou would'st disdain:
And pleas which move thy gracious ear,
Are such as men would scorn to hear.

3. I have no right to say
That though I now am poor,
Yet once there was a day
When I possessed more:
Thou know'st that from my very birth,
I've been the poorest wretch on earth.

4. Nor can I dare profess,
As beggars often do,
Though great is my distress,
My wants have been but few:
If thou shouldst leave my soul to starve,
It would be what I well deserve.

5. 'Twere folly to pretend
I never begged before;
Or if thou now befriend,
I'll trouble thee no more:
Thou often hast relieved my pain,
And often I must come again.

6. Though crumbs are much too good
For such a dog as I;
No less than children's food
My soul can satisfy:
O do not frown and bid me go,
I must have all thou canst bestow.

7. Nor can I willing be
Thy bounty to conceal
From others, who like me,
Their wants and hunger feel:
I'll tell them of thy mercy's store,
And try to send a thousand more.

8. Thy thoughts, thou only wise!
Our thoughts and ways transcend,
Far as the arched skies
Above the earth extend:
Such pleas as mine men would not bear,
But God receives a beggar's prayer.

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