The Legion Dispossessed

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 92

Legion was my name by nature,
Satan raged within my breast;
Never misery was greater,
Never sinner more possessed:
Mischievous to all around me,
To myself the greatest foe;
Thus I was, when Jesus found me,
Filled with madness, sin and woe.

2. Yet in this forlorn condition,
When he came to see me free;
I replied, to my Physician,
What have I to do with thee?
But he would not be prevented,
Rescued me against my will;
Had he stayed till I consented,
I had been a captive still.

3. Satan, though thou fain wouldst have it,
Know this soul is none of thine;
I have shed my blood to save it,
Now I challenge it for mine,
Though it long has thee resembled,
Henceforth it shall me obey;
Thus he spoke while Satan trembled,
Gnashed his teeth and fled away.

4. Thus my frantic soul he healed,
Bid my sins and sorrows cease;
Take, said he, my pardon sealed,
I have saved thee, go in peace:
Rather take me, Lord, to heaven,
Now thy love and grace I know;
Since thou hast my sins forgiven,
Why should I remain below?

5. Love, he said, will sweeten labors,
Thou hast something yet to do;
Go and tell your friends and neighbors,
What my love has done for you:
Live to manifest my glory,
Wait for heav'n a little space;
Sinners, when they hear thy story,
Will repent and seek my face.

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