Martha and Mary

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 100

Martha her love and joy expressed
By care to entertain her guest;
While Mary sat to hear her Lord,
And could not bear to lose a word.

2. The principle in both the same,
Produced in each a different aim;
The one to feast the Lord was led,
The other waited to be fed.

3. But Mary chose the better part,
Her Saviour's words refreshed her heart;
While busy Martha angry grew,
And lost her time and temper too.

4. With warmth she to her sister spoke,
But brought upon herself rebuke;
One thing is needful, and but one,
Why do thy thoughts on many run?

5. How oft are we like Martha vexed,
Encumbered, hurried, and perplexed!
While trifles so engross our thought,
The one thing needful is forgot.

6. Lord teach us this one thing to choose,
Which they who gain can never lose;
Sufficient in itself alone,
And needful, were the world our own.

7. Let groveling hearts the world admire,
Thy love is all that I require!
Gladly I may the rest resign,
If the one needful thing be mine!

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