The Inward Warfare

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 130

Strange and mysterious is my life,
What opposites I feel within!
A stable peace, a constant strife,
The rule of grace, the pow'r of sin:
Too often I am captive led,
Yet daily triumph in my Head.

2. I prize the privilege of prayer,
But o! what backwardness to pray!
Though on the Lord I cast my care,
I feel its burden every day:
I seek his will in all I do,
Yet find my own is working too.

3. I call the promises my own,
And prize them more than mines of gold;
Yet though their sweetness I have known,
They leave me unimpressed and cold
One hour upon the truth I feed,
The next I know not what I read.

4. I love the holy day of rest,
When Jesus meets his gathered saints;
Sweet day, of all the week the best!
For its return my spirit pants:
Yet often, through my unbelief,
It proves a day of guilt and grief.

5. While on my Saviour I rely,
I know my foes shall loose their aim;
And therefore dare their pow'r defy,
Assured of conquest through his name:
But soon my confidence is slain,
And all my fears return again.

6. Thus different pow'rs within me strive,
And grace, and sin, by turns prevail;
I grieve, rejoice, decline, revive,
And vict'ry hangs in doubtful scale:
But Jesus has his promise passed,
That grace shall overcome at last.

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