The Foolish Virgins

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John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 90

When descending from the sky
The Bridegroom shall appear;
And the solemn midnight cry,
Shall call professors near:
How the sound our hearts will damp!
How will shame o'erspread each face!
If we only have a lamp,
Without the oil of grace.

2. Foolish virgins then will wake
And seek for a supply;
But in vain the pains they take
To borrow or to buy:
Then with those they now despise,
Earnestly they'll wish to share;
But the best, among the wise,
Will have no oil to spare.

3. Wise are they, and truly blest,
Who then shall ready be
But despair will seize the rest,
And dreadful misery:
Once, they'll cry, we scorned to doubt,
Though in lies our trust we put;
Now our lamp of hope is out,
The door of mercy shut.

4. If they then presume to plead,
Lord open to us now;
We on earth have heard and prayed,
And with thy saints did bow:
He will answer from his throne,
Though you with my people mixed,
Yet to me you ne'er were known,
Depart, your doom is fixed.

5. O that none who worship here
May hear that word, Depart!
Lord impress a godly fear
On each professor's heart:
Help us, Lord, to search the camp,
Let us not ourselves beguile;
Trusting to a dying lamp
Without a stock of oil.

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