Oh, once I had a glorious view Of my redeeming Lord,
He said, "I'll be a God to you," And I believed His word.
But now I have a deeper stroke Than all my groanings are;
My God has me of late forsook; He's gone, I know not where.
Oh, what immortal joys I felt, On that celestial day,
When my hard heart began to melt, By love dissolved away!
By my complaint is bitter now, For all my joys are gone;
I've strayed! I'm left! I know not how; The light's from me withdrawn.
Once I could joy the saints to meet, To me they were most dear;
I then could stoop to wash their feet, And shed a joyful tear;
But now I meet them as the rest, And with them joyless stay;
My conversation's spiritless, Or else I've nought to say.
I once could mourn o'er dying men, And longed their souls to win;
I travailed for their poor children, And warned them of their sin;
But now my heart's so careless grown, Although they're drowned in vice,
My bowels o'er them cease to yearn -- My tears have left mine eyes.
I forward go in duty's way, But can't perceive Him there;
Then backward on the road I stray, But cannot find Him there;
On the left hand, where He doth work, Among the wicked crew,
And on the right I find Him not Among the favored few.
What shall I do? Shall I lie down And sink in deep despair?
Will He forever wear a frown, Nor hear my feeble prayer?
No; He will put His strength in me, He knows the way I've strolled,
And when I'm tried sufficiently I shall come forth as gold.
-- From the hymn book "Mercer's Cluster", and found with the tune Columbus
on p. 67 of the Sacred Harp
1 Then Job answered and said, 2 Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. 3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! 4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. 6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me. 7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge. 8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: 9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: 10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. -- Job 23:1-10
(Just wanted to make the comparison, rlv)