The wheat and tares. L.M.
Though in the outward church below
The wheat and tares together grow;
Jesus ere long will weed the crop,
And pluck the tares, in anger, up.
Will it relieve their horrors there,
To recollect their stations here?
How much they heard, how much they knew,
How long amongst the wheat they grew!
O! this will aggravate their case!
They perished under means of grace;
To them the word of life and faith,
Became an instrument of death.
We seem alike when thus we meet,
Strangers might think we all are wheat;
But to the Lord's all-searching eyes,
Each heart appears without disguise.
The tares are spared for various ends,
Some, for the sake of praying friends;
Others, the LORD, against their will,
Employs his counsels to fulfill.
But though they grow so tall and strong,
His plan will not require them long;
In harvest, when he saves his own,
The tares shall into hell be thrown.
John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779