What a mournful life is mine

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General information

This is an hymn by John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, Hymn 51 of Book 1, entitled Living in Mesech, a refection on Psalm 120:5-7. Meter is 77. 77.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. What a mournful life is mine,
Fill with crosses, pains and cares!
Every work defiled with sin,
Every step beset with snares!

2. If alone I pensive sit,
I myself can hardly bear;
If I pass along the street,
Sin and riot triumph there.

3. Jesus! how my heart is pained,
How it mourns for souls deceived!
When I hear thy name profaned,
When I see thy Spirit grieved!


4. When thy children’s griefs I view,
Their distress becomes my own;
All I hear, or see, or do,
Makes me tremble, weep and groan.

5. Mourning thus I long had been,
When I heard my Savior’s voice;
"Thou hast cause to mourn for sin,
But in me thou may rejoice.”

6. This kind word dispelled my grief,
Put to silence my complaints;
Though of sinners I am chief,
He his ranked me with his saints.


7. Though constrained to dwell a while
Where the wicked strive and brawl;
Let them frown; so he but smile,
Heaven will make amends for all.

8. There, believers, we shall rest,
Free from sorrow, sin and fears;
Nothing there our peace molests,
Through eternal rounds of years.

9. Let us then the fight endure,
See our Captain looking down;
He will make the conquest sure,
And bestow the promised crown.

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