Love Constraining To Obedience
No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright;
And what she has she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.
How long beneath the law I lay
In bondage and distress;
I toiled the precept to obey,
But toiled without success.
Then to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.
Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose his ways.
“What shall I do,” was then the word,
“That I may worthier grow?”
“What shall I render to the Lord?”
Is my inquiry now.
To see the law by Christ fulfilled,
And hear his pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.
(The Poems of William Cowper, p. 70)