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'Tis a Point I Long to Know


by John Newton


'Tis a point I long to know,
oft it causes anxious thought;
do I love the Lord, or no?
am I His, or am I not?

If I am, why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?
Hardly, sure, can they be worse,
who have never heard His name!



Could my heart so hard remain,
pray'r a task and burden prove;
ev'ry trifle give me pain,
if I knew a Saviour's love?



When I turn my eyes within,
all is dark, and vain, and wild;
fill'd with unbelief and sin,
can I deem myself a child?



If I pray, or hear, or read,
sin is mix'd with all I do;
you that love the Lord indeed,
tell me, Is it so with you?



Yet I mourn my stubborn will,
find my sin, a grief, and thrall;
should I grieve for what I feel,
if I did not love at all?



Could I joy His saints to meet,
choose the ways I once abhorr'd,
find, at times, the promise sweet,
if I did not love the Lord?



Lord decide the doubtful case!
Thou Who art Thy people's sun;
shine upon Thy work of grace,
if it be indeed begun.



Let me love Thee more and more,
if I love at all, I pray;
if I have not lov'd before,
help me to begin today.






Answer to "Tis a Point"


by John Newton's Friend, Daniel Herbert


What is this point you long to know,
methinks I hear you say, 'tis this -
I want to know I'm born of God,
an heir of everlasting bliss.



Is this the point you long to know?
The point is settled in my view -
for if you want to love your God,
it proves He first loved you.



I want to know Christ died for me,
I want to feel the seal within;
I want to know Christ's precious blood,
was shed to wash away my sin.



I want to feel more love to Christ,
I want more liberty in prayer;
but when I looked within my heart,
it almost drives me to despair.



I want a mind more firmly fixed,
on Christ, my everlasting Head;
I want to feel my soul alive,
and not so barren and so dead.



I want more faith, a stronger faith,
I want to feel it's power within;
I want to feel more love to God,
I want to feel less love to sin.



I want to live above the world,
and count it all but trash and toys;
I want more tokens of God's grace,
some foretaste of eternal joys.



I want - I know not what I want,
I want that real, special good;
yet all my wants are summed up here,
I want to love! I want my God!



Is this the point you long to know?
The dead can neither feel nor see;
it is the slave that's bound in chains,
that knows the worth of liberty.



So where a want like this is found,
I think I may be bold to say:
that God has fixed within thy heart,
what hell can never take away.




However small thy grace appears,
there's plenty in thy Living Head;
these wants you feel, my Christian friend,
were never found amongst the dead.


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