558. What contradictions meet

1 What contradictions meet
In ministers' employ!
It is a bitter sweet--
A sorrow full of joy;
No other post affords a place
For equal honour or disgrace!

2 Who can describe the pain
Which faithful preachers feel,
Constrain'd to preach in vain,
To hearts as hard as steel?
Or who can tell the pleasures felt,
When stubborn hearts begin to melt?

3 The Saviour's dying love,
The soul's amazing worth,
Their utmost efforts move,
And draw their bowels forth:
They pray and strive--their rest departs,
Till Christ be form'd in sinners hearts.

4 If some small hope appear,
They still are not content;
But with a jealous fear,
They watch for the event:
Too oft they find their hopes deceiv'd;
Then how their inmost souls are griev'd!

5 But when their pain succeed,
And from the tender blade
The rip'ning ears proceed,
Their toils are overpaid:
No harvest-joy can equal theirs,
To find the fruit of all their cares.

6 On what has now been sown
Thy blessing, Lord bestow;
The power is thine alone,
To make it spring and grow;
Do thou the gracious harvest raise,
And thou, alone, shalt have the praise.

Text Information
First Line: What contradictions meet
Publication Date: 1832
Meter: P. M.
Scripture: Galatians 4:16
Topic: Kingdom and Church of Christ: Pastoral; Minister's Complaint
Tune Information
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