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523a. I would, but cannot, sing

1. I would, but cannot, sing,
I would, but cannot, pray;
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away.

2. I would, but can’t, repent,
Though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
Till Jesus makes it soft.

3. I would, but cannot, love,
Though loved by love divine;
No arguments have pow’r to move
A soul so base as mine.

4. I would, but cannot, rest
In God’s most holy will;
I know what he appoints is best,
Yet murmur at it still.

5. Oh, could I but believe!
Then all would easy be;
I would, but cannot — Lord, relieve,
My help must come from thee!

6. But if indeed I would,
Though I can nothing do,
Yet the desire is something good,
For which my praise is due.

7. By nature prone to ill,
Till thine appointed hour,
I was as destitute of will
As now I am of power.

8. Wilt thou not crown at length
The work thou hast begun?
And, with the will, afford me strength
In all thy ways to run?

Text Information
First Line: I would, but cannot, sing
Title: I would, but cannot, sing
Original Language: English
Author: John Newton
Publication Date: 2009
Topic: Powerlessness; Sinfulness
Source: Goble 159
Tune Information
Composer: Aaron Williams (1770)

MIDI file: St. Thomas
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

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