The Good That I Would I Do Not

Representative Text

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,
Tho' I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne'er relent,
'Till Jesus makes it soft.

3 I would, but cannot love,
Tho' wooed 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 O could I but believe!
Then all would easy be;
I would but cannot--Lord relieve;
My help must come from thee!

Source: Hymns, Selected and Original: for public and private worship (1st ed.) #291

Author: John Newton

John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumul­tuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I would, but cannot sing
Title: The Good That I Would I Do Not
Author: John Newton
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



ST. THOMAS (Williams)

ST. THOMAS is actually lines 5 through 8 of the sixteen-line tune HOLBORN, composed by Aaron Williams (b. London, England, 1731; d. London, 1776) and published in his Collection (1763, 1765) as a setting for Charles Wesley's text "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" (570). The harmonization is by Lowell Maso…

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«based on a tune given in The Sound of the Dove, p. 142 "as sung by Elder Eddie Lyle, 24 July 1982, West Jefferson, North Carolina"»

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The Cyber Hymnal #3155
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The Cyber Hymnal #3155

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TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #523


TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #523a

Include 65 pre-1979 instances
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