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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,
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?

Source: TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #523

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
Meter: 6.6.8.6
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

WEST JEFFERSON

«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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SOUTHWELL (Daman)


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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Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #3155
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)

Instances

Instances (1 - 3 of 3)
TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #3155

Tune InfoTextAudio

TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #523

TextAudio

TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #523a

Include 64 pre-1979 instances
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