1 In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear;
'Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
2 I saw one hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me,
As near his cross I stood.
3 Sure, never to my latest breath
Can I forget that look:
It seemed to charge me with his death,
Though not a word he spoke.
4 My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt,
And helped to nail him there.
5 Alas I knew not what I did,
But now my tears are vain:
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.
6 A second look he gave, which said,
"I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I'll die that thou mayest live."
7 Thus, while his death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
(Such is the mystery of grace)
It seals my pardon too.
8 With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
My spirit now is filled,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by him I killed.
Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803