No strength of nature can suffice

No strength of nature can suffice

Author: William Cowper
Tune: ST. PAUL (Chalmers' Collection)
Published in 26 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright;
And what she has, she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.

2. How long beneath the Law I lay
In bondage and distress!
I toiled the precept to obey,
But toiled without success.

3. Then to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.

4. Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.

5. What shall I do was then the word,
That I may worthier grow?
What shall I render to the Lord?
Is my inquiry now.

6. To see the Law by Christ fulfilled,
And hear His pardoning voice;
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #4591

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: No strength of nature can suffice
Author: William Cowper

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Media

The Cyber Hymnal #4591
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The Cyber Hymnal #4591

Include 25 pre-1979 instances
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