I’m a dyed-in-the-wool psalm singer. But like my predecessor, Dr. William Young, I can still appreciate as poetry the rich, experimental hymns of the past. Here’s one from Joseph Hart (1712-1768) on the child of God struggling with assurance. It’s titled, “The Doubting Christian.”
1 If unbelief’s that sin accursed,
Abhorred by God above,
Because, of all opposers worst,
It fights against his love,
2 How shall a heart that doubts like mine,
Dismayed at every breath,
Pretend to live the life divine,
Or fight the fight of faith?
3 Conscience accuses from within,
And others from without;
I feel my soul the sink of sin,
And this produces doubt.
4 When thousand sins, of various dyes,
Corruptions dark and foul,
Daily within my bosom rise,
And blacken all my soul,
5 I groan, and grieve, and cry, and call
On Jesus for relief;
But, that delayed, to doubting fall,
Of all my sins the chief.
6 Such dire disorders vex my soul,
That ill engenders ill;
And when my heart I feel so foul,
I make it fouler still.
7 In this distress, the course I take
Is still to call and pray,
And wait the time when Christ shall speak,
And drive my foes away.
8 For that blest hour I sigh and pant,
With wishes warm and strong;
But dearest Lord, lest these should faint,
O do not tarry long.