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A Minister’s Confession



I know that I often do thy work
        without thy power,
  and sin by my dead, heartless, blind service,
    my lack of inward light, love, delight,
    my mind, heart, tongue moving
      without thy help.
I see sin in my heart in seeking the approbation
    of others;
This is my vileness, to make men’s opinion
    my rule, whereas
  I should see what good I have done,
    and give thee glory,
  consider what sin I have committed
    and mourn for that.
It is my deceit to preach, and pray,
  and to stir up others’ spiritual affections
    in order to beget commendations,
  whereas my rule should be daily
    to consider myself more vile than any man
      in my own eyes.
But thou dost show thy power by my frailty,
  so that the more feeble I am,
    the more fit to be used,
  for thou dost pitch a tent of grace
    in my weakness.
Help me to rejoice in my infirmities
    and give thee praise,
  to acknowledge my deficiencies before others
    and not be discouraged by them,
  that they may see thy glory more clearly.
Teach me that I must act by a power supernatural,
  whereby I can attempt things above my strength,
  and bear evils beyond my strength,
    acting for Christ in all,
    and have his superior power to help me.
Let me learn of Paul
  whose presence was mean,
  his weakness great,
  his utterance contemptible,
  yet thou didst account him faithful and blessed.
Lord, let me lean on thee as he did,
    and find my ministry thine.

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