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Poem by John Newton

Earthly Prospects Deceitful

Oft in vain the voice of truth,
Solemnly and loudly warns;
Thoughtless, unexperienced youth,
Though it hears, the warning scorns:
Youth in fancy's glass surveys
Life prolonged to distant years,
While the vast, imagined space
Filled with sweets and joys appears.

Awful disappointment soon
Overclouds the prospect gay;
Some, their sun goes down at noon,
Torn by death's strong hand away:
Where are then their pleasing schemes?
Where the joys they hoped to find?
Gone for ever, like their dreams,
Leaving not a trace behind.

Others, who are spared awhile,
Live to weep o'er fancy's cheat;
Find distress, and pain, and toil,
Bitter things instead of sweet:
Sin has spread a curse around,
Poisoned all things here below;
On this base polluted ground,
Peace and joy can never grow.

Grace alone can cure our ills,
Sweeten life, with all its cares;
Regulate our stubborn wills,
Save us from surrounding snares:
Though you oft have heard in vain,
Former years in folly spent;
Grace invites you yet again,
Once more calls you to repent.

Called again, at length, beware,
Hear the SaviourТs voice and live;
Lest he in his wrath should swear,
He no more will warning give:
Pray that you may hear and feel,
Ere the day of grace be past;
Lest your hearts grow hard as steel,
Or this year should prove your last.

John Newton

John Newton's other poems:
  1. The Disciples at Sea
  2. The Hiding Place
  3. Hay-time
  4. Zion, or the City of God
  5. Praise for the Incarnation

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