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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.
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