Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth,
      The gift of saving grace;

Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth,
      The gift of saving grace;
And let the seed of sacred truth
      Fall in a fruitful place.

Grace is a plant, where'er it grows,
      Of pure and heavenly root;
But fairest in the youngest shows,
      And yields the sweetest fruit.

Ye careless ones, oh hear betimes
      The voice of sovereign love!
Your youth is stained with many crimes,
      But Mercy reigns above.

True, you are young, but there's a stone
      Within the youngest breast;
Or half the crimes which you have done
      Would rob you of your rest.

For you the public prayer is made;
      Oh join the public prayer!
For you the secret tear is shed;
      Oh shed yourselves a tear!

We pray that you may early prove
      The Spirit's power to teach;
You cannot be too young to love
      That Jesus whom we preach.

~ William Cowper

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