Father of lights! thy needful aid
To us that ask impart;

Father of lights! thy needful aid
To us that ask impart;
Mistrustful of ourselves, afraid
Of our own treacherous heart.

O'erwhelmed with justest fear, again
To thee for help we call:
Where many mightier have been slain,
By thee unsaved, we fall.

Unless restrained by grace we are,
In vain the snare we see;
We see, and rush into the snare
Of blind idolatry.

Ah! what avails superior light,
Without superior love?
We see the truth, we judge aright,
And wisdom's ways approve:

We mark the idolizing throng,
Their cruel fondness blame;
Their children's souls we know they wrong;
And we shall do the same.

In spite of our resolves, we fear
Our own infirmity;
And tremble at the trial near,
And cry, O God, to thee!

We soon shall do what we condemn,
And, down the current borne,
With shame confess our nature's stream
Too strong for us to turn.

Our only help in danger's hour,
Our only strength, thou art!
Above the world and Satan's power,
And greater than our heart!

Us from ourselves thou canst secure,
In nature's slippery ways;
And make our feeble footsteps sure
By thy sufficient grace.

If on thy promised grace alone
We faithfully depend,
Thou surely wilt preserve thy own,
And keep them to the end:

Wilt keep us tenderly discreet
To guard what thou hast given;
And bring our child with us to meet
At thy right hand in heaven.