Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Hebrews 3:12
Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns Occasioned by the Earthquake, March 8, 1750, Part 2 (London: Strahan, 1750), number 5, alt.
How vain, great God, and worse than vain,
How sinful our pretended pain
In this our evil day!
Unless we to our Smiter turn,
The cause of all our evils mourn,
And cast our sins away.
’Gainst vice we partially declaim,
With undiscerning censure blame
Our nation’s wickedness:
But O! The sin that loudest cries
For all the vengeance of the skies,
We never once confess.
O might we from our hearts repent
Of scorning Him Thy pity sent
To heal our sin and grief!
Assist us through Thy Spirit’s power,
To own, and feelingly deplore
Our damning unbelief.
Convince the wretches who deny
Their Lord, that stooped for them to die,
Who triumph in His pain,
Who trample on His precious blood,
And hate, and scoff the dying God,
And crucify again.
Confound the misbelieving pride
Of those that impiously divide
Thy dearest Son and Thee,
Who will not Him Thine equal own,
But madly threaten to dethrone
The filial Deity.
And O! Almighty Son of God,
Into the blind self righteous crowd
Thy sharpest arrows dart;
The men who infidels condemn,
Nor ever knew themselves the same,
Mere infidels in heart.
A formal self deceiving race,
Who mock the counsel of Thy grace,
The sense of sins forgiven,
The power of godliness explode,
The witness, and the peace of God,
And faith that leads to Heaven.
Forgive us, Lord, for such we were,
And all our guilty brethren spare,
Our unbelief reprove,
Give us that root of sins to own,
And make our wounded spirits groan
Beneath their want of love.
Let all the faithless nation cry,
Redeem us, Savior, or we die,
A second death to feel:
O Jesus, Thine only name and blood
Can save us from the wrath of God,
Can ransom us from hell.
On Thee our dying souls we cast,
Our dying souls receive at last,
And in Thy arms embrace,
To triumph in Thy pardoning love,
And sing with all the saved above
Thine everlasting praise.