According unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1–2
Words: James Merrick (1720–1769).
If you know where to get a good picture of Merrick (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
O turn, great Ruler of the skies,
Turn from my sin Thy searching eyes,
Nor let th’offenses of my hand,
Within Thy book, recorded stand.
Prompt is Thy power, when ills invade,
The weak and contrite soul to aid:
Then let Thy clemency divine
Conspicuous in my pardon shine.
O let the fullness of Thy grace
Each error of my life efface!
But Thy decrees, almighty Sire!
Integrity of heart require.
Give me a will to Thine subdued,
A conscience pure, a soul renewed;
Nor let me, wrapped in endless gloom,
An outcast from Thy presence roam.
Oh, let Thy Spirit to my heart
Once more His quickening aid impart;
My mind from every fear release,
And soothe my troubled thoughts to peace.
So shall the souls whom error’s sway
Has urged from Thee, blest Lord, to stray,
From me Thy heavenly precepts learn,
And humbled to their God return.
The heart that, taught its guilt to know,
Repentant heaves with inward woe,
Shall finds its prayers, its groans, its sighs,
To Thee in full acceptance rise.