The Great Complainer

I am a great complainer
That bears the name of Christ;
Come, all you Zion mourners,
And listen to my cries;
I’ve many sore temptations
And sorrows to my soul;
I feel my faith declining,
And my affections cold.

I wish it was with me now
As in the days of old,
The glorious light of Jesus
Was flowing in my soul,
But now I am distressed,
And no relief can find,
A hard, deceitful heart
And a wretched, wand’ring mind.

It is great pride and passion
Beset me on my way,
So I am filled with folly
And so neglect to pray;
I am so weak I stumble,
And so I’m left behind,
While others run rejoicing
And seem to lose no time.

–The Complainer, traditional American shapenote hymn. ca 1835


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