The Doubter's Prayer




THE DOUBTER'S PRAYER
by: Anne Bronte (1820-1849)
      TERNAL Power, of earth and air!
      Unseen, yet seen in all around,
      Remote, but dwelling everywhere,
      Though silent, heard in every sound;

      If e'er thine ear in mercy bent,
      When wretched mortals cried to Thee,
      And if, indeed, Thy Son was sent,
      To save lost sinners such as me:

      Then hear me now, while kneeling here,
      I lift to thee my heart and eye,
      And all my soul ascends in prayer,
      OH, GIVE ME--GIVE ME FAITH! I cry.

      Without some glimmering in my heart,
      I could not raise this fervent prayer;
      But, oh! a stronger light impart,
      And in Thy mercy fix it there.

      While Faith is with me, I am blest;
      It turns my darkest night to day;
      But while I clasp it to my breast,
      I often feel it slide away.

      Then, cold and dark, my spirit sinks,
      To see my light of life depart;
      And every fiend of Hell, methinks,
      Enjoys the anguish of my heart.

      What shall I do, if all my love,
      My hopes, my toil, are cast away,
      And if there be no God above,
      To hear and bless me when I pray?

      If this be vain delusion all,
      If death be an eternal sleep,
      And none can hear my secret call,
      Or see the silent tears I weep!

      Oh, help me, God! For thou alone
      Canst my distracted soul relieve;
      Forsake it not: it is thine own,
      Though weak, yet longing to believe.

      Oh, drive these cruel doubts away;
      And make me know, that Thou art God!
      A faith, that shines by night and day,
      Will lighten every earthly load.

      If I believe that Jesus died,
      And waking, rose to reign above;
      Then surely Sorrow, Sin, and Pride,
      Must yield to Peace, and Hope, and Love.

      And all the blessed words He said
      Will strength and holy joy impart:
      A shield of safety o'er my head,
      A spring of comfort in my heart.

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