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Whether the Word Be Preached or Read

Charles Wesley

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.  — 2 Corinthians 3:6 KJV
39Ye search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. 40And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. — John 5:39-40 KJV

Whether the Word be preached or read,
No saving benefit I gain
From empty sounds or letters dead;
Unprofitable all and vain,
Unless by faith Thy Word I hear
And see its heav’nly character.

Unmixed with faith, the Scripture gives
No comfort, life, or light to see,
But me in darker darkness leaves,
Implunged in deeper misery,
O’erwhelmed with nature’s sorest ills;
The Spirit saves, the letter kills.

If God enlighten through His Word,
I shall my kind Enlight’ner bless;
But void and naked of my Lord,
What are all verbal promises?
Nothing to me, till faith divine
Inspire, inspeak, and make them mine.

Jesus, th’ appropriating grace
’Tis Thine on sinners to bestow.
Open mine eyes to see Thy face,
Open my heart Thyself to know.
And then I through Thy Word obtain
Sure present and eternal gain.


To discover more hymns, visit our growing list of Powerful Poetry.


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