Ye simple souls, that stray

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This is an hymn by Charles Wesley, 1747, in Hymns for Those that Seek and Those that have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ (Redemption Hymns), No. 16. Meter is 66. 66. 86. 86.

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Text and translations

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1. Ye simple souls, that stray
Far from the path of peace
(That unfrequented way
To life and happiness)
How long will ye your folly love,
And throng the downward road,
And hate the wisdom from above,
And mock the sons of God?

2. Madness and misery
Ye count our life beneath,
And nothing great can see
Or glorious in our death:
As born to suffer and to grieve
Beneath your feet we lie,
And utterly condemned we live,
And unlamented die.


3. Poor pensive sojourners,
O’er-whelmed with griefs and woes,
Perplexed with needless fears,
And pleasure’s mortal foes;
More irksome than a gaping tomb
Our sight ye cannot bear,
Wrapped in the melancholy gloom
Of fanciful despair.

4. So wretched, and obscure,
The men whom ye despise,
So foolish, weak, and poor
Above your scorn we rise:
Our conscience in the Holy Ghost
Can witness better things,
For he whose blood is all our boast
Hath made us priests and kings.


5. Riches unsearchable
In Jesus’ love we know,
And pleasures from the well
Of life our souls o’er-flow:
From him the Spirit we receive
Of wisdom, grace, and power,
And alway sorrowful we live
Rejoicing evermore.

6. Angels our servants are,
And keep in all our ways,
And in their hands they bear
The sacred sons of grace;
Our guardians to that heavenly bliss
They all our steps attend,
And God himself our Father is,
And Jesus is our friend.


7. With him we walk in white,
We in his image shine,
Our robes are robes of light,
Our righteousness divine:
On all the grovelling kings of earth
With pity we look down,
And claim, in virtue of our birth,
A never-fading crown.

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