The Lord will happiness divine
On contrite hearts bestow:
Then tell me, gracious God, is mine
A contrite heart, or no?
I hear, but seem to hear in vain,
Insensible as steel;
If aught is felt, ’tis only pain,
To find I cannot feel.
I sometimes think myself inclin’d
To love thee, if I could;
But often feel another mind,
Averse to all that’s good.
My best desires are faint and few,
I fain would strive for more;
But when I cry, “My strength renew”
Seem weaker than before.
O make this heart rejoice or ache;
Decide this doubt for me;
And if it be not broken, break,
And heal it if it be.
Text: The History of Jenny Hickling: An Authentic Narrative (New York: American Tract Society, [c. 1825]; also Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 7, pp. 325-26.