Poets’ Corner – Vanity of the Creature Sanctified

1 Honey though the bee prepares,
An envenomed sting he wears;
Piercing thorns a guard compose
Round the fragrant blooming rose.

2 When we think we find a sweet,
Oft a painful sting we meet;
When the rose invites our eye,
We forget the thorn is nigh.

3 Why are thus our hopes beguiled,
Why are all our pleasures spoiled?
Why do agony and woe
From our choicest comforts grow?

4 Sin has been the cause of all,
‘Twas not thus before the fall:
What but pain, and thorn and sting,
From the root of sin can spring.

5 Now with every good we find
Vanity and grief entwined;
What we see, or what we fear,
All our joys embitter here.

6 Yet through the Redeemer’s love,
These afflictions blessings prove,
He the wounding stings and thorns,
Into healing medecines turns.

7 From the earth our hearts they wean,
Teach us on his arm to lean;
Urge us to a throne of grace,
Make us seek a resting place.

8 In the mansions of our King,
Sweets abound without a sting;
Thornless there the roses blow,
All the joys unmingled flow.

– John Newton, Olney Hymns #57


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