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Afflictions, Though They Seem Severe

Afflictions, though they seem severe;

In mercy oft are sent;

They stopped the prodigal's career,

And forced him to repent.

Although he no relentings felt

Till he had spent his store;

His stubborn heart began to melt

When famine pinched him sore.

"What have I gained by sin, he said,

But hunger, shame, and fear;

My father's house abounds with bread,

While I am starving here.

I'll go, and tell him all I've done,

And fall before his face

Unworthy to be called his son,

I'll seek a servant's place."

His father saw him coming back,

He saw, and ran, and smiled;

And threw his arms around the neck

Of his rebellious child.

"Father, I've sinned-but O forgive!"

I've heard enough, he said,

Rejoice my house, my son's alive,

For whom I mourned as dead.

Now let the fatted calf be slain,

And spread the news around;

My son was dead, but lives again,

Was lost, but now is found.

'Tis thus the Lord His love reveals,

To call poor sinners home;

More than a father's love He feels,

And welcomes all that come.





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