Afflictions, tho’ they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent;
They stopp’d the prodigal’s career,
And caused him to repent.
“I’ll not die here for bread,
I’ll not die here for bread,” he cries;
“Nor starve in foreign lands:
My father’s house has large supplies,
And bounteous are His hands.”
“What have I gained by sin,” he said,
“But hunger, shame, and fear?
My father’s house abounds in bread,
While I am starving here!”
“I’ll go and tell him all I’ve done,
Fall down before his face;
Unworthy to be called his son,
I’ll seek a servant’s place.”
His father saw him coming back;
He saw, he ran, he smiled,
And threw his arms around the neck
Of his rebellious child!
“O father, I have sinned–forgive!”
“Enough,” the father said:
“Rejoice, my house; my son’s alive
For whom I mourned as dead!”
‘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.
John Newton/Arr. by Ira D. Sankey