What Contradictions Meet

What contradictions meet
In ministers employ!
It is a bitter sweet
A sorrow full of joy:
No other post affords a place
For equal honor, or disgrace!

Who can describe the pain
Which faithful preachers feel;
Constrained to speak, in vain,
To hearts as hard as steel?
Or who can tell the pleasures felt,
When stubborn hearts begin to melt?

The Savior’s dying love,
The soul’s amazing worth,
Their utmost efforts move,
And draw their bowels forth:
They pray and strive, their rest departs,
Till Christ be formed in sinners hearts.

If some small hope appear,
They still are not content;
But with a jealous fear,
They watch for the event;
Too oft they find their hopes deceived,
Then, how their inmost souls are grieved!

But when their pain succeed,
And from the tender blade
The ripening ears proceed,
Their toils are overpaid:
No harvest joy can equal theirs,
To find the fruit of all their cares.

On what has now been sown
Thy blessing, Lord bestow;
The power is thine alone,
To make it spring and grow;
Do thou the gracious harvest raise,
And thou, alone, shalt have the praise.

The Christian’s duty, exhibited in a series of hymns,