1 Afflictions, though they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent;
They stopped the prodigal’s career,
And forced him to repent;
Although he no relenting felt
Till he had spent his store;
His stubborn heart began to melt,
When famine pinched him sore.
2 “What have I gained by sin,” he said,
“But hunger, shame and fear?
My father’s house abounds in bread,
Whilst 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”
3 His father saw him coming back,
He saw, and run, 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 mourn’d as dead.
4 “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.