How Foolish to the Carnal Mind

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Lyrics from A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, 1840

Hymn 163
1. How foolish to the carnal mind
The ord'nances of God appear,
They count them as a puff of wind,
And gaze with a contemptuous sneer.

2. What! buried now beneath the flood,
To wash away your guilt and sin?
Are not some other means as good,
Nay, better? why appear so mean?

3. Thus they despise the proffered grace,
And die and perish in their sins:
So the Assyrian leper thought,
What! wash in Jordan and be clean.

4. Nay, in a rage he turned away,
And would remain a leper still;
But, lo! his humbler servants sway
Prevailed at last, and turned his will.

5. He washed in Jordan's rolling flood,
And straightway found his flesh renewed;
The virtue of the word of God
Thus by experience he had proved.

6. Poor sinners now would fain perform
Some great and meritorious deed,
Bow to the systems men have formed,
And from their leprosy be freed.

7. Then, why not yield to simple means?
The Gospel is the power of God;
'Twill save the vilest from their sins
Who yield obedience to the word.