THE OLNEY HYMNS.

 

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I.  WALKING WITH GOD.—Genesis v.24.

 

Oh! for a closer walk with God,

A calm and heavenly frame;

A light to shine upon the road

That leads me to the Lamb!

 

Where is the blessedness I knew

When first I saw the Lord?

Where is the soul-refreshing view

Of Jesus and his word?

 

What peaceful hours I once enjoy’d!

How sweet their memory still!

But they have left an aching void,

The world can never fill.

 

Return, O holy Dove, return!

Sweet messenger of rest:

I hate the sins that made thee mourn,

And drove thee from my breast.

 

The dearest idol I have known,

Whate’er that idol be,

Help me to tear it from thy throne,

And worship only thee.

 

So shall my walk be close with God,

Calm and serene my frame:

So purer light shall mark the road

That leads me to the Lamb.

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II.  JEHOVAH-JIREH.  THE LORD WILL PROVIDE.—Genesis xxii.14.

 

The saints should never be dismay’d,

Nor sink in hopeless fear;

For when they least expect his aid,

The Saviour will appear.

 

This Abraham found: he raised the knife;

God saw, and said, “Forbear!

Yon ram shall yield his meaner life;

Behold the victim there.”

 

Once David seem’d Saul’s certain prey;

But hark! the foe’s at hand;[1]

Saul turns his arms another way,

To save the invaded land.

 

When Jonah sunk beneath the wave,

He thought to rise no more;[2]

But God prepared a fish to save,

And bear him to the shore.

 

Blest proofs of power and grace divine,

That meet us in his word!

May every deep-felt care of mine

Be trusted with the Lord.

 

Wait for his seasonable aid,

And though it tarry, wait:

The promise may be long delay’d,

But cannot come too late.

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III.  JEHOVAH-ROPHI.  I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE.—Exodus xv.26.

 

Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are,

Waiting to feel thy touch:

Deep-wounded souls to thee repair,

And, Saviour, we are such.

 

Our faith is feeble, we confess,

We faintly trust thy word;

But wilt thou pity us the less?

Be that far from thee, Lord!

 

Remember him who once applied,

With trembling, for relief;

“Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried,[3]

”Oh, help my unbelief!”

 

She too, who touch’d thee in the press,

And healing virtue stole,

Was answer’d, “Daughter, go in peace,[4]

Thy faith hath made thee whole.”

 

Conceal’d amid the gathering throng,

She would have shunn’d thy view;

And if her faith was firm and strong,

Had strong misgivings too.

 

Like her, with hopes and fears we come,

To touch thee, if we may;

Oh! send us not despairing home,

Send none unheal’d away.

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IV.  JEHOVAH-NISSI.  THE LORD MY BANNER.—Exodus xvii.15.

 

By whom was David taught

To aim the deadly blow,

When he Goliath fought,

And laid the Gittite low?

Nor sword nor spear the stripling took,

But chose a pebble from the brook.

 

‘Twas Israel’s God and King

Who sent him to the fight;

Who gave him strength to sling,

And skill to aim aright.

Ye feeble saints, your strength endures,

Because young David’s God is yours.

 

Who order’d Gideon forth,

To storm the invader’s camp,

With arms of little worth,

A pitcher and a lamp?[5]

The trumpets made his coming known,

And all the host was overthrown.

 

Oh! I have seen the day,

When, with a single word,

God helping me to say,

My trust is in the Lord,

My soul hath quell’d a thousand foes,

Fearless of all that could oppose.

 

But unbelief, self-will,

Self-righteousness, and pride,

How often do they steal

My weapon from my side!

Yet David’s Lord, and Gideon’s friend,

Will help his servant to the end.

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V.  JEHOVAH-SHALOM.  THE LORD SEND PEACE.—Judges vi.24.

 

Jesus, whose blood so freely stream’d,

To satisfy the law’s demand;

By thee from guilt and wrath redeem’d,

Before the Father’s face I stand.

 

To reconcile offending man,

Make Justice drop her angry rod;

What creature could have form’d the plan,

Or who fulfil it but a God?

 

No drop remains of all the curse,

For wretches who deserved the whole;

No arrows dipt in wrath to pierce

The guilty but returning soul.

 

Peace by such means so dearly bought,

What rebel could have hoped to see?

Peace, by his injured Sovereign wrought,

His Sovereign fasten’d to a tree.

 

Now, Lord, thy feeble worm prepare!

For strife with earth and hell begins;

Confirm and guard me for the war,

They hate the soul that hates his sins.

 

Let them in horrid league agree!

They may assault, they may distress;

But cannot quench thy love to me,

Nor rob me of the Lord, my peace.

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VI.  WISDOM.—Proverbs viii.22-31.

 

Ere God had built the mountains,

Or raised the fruitful hills;

Before he fill’d the fountains

That feed the running rills;

In me, from everlasting,

The wonderful I AM,

Found pleasures never-wasting,

And Wisdom is my name.

 

When, like a tent to dwell in,

He spread the skies abroad,

And swathed about the swelling

Of Ocean’s mighty flood;

He wrought by weight and measure,

And I was with him then:

Myself the Father’s pleasure,

And mine, the sons of men,

 

Thus Wisdom’s words discover

Thy glory and thy grace,

Thou everlasting lover

Of our unworthy race!

Thy gracious eye survey’d us

Ere stars were seen above;

In wisdom thou hast made us,

And died for us in love.

 

And couldst thou be delighted

With creatures such as we,

Who, when we saw thee, slighted

And nail’d thee to a tree?

Unfathomable wonder,

And mystery divine!

The voice that speaks in thunder,

Says, “Sinner, I am thine!”

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VII.  VANITY OF THE WORLD.

 

God gives his mercies to be spent;

Your hoard will do your soul no good;

Gold is a blessing only lent,

Repaid by giving others food.

 

The world’s esteem is but a bribe,

To buy their peace you sell your own;

The slave of a vain-glorious tribe,

Who hate you while they make you known.

 

The joy that vain amusements give,

Oh! sad conclusion that it brings!

The honey of a crowded hive,

Defended by a thousand stings.

 

‘Tis thus the world rewards the fools

That live upon her treacherous smiles:

She leads them blindfold by her rules,

And ruins all whom she beguiles.

 

God knows the thousands who go down

From pleasure into endless woe;

And with a long despairing groan

Blaspheme their Maker as they go.

 

O fearful thought!  be timely wise:

Delight but in a Saviour’s charms,

And God shall take you to the skies,

Embraced in everlasting arms.

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VIII.  O LORD, I WILL PRAISE THEE.—Isaiah xii.1.

 

I will praise thee every day,

Now thine anger’s turn’d away!

Comfortable thoughts arise

From the bleeding Sacrifice.

 

Here in the fair gospel-field,

Wells of free salvation yield

Streams of life, a plenteous store,

And my soul shall thirst no more.

 

Jesus is become at length

My salvation and my strength;

And his praises shall prolong,

While I live, my pleasant song.

 

Praise ye then his glorious name,

Publish his exalted fame!

Still his worth your praise exceeds,

Excellent are all his deeds.

 

Raise again the joyful sound,

Let the nations roll it round!

Zion, shout, for this is he,

God the Saviour dwells in thee!

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IX.  THE CONTRITE HEART.—Isaiah lvii.15.

 

The Lord will happiness divine

On contrite hearts bestow;

Then tell me, gracious God, is mine

A contrite heart or no?

 

I hear, but seem to hear in vain,

Insensible as steel;

If aught is felt, ‘tis only pain

To find I cannot feel.

 

I sometimes think myself inclined

To love thee, if I could;

But often feel another mind,

Averse to all that’s good.

 

My best desires are faint and few,

I fain would strive for more:

But when I cry, “My strength renew,”

Seem weaker than before.

 

Thy saints are comforted, I know,

And love thy house of prayer;

I therefore go where others go,

But find no comfort there.

 

O make this heart rejoice or ache;

Decide this doubt for me;

And if it be not broken, break,

And heal it if it be.

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X.  THE FUTURE PEACE AND GLORY OF THE CHURCH.—Isaiah ix.15-20.

 

Hear what God the Lord hath spoken,

“O my people, faint and few,

Comfortless, afflicted, broken,

Fair abodes I build for you;

Thorns of heart-felt tribulation

Shall no more perplex your ways:

You shall name your walls, Salvation,

And your gates shall all be praise.

 

“There, like streams that feed the garden,

Pleasures without end shall flow;

For the Lord, your faith rewarding,

All his bounty shall bestow;

Still in undisturb’d possession

Peace and righteousness shall reign;

Never shall you feel oppression,

Hear the voice of war again.

 

“Ye no more your suns descending,

Waning moons no more shall see;

But, your griefs for ever ending,

Find eternal noon in me;

God shall rise, and shining o’er you,

Change to day the gloom of night;

He, the Lord, shall be your glory,

God your everlasting light.”

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XI.  JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.—Jeremiah xxiii.6.

 

My God, how perfect are thy ways!

But mine polluted are;

Sin twines itself about my praise,

And slides into my prayer.

 

When I would speak what thou hast done,

To save me from my sin,

I cannot make thy mercies known,

But self-applause creeps in.

 

Divine desire, that holy flame

Thy grace creates in me;

Alas! impatience is its name,

When it returns to thee.

 

This heart, a fountain of vile thoughts,

How does it overflow!

While self upon the surface floats,

Still bubbling from below.

 

Let others in the gaudy dress

Of fancied merit shine;

The Lord shall be my righteousness,

The Lord for ever mine.

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XII.  EPHRAIM REPENTING.—Jeremiah xxxi.18-20.

 

My God, till I received thy stroke,

How like a beast was I!

So unaccustom’d to the yoke,

So backward to comply.

 

With grief my just reproach I bear,

Shame fills me at the thought;

How frequent my rebellions were!

What wickedness I wrought!

 

Thy merciful restraint I scorn’d,

And left the pleasant road;

Yet turn me, and I shall be turn’d,

Thou art the Lord my God.

 

“Is Ephraim banish’d from my thoughts,

Or vile in my esteem?

No,” saith the Lord, “with all his faults,

I still remember him.

 

“Is he a dear and pleasant child?

Yes, dear and pleasant still;

Though sin his foolish heart beguiled,

And he withstood my will.

 

“My sharp rebuke has laid him low,

He seeks my face again;

My pity kindles at his woe,

He shall not seek in vain.”

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XIII.  THE COVENANT.—Ezekiel xxxvi.25-28.

 

The Lord proclaims his grace abroad!

Behold, I change your hearts of stone;

Each shall renounce his idol-god,

And serve, henceforth, the Lord alone.

 

My grace, a flowing stream, proceeds

To wash your filthiness away;

Ye shall abhor your former deeds,

And learn my statutes to obey.

 

My truth the great design ensures,

I give myself away to you;

You shall be mine, I will be yours,

Your God unalterably true.

 

Yet not unsought, or unimplored,

The plenteous grace shall I confer;[6]

No—your whole hearts shall seek the Lord,

I’ll put a praying spirit there.

 

From the first breath of life divine,

Down to the last expiring hour,

The gracious work shall all be mine,

Begun and ended in my power.

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XIV.  JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH.—Ezekiel xlviii.35.

 

As birds their infant brood protect,[7]

And spread their wings to shelter them,

Thus saith the Lord to his elect,

“So will I guard Jerusalem.”

 

And what then is Jerusalem,

This darling object of his care?

Where is its worth in God’s esteem?

Who built it, who inhabits there?

 

Jehovah founded it in blood,

The blood of his incarnate Son;

There dwell the saints, once foes to God,

The sinners whom he calls his own.

 

There, though besieged on every side,

Yet much beloved and guarded well,

From age to age they have defied

The utmost force of earth and hell.

 

Let earth repent, and hell despair,

This city has a sure defence;

Her name is call’d The Lord is there,

And who has power to drive him thence?

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XV.  PRAISE FOR THE FOUNTAIN OPENED.—Zechariah xiii.1.

 

There is a fountain fill’d with blood

Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

 

The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

And there have I, as vile as he,

Wash’d all my sins away.

 

Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood

Shall never lose its power,

Till all the ransom’d church of God

Be saved to sin no more.

 

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream

Thy flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme,

And shall be till I die.

 

Then in a nobler, sweeter song,

I’ll sing thy power to save;

When this poor lisping stammering tongue

Lies silent in the grave.

 

Lord, I believe thou hast prepared

(Unworthy though I be)

For me a blood-bought free reward,

A golden harp for me!

 

‘Tis strung, and tuned, for endless years,

And form’d by power divine,

To sound in God the Father’s ears

No other name but thine.

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XVI.  THE SOWER.—Matthew xiii.3.

 

Ye sons of earth, prepare the plough,

Break up the fallow ground;

The sower is gone forth to sow,

And scatter blessings round.

 

The seed that finds a stony soil,

Shoots forth a hasty blade;

But ill repays the sower’s toil,

Soon wither’d, scorch’d, and dead.

 

The thorny ground is sure to balk

All hopes of harvest there;

We find a tall and sickly stalk,

But not the fruitful ear.

 

The beaten path and highway side

Receive the trust in vain;

The watchful birds the spoil divide,

And pick up all the grain.

 

But where the Lord of grace and power

Has bless’d the happy field,

How plenteous is the golden store

The deep-wrought furrows yield!

 

Father of mercies, we have need

Of thy preparing grace;

Let the same hand that gives the seed

Provide a fruitful place.

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XVII.  THE HOUSE OF PRAYER.—Mark xi.17.

 

Thy mansion is the Christian’s heart,

O Lord, thy dwelling-place secure!

Bid the unruly throng depart,

And leave the consecrated door.

 

Devoted as it is to thee,

A thievish swarm frequents the place;

They steal away my joys from me,

And rob my Saviour of his praise.

 

There, too, a sharp designing trade

Sin, Satan, and the world maintain;

Nor cease to press me, and persuade

To part with ease, and purchase pain.

 

I know them, and I hate their din,

Am weary of the bustling crowd;

But while their voice is heard within,

I cannot serve thee as I would.

 

Oh for the joy thy presence gives,

What peace shall reign when thou art here!

Thy presence makes this den of thieves

A calm delightful house of prayer.

 

And if thou make thy temple shine,

Yet self-abased, will I adore;

The gold and silver are not mine,

I give thee what was thine before.

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XVIII.  LOVEST THOU ME?—John xxi.16.

 

Hark, my soul! it is the Lord:

‘Tis thy Saviour, hear his word;

Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee:

“Say, poor sinner, lovest thou me?

 

“I deliver’d thee when bound,

And when bleeding, heal’d thy wound;

Sought thee wandering, set thee right,

Turn’d thy darkness into light.

 

“Can a woman’s tender care

Cease towards the child she bare?

Yes, she may forgetful be,

Yet will I remember thee.

 

“Mine is an unchanging love,

Higher than the heights above;

Deeper than the depths beneath,

Free and faithful, strong as death.

 

“Thou shalt see my glory soon,

When the work of grace is done;

Partner of my throne shalt be:—

Say, poor sinner, lovest thou me?”

 

Lord, it is my chief complaint,

That my love is weak and faint;

Yet I love thee and adore:

Oh for grace to love thee more!

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XIX.  CONTENTMENT.—Philippians iv.11.

 

Fierce passions discompose the mind,

As tempests vex the sea:

But calm content and peace we find,

When, Lord, we turn to thee.

 

In vain by reason and by rule

We try to bend the will;

For none but in the Saviour’s school

Can learn the heavenly skill.

 

Since at his feet my soul has sat,

His gracious words to hear,

Contented with my present state,

I cast on him my care.

 

“Art thou a sinner, soul?” he said,

“Then how canst thou complain?

How light thy troubles here, if weigh’d

With everlasting pain!

 

“If thou of murmuring wouldst be cured,

Compare thy griefs with mine;

Think what my love for thee endured,

And thou wilt not repine.

 

“‘Tis I appoint thy daily lot,

And I do all things well;

Thou soon shalt leave this wretched spot,

And rise with me to dwell.

 

“In life my grace shall strength supply,

Proportion’d to thy day;

At death thou still shalt find me nigh,

To wipe thy tears away.

 

Thus I, who once my wretched days

In vain repinings spent,

Taught in my Saviour’s school of grace,

Have learnt to be content.

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XX.  OLD TESTAMENT GOSPEL.—Hebrews iv.2.

 

Israel, in ancient days,

Not only had a view

Of Sinai in a blaze,

But learn’d the Gospel too;

The types and figures were a glass

In which they saw a Saviour’s face.

 

The paschal sacrifice,

And blood-besprinkled door,[8]

Seen with enlighten’d eyes,

And once applied with power,

Would teach the need of other blood,

To reconcile an angry God.

 

The Lamb, the Dove, set forth

His perfect innocence,[9]

Whose blood of matchless worth

Should be the soul’s defence;

For he who can for sin atone,

Must have no failings of his own.

 

The scape-goat on his head[10]

The people’s trespass bore,

And, to the desert led,

Was to be seen no more:

In him our Surety seem’d to say,

“Behold, I bear your sins away.”

 

Dipt in his fellow’s blood,

The living bird went free;[11]

The type, well understood,

Express’d the sinner’s plea;

Described a guilty soul enlarged,

And by a Saviour’s death discharged.

 

Jesus, I love to trace,

Throughout the sacred page,

The footsteps of thy grace,

The same in every age!

O grant that I may faithful be

To clearer light vouchsafed to me!

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XXI.  SARDIS.—Revelation iii.1-6.

 

Write to Sardis,” saith the Lord,

And write what he declares,

He whose Spirit, and whose word,

Upholds the seven stars:

“All thy works and ways I search,

Find thy zeal and love decay’d:

Thou art call’d a living church,

But thou art cold and dead.

 

“Watch, remember, seek, and strive,

Exert thy former pains;

Let thy timely care revive,

And strengthen what remains:

Cleanse thine heart, thy works amend

Former times to mind recall,

Lest my sudden stroke descend,

And smite thee once for all.

 

“Yet I number now in thee

A few that are upright;

These my Father’s face shall see,

 And walk with me in white.

When in judgment I appear,

They for mine shall be confest;

Let my faithful servants hear,

And woe be to the rest!”

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XXII.  PRAYER FOR A BLESSING ON THE YOUNG.

 

Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth

The gift of saving grace;

And let the seed of sacred truth

Fall in a fruitful place.

 

Grace is a plant, where’er it grows,

Of pure and heavenly root;

But fairest in the youngest shows,

And yields the sweetest fruit.

 

Ye careless ones, O hear betimes

The voice of sovereign love!

Your youth is stain’d with many crimes,

But mercy reigns above.

 

True, you are young, but there’s a stone

Within the youngest breast;

Or half the crimes which you have done

Would rob you of your rest.

 

For you the public prayer is made,

Oh! join the public prayer!

For you the secret tear is shed,

Oh! shed yourselves a tear!

 

We pray that you may early prove

The Spirit’s power to teach;

You cannot be too young to love

That Jesus whom we preach.

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XXIII.  PLEADING FOR AND WITH YOUTH.

 

Sin has undone our wretched race,

But Jesus has restored,

And brought the sinner face to face

With his forgiving Lord.

 

This we repeat, from year to year,

And press upon our youth;

Lord, give them an attentive ear,

Lord, save them by thy truth.

 

Blessings upon the rising race!

Make this a happy hour,

According to thy richest grace,

And thine almighty power.

 

We feel for your unhappy state

(May you regard it too),

And would awhile ourselves forge

To pour out prayer for you.

 

We see, though you perceive it not,

The approaching awful doom;

O tremble at the solemn thought,

And flee the wrath to come!

 

Dear Saviour, let this new-born year

Spread an alarm abroad;

And cry in every careless ear,

“Prepare to meet thy God!”

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XXIV.  PRAYER FOR CHILDREN.

 

Gracious Lord, our children see,

By thy mercy we are free;

But shall these, alas! remain

Subjects still of Satan’s reign?

Israel’s young ones, when of old

Pharaoh threaten’d to withhold,[12]

Then thy messenger said, “No;

Let the children also go.”

 

When the angel of the Lord,

Drawing forth his dreadful sword,

Slew, with an avenging hand,

All the first-born of the land;[13]

Then thy people’s doors he pass’d,

Where the bloody sign was placed;

Hear us, now, upon our knees,

Plead the blood of Christ for these!

 

Lord, we tremble, for we know

How the fierce malicious foe,

Wheeling round his watchful flight,

Keeps them ever in his sight:

Spread thy pinions, King of kings!

Hide them safe beneath thy wings;

Lest the ravenous bird of prey

Stoop, and bear the brood away.

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XXV.  JEHOVAH JESUS.

 

My song shall bless the Lord of all,

My praise shall climb to his abode;

Thee, Saviour, by that name I call,

The great Supreme, the mighty God.

 

Without beginning or decline,

Object of faith, and not of sense;

Eternal ages saw him shine,

He shines eternal ages hence.

 

As much, when in the manger laid,

Almighty ruler of the sky,

As when the six days’ works he made

Fill’d all the morning stars with joy.

 

Of all the crowns Jehovah bears,

Salvation is his dearest claim;

That gracious sound well pleased he hears,

And owns Emmanuel for his name.

 

A cheerful confidence I feel,

My well-placed hopes with joy I see;

My bosom glows with heavenly zeal,

To worship him who died for me.

 

As man, he pities my complaint,

His power and truth are all divine;

He will not fail, he cannot faint,

Salvation’s sure, and must be mine.

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XXVI.  ON OPENING A PLACE FOR SOCIAL PRAYER.

 

Jesus! where’er thy people meet,

There they behold thy mercy seat;

Where’er thy seek thee, thou art found,

And every place is hallow’d ground.

 

For thou, within no walls confined,

Inhabitest the humble mind;

Such ever bring thee where they come,

And going, take thee to their home.

 

Dear Shepherd of thy chosen few!

Thy former mercies here renew;

Here to our waiting hearts proclaim

The sweetness of thy saving name.

 

Here may we prove the power of prayer,

To strengthen faith and sweeten care;

To teach our faint desires to rise,

And bring all heaven before our eyes.

 

Behold, at thy commanding word

We stretch the curtain and the cord;[14]

Come thou and fill this wider space,

And bless us with a large increase.

 

Lord, we are few, but thou art near;

Nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;

Oh rend the heavens, come quickly down,

And make a thousand hearts thine own!

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XXVII.  WELCOME TO THE TABLE.

 

This is the feast of heavenly wine,

And God invites to sup;

The juices of the living vine

Were press’d to fill the cup.

 

Oh! bless the Saviour, ye that eat,

With royal dainties fed;

Not heaven affords a costlier treat,

For Jesus is the bread.

 

The vile, the lost, he calls to them,

Ye trembling souls, appear!

The righteous in their own esteem

Have no acceptance here.

 

Approach, ye poor, nor dare refuse

The banquet spread for you;

Dear Saviour, this is welcome news,

Then I may venture too.

 

If guilt and sin afford a plea,

And may obtain a place,

Surely the Lord will welcome me,

And I shall see his face.

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XXVIII.  JESUS HASTING TO SUFFER.

 

The Saviour, what a noble flame

Was kindled in his breast,

When hasting to Jerusalem,

He march’d before the rest.

 

Good-will to men and zeal for God

His every thought engross;

He longs to be baptized with blood,[15]

He pants to reach the cross!

 

With all his sufferings full in view,

And woes to us unknown,

Forth to the task his spirit flew;

‘Twas love that urged him on.

 

Lord, we return thee what we can:

Our hearts shall sound abroad

Salvation to the dying Man,

And to the rising God!

 

And while thy bleeding glories here

Engage our wondering eyes,

We learn our lighter cross to bear,

And hasten to the skies.

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XXIX.  EXHORTATION TO PRAYER.

 

What various hindrances we meet

In coming to a mercy-seat!

Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,

But wishes to be often there?

 

Prayer makes the darken’d cloud withdraw,

Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,

Gives exercise to faith and love,

Brings every blessing from above.

 

Restraining prayer, we cease to fight,

Prayer makes the Christian’s armour bright;

And Satan trembles when he sees

The weakest saint upon his knees.

 

While Moses stood with arms spread wide,

Success was found on Israel’s side;

But when through weariness they fail’d,

That moment Amalek prevail’d.[16]

 

Have you no words?  Ah! think again,

Words flow apace when you complain,

And fill your fellow-creature’s ear

With the sad tale of all your care.

 

Were half the breath thus vainly spent

To Heaven in supplication sent,

Your cheerful song would oftener be,

“Hear what the Lord has done for me.”

__________

 

XXX.  THE LIGHT AND GLORY OF THE WORD.

 

The Spirit breathes upon the Word,

And brings the truth to sight;

Precepts and promises afford

A sanctifying light.

 

A glory gilds the sacred page,

Majestic like the sun;

It gives a light to every age,

It gives, but borrows none.

 

The hand that gave it still supplies

The gracious light and heat:

His truths upon the nations rise,

They rise, but never set.

 

Let everlasting thanks be thine,

For such a bright display,

As makes a world of darkness shine

With beams of heavenly day.

 

My soul rejoices to pursue

The steps of him I love,

Till glory breaks upon my view

In brighter worlds above.

__________

 

XXXI.  ON THE DEATH OF A MINISTER.

 

His master taken from his head,

Elisha saw him go;

And in desponding accents said,

“Ah, what must Israel do?”

 

But he forgot the Lord who lifts

The beggar to the throne;

Nor knew, that all Elijah’s gifts

Will soon be made his own.

 

What! when a Paul has run his course,

Or when Apollos dies,

Is Israel left without resource?

And have we no supplies?

 

Yes, while the dear Redeemer lives

We have a boundless store,

And shall be fed with what he gives,

Who lives for evermore.

__________

 

XXXII.  THE SHINING LIGHT.

 

My former hopes are fled,

My terror now begins;

I feel, alas! that I am dead

In trespasses and sins.

 

Ah, whither shall I fly?

I hear the thunder roar;

The law proclaims destruction nigh,

And vengeance at the door.

 

When I review my ways,

I dread impending doom:

But sure a friendly whisper says,

“Flee from the wrath to come.”

 

I see, or think I see,

A glimmering from afar;

A beam of day, that shines for me,

To save me from despair.

 

Forerunner of the sun,[17]

It marks the pilgrim’s way;

I’ll gaze upon it while I run,

And watch the rising day.

__________

 

XXXIII.  SEEKING THE BELOVED.

 

To those who know the Lord I speak,

Is my beloved near?

The bridegroom of my soul I seek,

Oh! when will he appear?

 

Though once a man of grief and shame,

Yet now he fills a throne,

And bears the greatest, sweetest name,

That earth or heaven has known.

 

Grace flies before, and love attends

His steps where’er he goes;

Though none can see him but his friends,

And they were once his foes.

 

He speaks—obedient to his call,

Our warm affections move:

Did he but shine alike on all,

Then all alike would love.

 

Then love in every heart would reign,

And war would cease to roar;

And cruel and bloodthirsty men

Would thirst for blood no more.

 

Such Jesus is, and such his grace,

Oh, may he shine on you!

And tell him, when you see his face,

I long to see him too.[18]

__________

 

XXXIV.  THE WAITING SOUL.

 

Breathe from the gentle south, O Lord,

And cheer me from the north;

Blow on the treasures of thy word,

And call the spices forth!

 

I wish, thou know’st, to be resign’d,

And wait with patient hope;

But hope delay’d fatigues the mind,

And drinks the spirit up.

 

Help me to reach the distant goal,

Confirm my feeble knee;

Pity the sickness of a soul

That faints for love of thee.

 

Cold as I feel this heart of mine,

Yet, since I feel it so,

It yields some hope of life divine

Within, however low.

 

I seem forsaken and alone,

I hear the lion roar;

And ev’ry door is shut but one,

And that is mercy’s door.

 

There, till the dear Deliv’rer come,

I’ll wait with humble pray’r;

An when he calls his exile home,

The Lord shall find me there.

__________

 

XXXV.  WELCOME CROSS.

 

Tis my happiness below

Not to live without the cross,

But the Saviour’s power to know,

Sanctifying every loss:

Trials must and will befall;

But with humble faith to see

Love inscribed upon them all,

This is happiness to me.

 

God in Israel sows the seeds

Of affliction, pain, and toil;

These spring up and choke the weeds

Which would else o’erspread the soil:

Trials make the promise sweet,

Trials give new life to prayer;

Trials bring me to his feet,

Lay me low, and keep me there.

 

Did I meet no trials here,

No chastisement by the way:

Might I not, with reason, fear

I should prove a castaway?

Bastards may escape the rod,[19]

Sunk in earthly, vain delight;

But the true born child of God

Must not, would not, if he might.

__________

 

XXXVI.  AFFLICTIONS SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD.

 

O how I love thy holy word,

Thy gracious covenant, O Lord!

It guides me in the peaceful way;

I think upon it all the day.

 

What are the mines of shining wealth,

The strength of youth, the bloom of health!

What are all joys compared with those

Thine everlasting word bestows!

 

Long unafflicted, undismay’d,

In pleasure’s path secure I stray’d;

Thou madest me feel thy chastening rod,[20]

And straight I turn’d unto my God.

 

What though it pierced my fainting heart,

I bless thine hand that caused the smart;

It taught my tears awhile to flow,

But saved me from eternal woe.

 

Oh! hadst thou left me unchastised,

Thy precept I had still despised;

And still the snare in secret laid,

Had my unwary feet betray’d.

 

I love thee, therefore, O my God,

And breathe towards thy dear abode;

Where, in thy presence fully blest,

Thy chosen saints for ever rest.

__________

 

XXXVII.  TEMPTATION.

 

The billows swell, the winds are high,

Clouds overcast my wintry sky;

Out of the depths to thee I call,—

My fears are great, my strength is small.

 

O Lord, the pilot’s part perform,

And guard and guide me through the storm,

Defend me from each threatening ill,

Control the waves,—say, “Peace, be still.”

 

Amidst the roaring of the sea,

My soul still hangs her hope on thee;

Thy constant love, thy faithful care,

Is all that saves me from despair.

 

Dangers of every shape and name

Attend the followers of the Lamb,

Who leave the world’s deceitful shore,

And leave it to return no more.

 

Though tempest-toss’d and half a wreck,

My Saviour through the floods I seek;

Let neither winds nor stormy main

Force back my shatter’d bark again.

__________

 

XXXVIII.  LOOKING UPWARDS IN A STORM.

 

God of my life, to thee I call,

Afflicted at thy feet I fall;

When the great water-floods prevail,[21]

Leave not my trembling heart to fail!

 

Friend of the friendless and the faint!

Where should I lodge my deep complaint?

Where but with thee, whose open door

Invites the helpless and the poor!

 

Did ever mourner plead with thee,

And thou refuse that mourner’s plea?

Does not the word still fix’d remain,

That none shall seek thy face in vain?

 

That were a grief I could not bear,

Didst thou not hear and answer prayer;

But a prayer-hearing, answering God,

Supports me under every load.

 

Fair is the lot that’s cast for me;

I have an Advocate with thee;

They whom the world caresses most

Have no such privilege to boast.

 

Poor though I am, despised, forgot,[22]

Yet God, my God, forgets me not:

And he is safe, and must succeed,

For whom the Lord vouchsafes to plead.

__________

 

XXXIX.  THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH.

 

My soul is sad, and much dismay’d,

See, Lord, what legions of my foes,

With fierce Apollyon at their head,

My heavenly pilgrimage oppose!

 

See, from the ever-burning lake

How like a smoky cloud they rise!

With horrid blasts my soul they shake,

With storms of blasphemies and lies.

 

Their fiery arrows reach the mark,[23]

My throbbing heart with anguish tear;

Each lights upon a kindred spark,

And finds abundant fuel there.

 

I hate the thought that wrongs the Lord;

Oh! I would drive it from my breast,

With thy own sharp two-edged sword,

Far as the east is from the west.

 

Come, then, and chase the cruel host,

Heal the deep wounds I have received!

Nor let the powers of darkness boast,

That I am foil’d, and thou art grieved!

__________

 

XL.  PEACE AFTER A STORM.

 

When darkness long has veil’d my mind,

And smiling day once more appears;

Then, my Redeemer, then I find

The folly of my doubts and fears.

 

Straight I upbraid my wandering heart,

And blush that I should ever be

Thus prone to act so base a part,

Or harbour one hard thought of thee!

 

Oh! let me then at length be taught

What I am still so slow to learn;

That God is love, and changes not,

Nor knows the shadow of a turn.

 

Sweet truth, and easy to repeat!

But, when my faith is sharply tried,

I find myself a learner yet,

Unskilful, weak, and apt to slide.

 

But, O my Lord, one look from thee

Subdues the disobedient will;

Drives doubt and discontent away,

And thy rebellious worm is still.

 

Thou art as ready to forgive

As I am ready to repine;

Thou, therefore, all the praise receive;

Be shame and self-abhorrence mine.

__________

 

XLI.  MOURNING AND LONGING.

 

The Saviour hides his face!

My spirit thirsts to prove

Renew’d supplies of pardoning grace,

And never-fading love.

 

The favour’d souls who know

What glories shine in him,

Pant for his presence as the roe

Pants for the living stream!

 

What trifles tease me now!

They swarm like summer flies,

They cleave to everything I do,

And swim before my eyes.

 

How dull the Sabbath-day,

Without the Sabbath’s Lord!

How toilsome then to sing and pray,

And wait upon the word!

 

Of all the truths I hear,

How few delight my taste!

I glean a berry here and there,

But mourn the vintage past.

 

Yet let me (as I ought)

Still hope to be supplied;

No pleasure else is worth a thought,

Nor shall I be denied.

 

Though I am but a worm,

Unworthy of his care,

The Lord will my desire perform,

And grant me all my prayer.

__________

 

XLII.  SELF-ACQUAINTANCE.

 

Dear Lord! accept a sinful heart,

Which of itself complains,

And mourns, with much and frequent smart,

The evil it contains.

 

There fiery seeds of anger lurk,

Which often hurt my frame;

And wait but for the tempter’s work,

To fan them to a flame.

 

Legality holds out a bribe

To purchase life from thee;

And discontent would fain prescribe

How thou shalt deal with me.

 

While unbelief withstands thy grace,

And puts the mercy by;

Presumption, with a brow of brass,

Says, “Give me, or I die.”

 

How eager are my thoughts to roam

In quest of what they love!

But ah! when duty calls them home,

How heavily they move!

 

Oh, cleanse me in a Saviour’s blood,

Transform me by thy power,

And make me thy beloved abode,

And let me rove no more.

__________

 

XLIII.  PRAYER FOR PATIENCE.

 

Lord, who hast suffer’d all for me,

My peace and pardon to procure,

The lighter cross I bear for thee,

Help me with patience to endure.

 

The storm of loud repining hush,

I would in humble silence mourn;

Why should the unburnt though burning bush,

Be angry as the crackling thorn?

 

Man should not faint at thy rebuke,

Like Joshua falling on his face,[24]

When the curst thing that Achan took

Brought Israel into just disgrace.

 

Perhaps some golden wedge suppress’d,

Some secret sin offends my God;

Perhaps that Babylonish vest,

Self-righteousness, provokes the rod.

 

Ah! were I buffeted all day,

Mock’d, crown’d with thorns, and spit upon;

I yet should have no right to say,

My great distress is mine alone.

 

Let me not angrily declare

No pain was ever sharp like mine;

Nor murmur at the cross I bear,

But rather weep, remembering thine.

__________

 

XLIV.  SUBMISSION.

 

O Lord, my best desire fulfil,

And help me to resign

Life, health, and comfort to thy will,

And make thy pleasure mine.

 

Why should I shrink at thy command,

Whose love forbids my fears?

Or tremble at the gracious hand

That wipes away my tears?

 

No, let me rather freely yield

What most I prize to thee;

Who never hast a good withheld,

Or wilt withhold, from me.

 

Thy favour, all my journey through,

Thou art engaged to grant;

What else I want, or think I do,

‘Tis better still to want.

 

Wisdom and mercy guide my way,

Shall I resist them both?

A poor blind creature of a day,

And crush’d before the moth!

 

But ah! my inward spirit cries,

Still bind me to thy sway;

Else the next cloud that veils the skies,

Drives all these thoughts away.

__________

 

XLV.  THE HAPPY CHANGE.

 

How blest thy creature is, O God,

When, with a single eye,

He views the lustre of thy word,

The dayspring from on high!

 

Through all the storms that veil the skies,

And frown on earthly things,

The Sun of Righteousness he eyes,

With healing on his wings.

 

Struck by that light, the human heart,

A barren soil no more,

Sends the sweet smell of grace abroad,

Where serpents lurk’d before.[25]

 

The soul a dreary province once

Of Satan’s dark domain,

Feels a new empire form’d within,

And owns a heavenly reign.

 

The glorious orb, whose golden beams

The fruitful year control,

Since first, obedient to thy word,

He started from the goal;

 

Has cheer’d the nations with the joys

His orient rays impart;

But, Jesus, ‘tis thy light alone

Can shine upon the heart.

__________

 

XLVI.  RETIREMENT.

 

Far from the world, O Lord, I flee,

From strife and tumult far;

From scenes where Satan wages still

His most successful war.

 

The calm retreat, the silent shade,

With prayer and praise agree;

And seem by thy sweet bounty made

For those who follow thee.

 

There, if thy Spirit touch the soul,

And grace her mean abode,

Oh, with what peace, and joy, and love,

She communes with her God!

 

There like the nightingale she pours

Her solitary lays;

Nor asks a witness of her song,

Nor thirsts for human praise.

 

Author and Guardian of my life,

Sweet source of light divine,

And (all harmonious names in one)

My Saviour, thou art mine!

 

What thanks I owe thee, and what love,

A boundless, endless store,

Shall echo through the realms above

When time shall be no more.

__________

 

XLVII.  THE HIDDEN LIFE.

 

To tell the Saviour all my wants,

How pleasing is the task!

Nor less to praise him when he grants

Beyond what I can ask.

 

My labouring spirit vainly seeks

To tell but half the joy;

With how much tenderness he speaks,

And helps me to reply.

 

Nor were it wise, nor should I choose,

Such secrets to declare;

Like precious wines, their tastes they lose,

Exposed to open air.

 

But this with boldness I proclaim,

Nor care if thousands hear,

Sweet is the ointment of his name,

Not life is half so dear.

 

And can you frown, my former friends,

Who knew what once I was;

And blame the song that thus commends

The Man who bore the cross?

 

Trust me, I draw the likeness true,

And not as fancy paints;

Such honour may he give to you,

For such have all his saints.

__________

 

XLVIII.  JOY AND PEACE IN BELIEVING.

 

Sometimes a light surprises

The Christian while he sings;

It is the Lord who rises

With healing in his wings:

When comforts are declining,

He grants the soul again

A season of clear shining,

To cheer it after rain.

 

In holy contemplation,

We sweetly then pursue

The theme of God’s salvation,

And find it ever new.

Set free from present sorrow,

We cheerfully can say,

E’en let the unknown to-morrow[26]

Bring with it what it may.

 

It can bring with it nothing,

But he will bear us through;

Who gives the lilies clothing,

Will clothe his people too;

Beneath the spreading heavens

No creature but is fed;

And he who feeds the ravens,

Will give his children bread.

 

The vine nor fig-tree neither[27]

Their wonted fruit should bear,

Though all the fields should wither,

Nor flocks nor herds be there:

Yet God the same abiding,

His praise shall tune my voice;

For, while in him confiding,

I cannot but rejoice.

__________

 

XLIX.  TRUE PLEASURES.

 

Lord, my soul with pleasure springs,

When Jesus’ name I hear;

And when God the Spirit brings

The word of promise near:

Beauties too, in holiness,

Still delighted I perceive;

Nor have words that can express

The joys thy precepts give.

 

Clothed in sanctity and grace,

How sweet it is to see

Those who love thee as they pass,

Or when they wait on thee:

Pleasant too, to sit and tell

What we owe to love divine;

Till our bosoms grateful swell,

And eyes begin to shine.

 

Those the comforts I possess,

Which God shall still increase,

All his ways are pleasantness,[28]

And all his paths are peace.

Nothing Jesus did or spoke,

Henceforth let me ever slight;

For I love his easy yoke,[29]

And find his burden light.

__________

 

L.  THE CHRISTIAN.

 

Honour and happiness unite

To make the Christian’s name a praise;

How fair the scene, how clear the light,

That fills the remnant of his days!

 

A kingly character he bears,

No change his priestly office knows;

Unfading is the crown he wears,

His joys can never reach a close.

 

Adorn’d with glory from on high,

Salvation shines upon his face;

His robe is of the ethereal dye,

His steps are dignity and grace.

 

Inferior honours he disdains,

Nor stoops to take applause from earth:

The King of kings himself maintains

The expenses of his heavenly birth.

 

The noblest creature seen below,

Ordain’d to fill a throne above;

God gives him all he can bestow,

His kingdom of eternal love.

 

My soul is ravish’d at the thought!

Methinks from earth I see him rise!

Angels congratulate his lot,

And shout him welcome to the skies!

__________

 

LI.  LIVELY HOPE AND GRACIOUS FEAR.

 

I was a grovelling creature once,

 And basely cleaved to earth;

I wanted spirit to renounce

The clod that gave me birth.

 

But God has breathed upon a worm,

And sent me, from above,

Wings such as clothe an angel’s form,

The wings of joy and love.

 

With these to Pisgah’s top I fly,

And there delighted stand,

To view beneath a shining sky

The spacious promised land.

 

The Lord of all the vast domain

Has promised it to me;

The length and breadth of all the plain,

As far as faith can see.

 

How glorious is my privilege!

To thee for help I call;

I stand upon a mountain’s edge,

Oh save me, lest I fall!

 

Though much exalted in the Lord,

My strength is not my own;

Then let me tremble at his word,

And none shall cast me down.

__________

 

LII.  FOR THE POOR.

 

When Hagar found the bottle spent,

And wept o’er Ishmael,

A message from the Lord was sent

To guide her to a well.[30]

 

Should not Elijah’s cake and cruse[31]

Convince us at this day,

A gracious God will not refuse

Provisions by the way?

 

His saints and servants shall be fed,

The promise is secure;

“Bread shall be given them,” he has said,

“Their water shall be sure.”[32]

 

Repasts far richer they shall prove,

Than all earth’s dainties are;

‘Tis sweet to taste a Saviour’s love,

Though in the meanest fare.

 

To Jesus then your trouble bring,

Nor murmur at your lot;

While you are poor and he is King,

You shall not be forgot.

__________

 

LIII.  MY SOUL THIRSTETH FOR GOD.

 

I thirst, but not as once I did,

The vain delights of earth to share;

Thy wounds, Emmanuel, all forbid

That I should seek my pleasures there.

 

It was the sight of thy dear cross

First wean’d my soul from earthly things;

And taught me to esteem as dross

The mirth of fools and pomp of kings.

 

I want that grace that springs from thee,

That quickens all things where it flows,

And makes a wretched thorn like me

Bloom as the myrtle or the rose.

 

Dear fountain of delight unknown!

No longer sink below the brim;

But over flow, and pour me down

A living and life-giving stream!

 

For sure, of all the plants that share

The notice of thy Father’s eye,

None proves less grateful to his care,

Or yields him meaner fruit than I.

__________

 

LIV.  LOVE CONSTRAINING TO OBEDIENCE.

 

No strength of nature can suffice

To serve the Lord aright:

And what she has she misapplies,

For want of clearer light.

 

How long beneath the law I lay

In bondage and distress!

I toil’d the precept to obey,

But toil’d without success.

 

Then, to abstain from outward sin

Was more than I could do;

Now, if I feel its power within,

I feel I hate it too.

 

Then, all my servile works were done

A righteousness to raise;

Now, freely chosen in the Son,

I freely choose his ways.

 

“What shall I do,” was then the word,

“That I may worthier grow?”

“What shall I render to the Lord?”

Is my inquiry now.

 

To see the law by Christ fulfill’d,

And hear his pardoning voice,

Changes a slave into a child,[33]

And duty into choice.

__________

 

LV.  THE HEART HEALED AND CHANGED BY MERCY.

 

Sin enslaved me many years,

And led me bound and blind;

Till at length a thousand fears

Came swarming o’er my mind.

 

“Where,” I said, in deep distress,

“Will these sinful pleasures end?

How shall I secure my peace,

And make the Lord my friend?”

 

Friends and ministers said much

The gospel to enforce;

But my blindness still was such,

I chose a legal course:

Much I fasted, watch’d, and strove,

Scarce would show my face abroad,

Fear’d almost to speak or move,

A stranger still to God.

 

Thus afraid to trust his grace,

Long time did I rebel;

Till, despairing of my case,

Down at his feet I fell:

Then my stubborn heart he broke,

And subdued me to his sway;

By a simple word he spoke,

“Thy sins are done away.”

__________

 

LVI.  HATRED OF SIN.

 

Holy Lord God!  I love thy truth,

Nor dare thy least commandment slight;

Yet pierced by sin, the serpent’s tooth,

I mourn the anguish of the bite.

 

But, though the poison lurks within,

Hope bids me still with patience wait;

Till death shall set me free from sin,

Free from the only thing I hate.

 

Had I a throne above the rest,

Where angels and archangels dwell,

One sin, unslain, within my breast,

Would make that heaven as dark as hell.

 

The prisoner, sent to breathe fresh air,

And bless’d with liberty again,

Would mourn, were he condemn’d to wear

One link of all his former chain.

 

But, oh! no foe invades the bliss,

When glory crowns the Christian’s head;

One view of Jesus as he is

Will strike all sin for ever dead.

__________

 

LVII.  THE NEW CONVERT.

 

The new-born child of gospel grace,

Like some fair tree when summer’s nigh,

Beneath Emmanuel’s shining face

Lifts up his blooming branch on high.

 

No fears he feels, he sees no foes,

No conflict yet his faith employs,

Nor has he learnt to whom he owes

The strength and peace his soul enjoys.

 

But sin soon darts its cruel sting,

And comforts sinking day by day:

What seem’d his own, a self-fed spring,

Proves but a brook that glides away.

 

When Gideon arm’d his numerous host,

The Lord soon made his numbers less;

And said, “Lest Israel vainly boast,[34]

‘My arm procured me this success.’”

 

Thus will he bring our spirits down,

And draw our ebbing comforts low,

That, saved by grace, but not our own,

We may not claim the praise we owe.

__________

 

LVIII.  TRUE AND FALSE COMFORTS.

 

O God, whose favourable eye

The sin-sick soul revives,

Holy and heavenly is the joy

Thy shining presence gives.

 

Not such as hypocrites suppose,

Who with a graceless heart

Taste not of thee, but drink a dose,

Prepared by Satan’s art.

 

Intoxicating joys are theirs,

Who, while they boast their light,

And seem to soar above the stars,

Are plunging into night.

 

Lull’d in a soft and fatal sleep,

They sin, and yet rejoice;

Were they indeed the Saviour’s sheep,

Would they not hear his voice?

 

Be mine the comforts that reclaim

The soul from Satan’s power;

That make me blush for what I am,

And hate my sin the more.

 

‘Tis joy enough, my All in All,

At thy dear feet to lie;

Thou wilt not let me lower fall,

And none can higher fly.

__________

 

LIX.  A LIVING AND A DEAD FAITH.

 

The Lord receives his highest praise

From humble minds and hearts sincere;

While all the loud professor says

Offends the righteous Judge’s ear.

 

To walk as children of the day,

To mark the precepts’ holy light,

To wage the warfare, watch, and pray,

Show who are pleasing in his sight.

 

Not words alone it cost the Lord,

To purchase pardon for his own;

Nor will a soul, by grace restored,

Return the Saviour words alone.

 

With golden bells, the priestly vest,

And rich pomegranates border’d round,[35]

The need of holiness express’d,

And call’d for fruit, as well as sound.

 

Easy, indeed, it were to reach

A mansion in the courts above,

If swelling words and fluent speech

Might serve, instead of faith and love.

 

But none shall gain the blissful place,

Or God’s unclouded glory see,

Who talks of free and sovereign grace,

Unless that grace has made him free!

__________

 

LX.  ABUSE OF THE GOSPEL.

 

Too many, Lord, abuse thy grace,

In this licentious day;

And while they boast they see thy face,

They turn their own away.

 

Thy book displays a gracious light

That can the blind restore;

But these are dazzled by the sight,

And blinded still the more.

 

The pardon, such presume upon,

They do not beg, but steal;

And when they plead it at thy throne,

Oh! where’s the Spirit’s seal?

 

Was it for this, ye lawless tribe,

The dear Redeemer bled?

Is this the grace the saints imbibe

From Christ the living head?

 

Ah, Lord, we know thy chosen few

Are fed with heavenly fare;

But these, the wretched husks they chew

Proclaim them what they are.

 

The liberty our hearts implore

Is not to live in sin;

But still to wait at wisdom’s door,

Till mercy calls us in.

__________

 

LXI.  THE NARROW WAY.

 

What thousands never knew the road!

What thousands hate it when ‘tis known!

None but the chosen tribes of God

Will seek or choose it for their own.

 

A thousand ways in ruin end,

One, only, leads to joys on high;

By that my willing steps ascend,

Pleased with a journey to the sky.

 

No more I ask, or hope to find,

Delight or happiness below;

Sorrow may well possess the mind

That feeds where thorns and thistles grow.

 

The joy that fades is not for me,

I seek immortal joys above;

There glory without end shall be

The bright reward of faith and love.

 

Cleave to the world, ye sordid worms,

Contented lick your native dust,

But God shall fight with all his storms

Against the idol of your trust.

__________

 

LXII.  DEPENDENCE.

 

To keep the lamp alive,

With oil we fill the bowl;

‘Tis water makes the willow thrive,

And grace that feeds the soul.

 

The Lord’s unsparing hand

Supplies the living stream;

It is not at our own command,

But still derived from him.

 

Beware of Peter’s word,[36]

Nor confidently say,

“I never will deny thee, Lord,”

But, “Grant I never may!”

 

Man’s wisdom is to seek

His strength in God alone;

And e’en an angel would be weak,

Who trusted in his own.

 

Retreat beneath his wings,

And in his grace confide;

This more exalts the King of kings[37]

Than all your works beside.

 

In Jesus is our store,

Grace issues from his throne;

Whoever says, “I want no more,”

Confesses he has none.

__________

 

LXIII.  NOT OF WORKS.

 

Grace, triumphant in the throne,

Scorns a rival, reigns alone;

Come and bow beneath her sway,

Cast your idol works away.

Works of man, when made his plea,

Never shall accepted be;

Fruits of pride (vain-glorious worm!)

Are the best he can perform.

 

Self, the god his soul adores,

Influences all his powers;

Jesus is a slighted name,

Self-advancement all his aim;

But when God the Judge shall come,

To pronounce the final doom,

Then for rocks and hills to hide

All his works and all his pride!

 

Still the boasting heart replies,

What! the worthy and the wise,

Friends to temperance and peace,

Have not these a righteousness?

Banish every vain pretence,

Built on human excellence;

Perish every thing in man,

But the grace that never can.

__________

 

LXIV.  PRAISE FOR FAITH.

 

Of all the gifts thine hand bestows,

Thou Giver of all good!

Not heaven itself a richer knows

Than my Redeemer’s blood.

 

Faith too, the blood-receiving grace,

From the same hand we gain;

Else, sweetly as it suits our case,

That gift had been in vain.

 

Till thou thy teaching power apply,

Our hearts refuse to see,

And weak, as a distemper’d eye,

Shut out the view of thee.

 

Blind to the merits of thy Son,

What misery we endure!

Yet fly that hand from which alone

We could expect a cure.

 

We praise thee, and would praise thee more,

To thee our all we owe;

The precious Saviour, and the power

That makes him precious too.

__________

 

LXV.  GRACE AND PROVIDENCE.

 

Almighty King! whose wondrous hand

Supports the weight of sea and land,

Whose grace is such a boundless store,

No heart shall break that sighs for more.

 

Thy providence supplies my food,

And ‘tis thy blessing makes it good;

My soul is nourish’d by thy word,

Let soul and body praise the Lord.

 

My streams of outward comfort came

From him who built this earthly frame;

Whate’er I want his bounty gives,

By whom my soul for ever lives.

 

Either his hand preserves from pain,

Or, if I feel it, heals again;

From Satan’s malice shields my breast,

Or overrules it for the best.

 

Forgive the song that falls so low

Beneath the gratitude I owe!

It means thy praise, however poor;

An angel’s song can do no more.

__________

 

LXVI.  I WILL PRAISE THE LORD AT ALL TIMES.

 

Winter has a joy for me,

While the Saviour’s charms I read,

Lowly, meek, from blemish free,

In the snowdrop’s pensive head.

 

Spring returns, and brings along

Life-invigorating suns:

Hark! the turtle’s plaintive song

Seems to speak his dying groans!

 

Summer has a thousand charms,

All expressive of his worth;

‘Tis his sun that lights and warms,

His the air that cools the earth.

 

What! has Autumn left to say

Nothing of a Saviour’s grace?

Yes, the beams of milder day

Tell me of his smiling face.

 

Light appears with early dawn,

While the sun makes haste to rise;

See his bleeding beauties drawn

On the blushes of the skies.

 

Evening with a silent pace,

Slowly moving in the west,

Shows an emblem of his grace,

Points to an eternal rest.

__________

 

LXVII.  LONGING TO BE WITH CHRIST.

 

To Jesus, the Crown of my hope,

My soul is in haste to be gone:

O bear me, ye cherubim, up,

And waft me away to his throne!

 

My Saviour, whom absent I love,

Whom, not having seen, I adore;

Whose name is exalted above

All glory, dominion, and power;

 

Dissolve thou these bonds, that detain

My soul from her portion in thee;

Ah! strike off this adamant chain,

And make me eternally free.

 

When that happy era begins,

When array’d in thy glories I shine,

Nor grieve any more, by my sins,

The bosom on which I recline:

 

Oh, then shall the veil be removed,

And round me thy brightness be pour’d;

I shall meet him whom absent I loved,

I shall see whom unseen I adored.

 

And then, never more shall the fears,

The trials, temptations, and woes,

Which darken this valley of tears,

Intrude on my blissful repose.

 

Or, if yet remember’d above,

Remembrance no sadness shall raise;

They will be but new signs of thy love,

New themes for my wonder and praise.

 

Thus the strokes which from sin and from pain

Shall set me eternally free,

Will but strengthen and rivet the chain

Which binds me, my Saviour, to thee.

__________

 

LXVIII.  LIGHT SHINING OUT OF DARKNESS.

 

God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

 

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill,

He treasures up his bright designs,

And works his sovereign will.

 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.

 

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust him for his grace:

Behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face.

 

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding every hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flower.

 

Blind unbelief is sure to err,[38]

And scan his work in vain:

God is his own interpreter,

And he will make it plain.

 



[1] 1 Samuel xxiii.27.

[2] Jonah i.17.

[3] Mark ix.24.

[4] Mark v.34.

[5] Judges vii.9, 20.

[6] Verse 37.

[7] Isaiah xxxi.5.

[8] Exodus xii.13.

[9] Leviticus xii.6.

[10] Leviticus xvi.21.

[11] Leviticus xiv.51-53.

[12] Exodus x.9.

[13] Exodus xii.12.

[14] Isaiah liv.2.

[15] Luke xii.50.

[16] Exodus xvii.11.

[17] Psalm cxxx.6.

[18] Canticles v.8.

[19] Hebrews xii.8.

[20] Psalm cxix.71.

[21] Psalm lxix.15.

[22] Psalm xl.17.

[23] Ephesians vi.16.

[24] Joshua vii.10, 11.

[25] Isaiah xxxv.7.

[26] Matthew vi.34.

[27] Habakkuk iii.17, 18.

[28] Proverbs iii.17.

[29] Matthew xi.30.

[30] Genesis xxi.19.

[31] 1 Kings xvii.14.

[32] Isaiah xxxiii.16.

[33] Romans iii.31.

[34] Judges vii.2.

[35] Exodus xxviii.33.

[36] Matthew xxvi.33.

[37] John vi.29.

[38] John xiii.7.