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Men of the world are asking

It was the day of religious ecstasy. He himself used to break out sometimes into exalted expressions of religious fervour, praising God aloud in the assembly, and 'laughing tears' in the vision of Divine Love. Belonging, as he did, to the 26 'dry Dissenters'--a term of contempt applied to the quieter religionists of the day--he was sometimes called to task by his brethren for what they considered his extravagance. His reply to all such accusations is given in some characteristic verses, of which the following is a free translation:

Men of the world are asking,

Much wondering at me,

When I my Lord am praising,

'What can this folly be?'

I am released from bondage,

And though the mockers throng,

The precious blood of Jesus

Shall always be my song.

A cloud once darkened o'er me,

No praises could I sing;

Sin and its guilty sorrow

Pierced through me with its sting:

But that has been removèd,

And all its weight of pain--

The precious blood of Jesus

I sing, and sing again.

I stood at Sinai trembling,

Where God upon me frowned;

Dark threatenings broke in thunders,

The lightning flashed around:

I came to peaceful Zion--

How can I songless be?--

The precious blood of Jesus

Is all the world to me.


What, though I leap rejoicing?

Sweet reverence guides my thought;

Like David's godly dancing

When home the ark was brought;

Or, like the lame man's rapture,

Healed at the temple gate--

The precious blood of Jesus

Brought health and good estate.

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