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Misery

From the same.

Lord, let the angels praise Thy name;

Man is a feeble, foolish thing!

Folly and sin play all his game;

Still burns his house, he still doth sing:

To-day he’s here, tomorrow gone,

The madman knows it—and sings on.

How canst Thou brook his foolishness?

When heedless of the voice Divine,

Himself alone he seeks to please,

And carnal joys prefers to Thine;

Eager through Nature’s wilds to rove,

Nor awed by fear, nor charm’d by love.

What strange pollutions does he wed,

Slave to his senses and to sin!

Naked of God, his guilty head

He strives in midnight shades to screen:

Fondly he hopes from Thee to fly,

Unmark’d by Thine all-seeing eye.

The best of men to evil yield,2323“No!” is Wesley’s manuscript note here.

If but the slightest trial come;

They fall, by Thee no more upheld:

And when affliction calls them home,

Thy gentle rod they scarce endure,

And murmur to accept their cure.

Wayward they haste, while Nature leads,

To escape Thee; but Thy gracious Dove

Still mildly o’er their folly spreads

The wings of His expanded love:

Thou bring’st them back, nor sufferest those

Who would be, to remain Thy foes.

My God, Thy Name man cannot praise,

All brightness Thou, all purity!

The sun in his meridian blaze

Is darkness, if compared to Thee.

O, how shall sinful worms proclaim?

Shall man presume to speak Thy Name?

Man cannot serve Thee: all his care,

Engross’d by grovelling appetite,

Is fix’d on earth; his treasure there,

His portion, and his base delight:

He starts from Virtue’s thorny road,

Alive to sin, but dead to God!

Ah, foolish man, where are thine eyes?

Lost in a crowd of earthly cares:

Thy indolence neglects to rise,

While husks to heaven thy soul prefers:

Careless the starry crown to seize,

By pleasure bound, or lull’d by ease.

To God, through all creation’s bounds,

The unconscious kinds their homage bring;

His praise through every grove resounds,

Nor know the warblers whom they sing;

But man, lord of the creatures, knows

The Source from whence their being flows.

He owns a God—but eyes Him not;

But lets his mad disorders reign:

They make his life a constant blot,

And Blood Divine an offering vain.

Ah, wretch! thy heart unsearchable,

Thy ways mysterious who can tell!

Perfect at first, and blest his state,

Man in his Maker’s image shone;

In innocence divinely great

He lived; he lived to God alone:

His heart was love, his pulse was praise,

And light and glory deck’d his face.

But alter’d now, and fall’n he is,

Immersed in flesh, and dead within;

Dead to the taste of native bliss,

And ever sinking into sin:

Nay, by his wretched self undone.

Such is man’s state—and such my own!



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