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Hymn 64

John Newton


On the commencement of hostilities in America.


The gath’ring clouds, with aspect dark,

A rising storm presage;

O! to be hid within the ark,

And sheltered from its rage!

See the commissioned angel frown!

Rev 16:1

That vial in his hand,

Filled with fierce wrath, is pouring down

Upon our guilty land!

Ye saints, unite in wrestling prayer;

If yet there may be hope;

Who knows but Mercy yet may spare,

And bid the angel stop!

1Sam 24:16

Already is the plague begun,

Num 16:46

And fired with hostile rage;

Brethren, by blood and interest one,

With brethren now engage.

Peace spreads her wings, prepared for flight,

And war, with flaming sword,

And hasty strides draws nigh, to fight

The battles of the LORD.

The first alarm, alas, how few,

While distant, seem to hear!

But they will hear, and tremble too,

When God shall send it near.

So thunder, o’er the distant hills,

Gives but a murm’ring sound,

But as the tempest spreads, it fills,

And makes the welkin sound. 2626welkin: firmament, or atmosphere.

May we, at least, with one consent,

Fall low before the throne

With tears the nation’s sins lament,

The churches, and our own.

The humble souls who mourn and pray,

The LORD approves and knows;

His mark secures them in the day

When vengeance strikes his foes.

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