« PreviousContinue »
§ 2. Adam and Eve, in a Morning Hymn, call upon all the Parts of the Creation to join with them in extolling their common Maker. MILTON. THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty, thine this univerfal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; thy felf how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who fitt'ft above thefe Heavens
To us invifible, or dimly feen
In the thy loweft works; yet thefe declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine.
Speak ye who beft can tell, ye fons of light,
Angels, for ye behold him, and with fongs
And choral fymphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven,
On Earth, join all ye creatures to extol
Him firft, him laft, him midft, and without end.
Faireft of ftars, laft in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'ft the finiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praife him in thy (phere,
While day arifes, that fweet hour of prime.
Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and foul,
Acknowledge him thy greater, found his praise
la thy eternal courfe, both when thou cliaib',
And when high noon haft gain'd, and when thou
Moon, that now meet'ft the orient fun, now fly ft
With the fix'd ftars, fix'd in their orb that flics,
ye five other wand'ring fires that move
In myftic dance, not without fong, refound
His praife, who out of darknef's call'd up light.
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
Vary to our great Maker till new praise.
And nourish all things; let your ceafelefs change
Ye Mits and Exhalations that now rife
From hill or streaming lake, dufky or grey,
Till the fun paint your fieccy fikirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rife!
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd fky,
Or wet the thirty earth with failing thowers,
Rifing or falling ftill advance his praise.
His praife, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe foft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines,
With every plant in fign of worthip wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble as ye flow
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praife.
Join veices, all ye living Souls; ye Birds,
That finging up to Heaven's gate afcend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praife,
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witnets if I be filent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh fhade
Made vocal by my fong, and taught his praife.
Hail univerfal Lord! be bounteous full
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd,
Difperfe it, as now light difpels the dark.
In ev'ry leaf that trembles to the breeze
I hear the voice of God among the trees.
With thee in fhady folitudes I walk,
With thee in bufy crowded cities talk;
In every creature own thy formning power,
In each event thy providence adore.
Thy hopes fhall animate my drooping foul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fear controul:
Thus fhall I reft, unmov'd by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arms,
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myself omnipotent in thee.
Then when the laft, the clofing hour draws
And earth recedes before my fwimming eye;
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate
I ftand, and ftretch my view to either state;
Teach me to quit this tranfitory scene
With decent triumph and a look ferene;
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
And, having liv'd to thee, in thee to die.
$4. Hymn on Gratitude. ADDISON.
WHEN all thy mercies, O my God,
My rifing foul furveys;
Tranfported with the view, I'm lost
In wonder, love, and praise.
O how fhall words with equal warmth
The gratitude declare
That glows within my
But thou canst read it there.
Thy providence my life fuftain'd,
And all my wants redrefs'd,
When in the filent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breaft.
To all my weak complaints and cries
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt
To form themfelves in pray'r.
Unnumber'd comforts to my
Thy tender care bestow'd,
Before my infant heart conceiv'd
From whom those comforts flow'd. When in the flipp'ry paths of youth With heedlefs fteps I ran,
Thine arm unfeen convey'd me safe,
And led me up to man.
Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
It gently clear'd my way,
And through the pleafing fnares of vice,
More to be fear'd than they.
When worn with fickness, oft haft thou
With health renew'd my face,
And when in fins and forrows funk,
Reviv'd my foul with grace.
Thy bounteous hand with worldly blifs
Has made my cup run o'er,
And in a kind and faithful friend
Has doubled all my ftore.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ, Nor is the leaft a cheerful heart,
That taftes thofe gifts with joy. Through every period of my life
Thy goodnefs I'll purfue; And after death in diftant worlds
The glorious theme renew. When nature fails, and day and night Divide thy works no more, My ever grateful heart, O Lord, Thy mercy fhall adore. Through all eternity to Thee
A joyful fong I'll raife, For O! eternity's too fhort To utter all thy praise.
$5. Hymn on Providence. ADDISON THE HE Lord my pafture fhall prepare, And feed me with a thepherd's care: His prefence fhall my wants fupply, And guard me with a watchful eye; My noon-day walks he fhall attend, And all my midnight hours defend. When in the fultry glebe I faint, Or on the thirsty mountains pant; To fertile vales, and dewy meads, My weary wand'ring fteps he leads; Where peaceful rivers, foft and flow, Amid the verdant landfkip flow. Tho' in the paths of Death I tread, With gloomy horrors overspread, My ftedfalt heart fhall fear no ill, For thou, O Lord, art with me ftill; Thy friendly crook fhall give me aid, And guide me through the dreadful shade. Tho' in a bare and rugged way, Through devious lonely wilds I ftray, Thy bounty fhall my pains beguile : The barren wildernefs fhall fmile, With fudden greens and herbage crown'd; And ftreams fhall murmur all around.
6. Another Hymn, from the beginning of the 19th Pfalm. ADDISON.
HE fpacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And fpangled Heavens, a fhin ng framę,
Their great original proclaim :
Th' unwearied fun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's pow'r difplay,
And publishes to land
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening fhades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the lift'ning earth
Repeats the ftory of her birth:
Whilft all the ftars that round her burn,
And all the planets in ther turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in folemn filence all
More round the dark terreftrial ball!
What tho' nor real voice nor found
Amid their radiant orbs be found!
In reafon's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever finging as they fhine,
The hand that made us is Divine."
§ 7. Anoiber Hymn. Mrs. Row E.
THE glorious armies of the fky
To thee, Almighty King,
Triumphant anthems confecrate,
And hallelujahs fing.
But ftill their most exalted fights
Fall vaftly thorr of thee:
How distant then must human praise
From thy perfections be !
Yet how, my God, fhall I refrain,
When to my ravish'd fenfe
Each creature every where around
Difplays thy excellence!
The active lights that shine above,
In their eternal dance,
Reveal their skilful Maker's praise
With filent elegance.
The blushes of the morn confefs
That thou art ftill more fair,
When in the Eaft its beams revive,
To gild the fields of air.
The fragrant, the refreshing brecze
Of ev'ry flow'ry bloom
In balmy whispers own, from Thee
Their pleafing odours come.
The finging birds, the warbling winds,
And water's murm'ring fall,
Topraife the first Almighty Caufe
With diff'rent voices call.
Thy num'rous works exalt thee thus,
And fhall I filent be?
No; rather let me cease to breathe,
Than ceafe from praising thee!
§ 8. Another Hymn. Mrs. Row E.
THOU didft, O mighty God! exift
Ere time began its race;
Before the ample elements
Fill'd up the void of space :
Before the pond'rous earthly globe.
In fluid air was ftay'd;
Before the ocean's mighty fprings
Their liquid ftores difplay'd:
Ere through the gloom of ancient night
The freaks of light appear'd;
Before the high celeftial arch,
Or ftarry poles were rear'd:
Before the loud melodious spheres.
Their tuneful round begun;
Before the fhining roads of heav'n
Were meafur'd by the fun
Ere through the empyrean courts
One hallelujah rung;
Or to their harps the fons of light
Ecftatic anthems fung:
Ere men ador'd, or angels knew,
Or prais'd thy wondrous name;
Thy blifs, O facred Spring of life!
Thy glory, was the fame.
And when the pillars of the world
With fudden ruin break,
And all this vaft and goodly frame
Sinks in the mighty wreck;
When from her orb the moon shall starų
Th'aftonifh'd fun roll back,
And all the trembling ftarry lamps
Their ancient course forfake;
For ever permanent and fix'd,
From agitation free,
Unchang'd in everlasting years,'
Shall thy existence be.
189. Another Hymn, from Pfalm 148th. OGILVIE, BEGIN, my foul, th' exalted lay!
Let each enraptur'd thought obey,
And praife th' Almighty's name:
Lo! heaven and earth, and feas and skies,
In one melodious concert rife,
To fwell th' infpiring theme.
Ye fields of light, celeftial plains,
Where gay tranfporting beauty reigns,
Ye fcenes divinely fair!
Your Maker's wondrous power proclaim;
Tell how he form'd your fhining frame,
And breath'd the fluid air.
Ye angels, catch the thrilling found!
While all th' adoring thrones around
His boundless mercy fing:
Let ev'ry lift'ning faint above
Wake all the tuneful foul of love,
And touch the fwecteft ftring.
Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir;
Thou dazzling orb of liquid fire,
The mighty chorus aid:
Soon as grey evining gilds the plain,
Thou, moon, protract the melting train,
And praise him in the fhade.
Thou heav'n of heav'ns, his vaft abode,
Ye clouds, proclaim your forming God,
Who call'd you worlds from night:
"Ye fhades, difpel !”—th' Eternal said;
At once th' involving dark nefs fled,
And nature fprung to light.
Whate'er a blooming world contains,
That wings the air, that skims the plains,
United praife beftow:
Ye dragons, found his awful name
To heav'n aloud; and roar acclaim,
Ye fwelling deeps below.
Let every element rejoice:
Ye thunders, burft with awful voice
To him who bids you roll;
His praife in fofter notes declare,
Each whispering breeze of yielding air,
And breathe it to the foul.
To him, ye graceful cedars, bow;
Ye tow'ring mountains, bending low,
Your great Creator own;
Tell, when affrighted nature fhook,
How Sinai kindled at his look,
And trembled at his frown.
Ye flocks that haunt the humble vale,
Ye infects flutt'ring on the gale,
In mutual concourfe rife:
Crop the gay rofe's vermeil bloom,
And waft its fpoils, a fweet perfume,
In incenfe to the skies.
Wake, all ye mounting tribes, and fing;
Ye plumy warblers of the fpring,
Harmonious anthems raife
To him who fhap'd your finer mould,
Who tipp'd your glittering wings with gold,
.. And tun'd your voice to praile.
Let man, by nobler pallions fway'd,
The feeling heart, the judging head,
In heav'nly praife employ;
Spread his tremendous name around,
Till heav'n's broad arch rings back the found,
The gen'ral burft of joy.
Ye whom the charms of grandeur please,
Nurs'd on the downy lap of cafe,
Fall proftrate at his throne:
Ye princes, rulers, all adore;
Praife him, ye kings, who makes your pow'r
An image of his own.
Ye fair, by nature form'd to move,
O praife th' cternal Source of love,
With youth's enlivening fire:
Let age take up the tuneful lay.
Sigh his blefs'd name-then foar
And afk an angel's lyre.
§ 10. Pfalm 4th. MERRICK. DEFENDER of my rightful caufe, While anguish from my bofom draws The deep-felt figh, the ceafelefs pray'r, O make thy fervant ftill thy care. That aid, which oft my griefs has heal'd, To aid again, entreated, yield. How long, ye fons of pride, how long Shall falfchood arm your impious tongue, And erring rage your breast inflame, My pow'r to thwart, my acts defame? To God my heart fhall vent its woe, Who, prompt his bleflings to beftow On each whofe breaft has learn'd his fear, Bows to my plaint the willing car,
Him wouldst thou pleafe? With rev'rend awe
Obferve the dictates of his Law:
In fecret on thy couch reclin'd
Search to its depth thy reftlefs mind,
Till hufh'd to peace the tumult lie,
And wrath and ftrife within thee die.
With pure gifts approach his fhrine,
And fafe to Him thy care refign.
I hear a hopeless train demand,
"Where's now the wifh'd Deliv'rer's hand?"
Do Thou, my God, do Thou reply,
And let thy prefence from on high
In full effufion o'er our head
Its all-enlivening influence fhed.
What joy my confcious heart o'erflows!
Not fuch th' exulting lab'rer knows,
When to his long expecting eyes
The vintage and the harves rife,
And, fhadowing wide the cultar'd foil,
With full requital crown his toil.
My weary eyes in fleep I close,
My limbs, fecure, to reft compofe;
For Thou, great God, fhalt fcreen my head,
And plant a guard around my bed.
§ 11. Pfalm 5th. MERRICK.
THE words that from my lips proceed, [read,)
My thoughts (for Thou thote thoughts canft
My God, my King, attentive weigh,
And hear, O hear me, when I pray.
With carlieft zeal, with wakeful care,
To Thee my foul fhall pour its pray`r,
And, ere the dawn has ftreak'd the sky,
To Thee direct its longing eye:
To Thee, whom nought obfcur'd by stain
Can pleafe; whofe doors to feet profane
Inexorable ftand; whofe Law
Offenders from thy fight fhall awe.
Let each whofe tongue to lies is turn'd,
Who leffors of deceit has learn'd.
Or thi: fts a brother's blood to fhed,
Thy hate and heaviest vengeance dread.
But I, whofe hope thy Love fupports,
How great that Love!) will tread thy courts
My knees in lowlieft rev'rence bend,
And tow rd thy fhrine my hanas extend.
Do thou, juft God, my path prepare,
And guard me from each hoftile fnare;
O lend me thy conducting ray,
And level to my steps thy way.
Behold me by a troop inclos'd,
Of falsehood and of guilt compos'd:
Their throat a fepulchre difplays,
Deep, wide, infatiate; in their praise
Lurks flatt'ry, and with fpecious art
Belies the purpofe of their heart.
O let the mischiefs they intend
Retorted on themfelves defcend,
And let thy wrath correct their fin,
Whofe hearts thy mercy fails to win.
May all whofe truft on Thee is plac'd
Peace and delight perpetual tafte,
Sav'd by thy care, in fongs of joy
Their ever grateful voice employ,
And fhare the gifts on those beftow'd, Who love the name of Jacob's God. To each who bears a guiitlefs heart, Thy grace its bleffings fhall impart; Song as the brazen thield, thy aid Around Lim cafts its cov'ring fhade.
Lord, nor o'er my head
The fulness of thy vengeance thed.
With pitying eye my weaknefs view,
Heal my vex'd foul, my ftrength renew;
And O, if yet my fins demand
The wife corrections of thy hand,
Yet give my pains their bounds to know,
And hx a period to my woe.
Return, great God, return, and fave
The fervant from the greedy grave.
Shall Death's long-filent tongue, O fay,
The cords of thy pow'r difplay,
Or pale Corruption's startled car
Tay praife within its prifon hear?
By languor, grief, and care opprelt,
With groans perpetual heaves my breast,
And tears, in large profufion fhed,
Incefant lave my fleepless bed.
My life, though yet in mid career,
B.holds the winter of its year,
(While clouds of grief around me roll,
And hoftile ftorms invade my foul,)
Relentlets from my check each trace
Of youth and blooming health erafe,
And fpread before my wafting fight
The thades of all-obfcuring night.
Hence, ye profane: My Saviour hears;
While yet 1 fpeak, he wipes my tears,
Accepts my pray'r, and bids each foe
With shame their vain attempts forego,
And, ftruck with horror from on high,
In wild diforder backward fly.
13. Pjulm stb. MERRICK. Mmortal King! Through Earth's wide frame How great thy honour, praife, and name! Whole reign o'er diftant worlds extends, Whofe glory heav'n's vaft height tranfcends. From infants Thou canft ftrength upraife, And form their lifping tongues to praife: By thefe the vengeance breathing Foe Thy mightier terrors taught to know, In mute aftonishment fhall stand, And bow beneath thy conqu'ring band. When, rapt in thought, with wakeful eye I view the wonders of the fky, Whofe frame thy fingers o'er our head In rich magnificence have fpread; The filent Moon, with waxing horn Along th' ethereal region borne; The Stars with vivid luftre crown'd, That nightly walk their deftin'd round, Lord! What is Man, that in thy care His humble lot fhould find a fhare'; Or what the Son of Man, that Thou Thus to his wants thy car fhoulda bow?
His rank awhile, by thy decree,
Th'Angelic Tribes beneath them fee,
Till round him thy imparted rays
With unextinguifh'd glory blaze.
Subjected to his feet by thee,
To Him all Nature bows the knee;
The beats in him their Lord behold;
The grazing herd, the bleating fold,
The favage race, a countless train,
That range at large th' extended plain,
The fowls, of various wing, that fly
O'er the vaft defert of the fky,
And all the wat❜ry tribes, that glide
Through paths to human fight deny 'd.
Immortal King! Through Earth's wide frame,
How great thy honour, praife, and name!
§14. Pfalm 23d. MERRICK. LO, my Shepherd's hand divine !
Want thall never more be mine.
In a pasture fair and large
He fhall feed his happy Charge,
And my couch with tend'reft care
Midit the fpringing grafs prepare.
When I faint with fummer's heat,
He fhall lead my weary feet
To the ftreams that ftili and flow
Through the verdant meadow flow.
He my foal anew fhall frame,
And, his mercy to proclaim,
When through devious paths I tray,
Teach my fteps the better way.
Though the dreary vale I tread
By the fhades of death o'erfpread;
There I walk from terror free,
While my ev'ry with I fee
By thy rod and staff supplied;
This my guard, and that my guide.
While my foes are gazing on,
Thou thy fav'ring care haft fhown;
Thou my plentcous board haft fpread;
Thou with oil refresh'd my head;
Fill'd by Thee my cup o'erflows;
For thy Love no limit knows.
Conftant, to my latest end,
This my footfteps fhall attend,
And hall bid thy hallow'd Dome
Yield me an eternal home.