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My stedfast heart shall fear no ill,
For thou, O LORD, art with me still ;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
And guide me through the dreadful shade.
Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious lonely wilds I stray,
Thy bounty shall my pains beguile,
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens and herbage crown'd,
And streams shall murmur all round.
PSALM XXIII. PARAPHRASED. THE LORD JEHOVAH doth my spirit keep, The great good Shepherd of the chosen sheep; How then, alas! O how can I repine, When all that is, is Christ's, and Christ is mine? Oft on my journey as I pant for rest, With hunger famish’d, and with thirst opprest; Far from the dusty whirl of care and strife, He gently leads me to the Word of Life: There on the arm of Faith my head reclin'd, In pleasant pastures sweet repose I find ; Where springs for evermore, from holy ground, Each herb for med'cine or for food renown'd; A crystal stream, the solace of our woes, From God's high throne, thro' all those pastures
flows; Of this world's lust to quench the burning heat, And all her sorrows make the soul forget. My Shepherd's love, O! how shall I repay? Who first recall'd me, when I went astray ; From heav'n He came, and left the angels there, To seek and save me, lost in deserts drear; For errors past, He paid the ransom down, And gave me wisdom, and a strength unknown, To find and keep the way that leads to glory's crown.
What tho' betwixt us lies Death's shadowy vale,
And clouds and darkness on the prospect dwell,
The path I tread, my SAVIOUR trod before,
And that blest tree, which once His body bore,
Firm grasp'd by Hope, is ever at my side,
A rod to conquer, and a staff to guide.
This shall conduct me thro' the dismal road,
And place me glorious on the mount of God,
Where heav'n's high King His table has prepar'd
For those who, while on earth, His sorrows shar'd;
Blest souls, who taste the mercies of the LORD,
And drink delights from cups exhaustless pour'd ;
Joy everlasting on their heads descends!
Behold, ye scorners, and despair, ye fiends.
Come, dearest LORD, all-gracious Shepherd, come,
And lead a poor lost sheep in safety home.
0! let Thy watchful care my steps attend,
'Till this sad pilgrim's life shall have an end;
Then, when the hand that gave, demands my
Crown all Thy mercies with a Christian death
My soul to Zion's hill let angels bear,
Amidst the flock redeem'd to appear,
And with the Shepherd Lamb abide for ever there.
PSALM XXIV.--J. Bowdler, Jun.
JEHOVAH's throne is fix'd above,
And bright through all the courts of love
His cherub choirs appear :
Ah! how shall man ascend on high,
A feeble race condemn’d to die,
The heirs of guilt and tear!
Shall towering strength, or eagle flight,
Essay to win the sacred height
By saint and seraph trod?
That living light, that holiest air,
The guileless heart alone shall share,
The pure behold their God.
Yet think not that with fruitless pain, One tear shall drop, one sigh in vain
Repentant swell thy breast; See, see the great REDEEMER come. To bear his exiled children home,
Triumphant to their rest. Even now, from earth's remotest end, Ten thousand thousand voices blend
To bless the Saviour's power : Within Thy temple, LORD, we stand, With willing heart, a pilgrim band, And wait
the promis's hour. Then high your golden portals raise, Ye everlasting gates of praise,
Ye heavens, the triumph share ; MESSIAH comes, with all His train, He comes to claim His purchas'd reign,
And rest for ever there !
Sing, ye sons of might, O sing
Praise to heaven's eternal King;
Pow'r and strength to Him assign,
And before His hallow'd shrine
Yield the homage that His name,
From a creature's lips may claim.
Hark! His voice in thunder breaks
Hush'd to silence, while He speaks,
Ocean's waves from pole to pole
Hear the awful accents roll :
See, as louder yet they rise,
Echoing through the vaulted skies,
Loftiest cedars lie o'erthrown,
Cedars of steep Lebanon.
Now the bursting clouds give way,
And the vivid lightnings play,
And the wilds, by man untrod,
Hear, dismay'd, th’approaching God.
Prostrate on the sacred floor,
Israel's sons His name adore,
While His acts to every tongue
Yield its argument of song.
He the swelling surge commands ;
Fix'd His throne for ever stands;
He“ His people shall encrease,
“ Arm with strength, and bless with peace.”
PSALM XXXIX.-Merrick. WHERE, LORD, shall I my refuge see? On whom repose my hope but Thee ? O purge my guilt, nor let my foe Exulting mock my heightend woe. Convinc'd that Thy paternal hand Inflicts but what my sins demand, I speechless sate: nor plaintive word, Nor murmur, from my lips was heard. But 0, in Thy appointed hour Withdraw Thý rod; lest Nature's pow'r, While griefs on griefs my heart assail, Unequal to the conflict, fail. O, how Thy chastisements impair The human form, however fair! How frail the strongest frame we see, If Thou the sinner's fate decree! As when the fretting moths consume The labour of the curious loom, The texture fails, the dyes decay, And all its lustre fades away: Such, man, thy state: then, humbled, own That vanity and thou are one. To Thee, great God, my knees I bend ; To Thee my ceaseless prayers ascend; O let my sorrows reach thine ears, And mark my sighs, my groans, my tears.
God of my fathers ! here, as they,
I walk the pilgrim of a day;
A transient guest, Thy works admire,
And instant to my home retire.
O spare me, LORD, awhile, O spare,
And Nature's ruin'd strength repair,
E'er life's short circuit wander'd o'er,
I perish, and am seen no more.
PSALM XLII.-J. Bowdler, Jun.
As panting in the sultry beam
The hart desires the cooling stream,
So to Thy presence, LORD, I flee,
So longs my soul, O God! for Thee ;
Athirst to taste Thy living grace,
And see Thy glory face to face.
But rising griefs distress
And tears on tears successive roll:
For many an evil voice is near
To chide my woe, and mock my fear,
And silent Memory weeps alone,
O’er hours of peace and gladness flown.
For I have walked the happy round
That circles Sion's holy ground,
And gladly swell’d the choral lays
That hymn'd my great REDEEMER’s praise,
What time the hallow'd arch along
Responsive swell’d the solemn song.
Ah! why, by passing clouds oppress’d,
Should vexing thoughts distract thy breast ?
Turn, turn to Him, in every pain,
Whom never suppliant sought in vain;
Thy strength, in joy's ecstatic day,
Thy hope, when joy has pass'd away.