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To make the Christian's name a praise ;
That fills the remnant of his days!
A kingly character he bears,
No change his priestly office knows ;
His joys can never reach a close.
Adorn'd with glory from on high,
Salvation shines upon his face ;
His steps are dignity and grace.
Inferior honours he disdains,
Nor stoops to take applause from earth;
The expenses of his heavenly birth.
The noblest creature seen below,
Ordain'd to fill a throne above;
His kingdom of eternal love !
My soul is ravish'd at the thought !
Methinks from earth I see him rise!
And shout him welcome to the skies !
LIX. [Confidence in God the peculiar heritage of the poor — the riches promised to them.]
WHEN Hagar found the bottle spent, *
And wept o'er Ishmael,
* Genesis, xxi. 19.
Should not Elijah's cake and cruise *
Convince us, at this day,
Provisions by the way ?
His saints and servants shall be fed,
The promise is secure;
6 Their water shall be sure." +
Repasts far richer they shall prove,
Than all earth's dainties are;
Though in the meanest fare.
To Jesus, then, your trouble bring,
Nor murmur at your lot;
You shall not be forgot.
[Turning from dead works to serve the living God. A transcript of Cowper's early experience, and calculated therefore to operate upon the heart as a personal warning.]
Sin enslaved me many years,
And led me bound and blind ;
Came swarming o'er my mind.
Will these sinful pleasures end!
And make the Lord my friend ?
Friends and ministers said much
The gospel to enforce ;
I chose a legal course :
Scarce would shew my face abroad,
A stranger still to God.
Thus afraid to trust his grace,
Long time did I rebel ;
Down at his feet I fell :
And subdued me to his sway;
“ Thy sins are done away.”
LXI. [The hateful dominion of sin— the delights of spiritual freedom and purity as secured by a saving belief in Jesus. ]
Holy Lord God! I love thy truth,
Nor dare thy least commandment slight;
I mourn the anguish of the bite.
But though the poison lurks within,
Hope bids me still with patience wait,
Free from the only thing I hate.
Had I a throne above the rest,
Where angels and archangels dwell ;
Would make that heaven as dark as hell.
The prisoner, sent to breathe fresh air,
And bless'd with liberty again,
One link of all his former chain.
But oh! no foe invades the bliss,
When glory crowns the Christian's head ;
Will strike all sin for ever dead.
LXII. [Conversion through grace. We are saved, and that not of ourselves.]
The new-born child of gospel grace,
Like some fair tree when summer's nigh,
Lifts up his blooming branch on high.
No fears he feels, he sees no foes,
No conflict yet his faith employs,
The strength and peace his soul enjoys.
But sin soon darts its cruel sting,
And comforts sinking day by day ;
Proves but a brook that glides away.
When Gideon arm’d his numerous host,
The Lord soon made his numbers less ;
My arm procured me this success.”
Thus will he bring our spirits down,
And draw our ebbing comforts low,
LXIII. I True faith in its own deep quietness is content. The loud professor often but a tinkling cymbal. The whole is doctrinal and beautiful ; but we dislike both the sentiment and the witticism in the fourth verse.]
The Lord receives his highest praise
From humble minds and hearts sincere ;
Offends the righteous Judge's ear.
* Judges, vii. 2.
To talk as children of the day,
To mark the precept's holy light,
Shew who are pleasing in his sight.
Not words alone it cost the Lord,
To purchase pardon for his own ;
Return the Saviour words alone.
With golden bells, the priestly vest, *
And rich pomegranates border'd round,
And call’d for fruit as well as sound.
Easy, indeed, it were to reach
A mansion in the courts above,
Might serve instead of faith and love.
But none shall gain the blissful place,
Or God's unclouded glory see,
Unless that grace has made him free!
LXIV. [Not all those who cry Lord, Lord, are true believers — the called many, but the chosen few.]
Too many, Lord, abuse thy grace,
In this licentious day ;
They turn their own away.
Thy book displays a gracious light,
That can the blind restore ;
And blinded still the more.
* Exod. xxvii. 33.