« PreviousContinue »
Ye Seraphs, who God's throne incircling ftill With holy zeal your golden cenfers fill; Ye flaming minifters, to diftant lands Who bear, obfequious, his divine commands; Ye Cherubs who compofe the facred choir, Attuning to your voice th' angelic lyre! Or ye, fair natives of the heav'nly plain, Who once were mortal-now a happier train! Who spend in peaceful love your joyful hours, In blissful meads and amaranthine bow'rs, Oh lend one spark of your celeftial fire! Oh deign my glowing bofom to inspire! And aid the Mufe's unexperienc'd wing, While Goodness, theme divine, fhe foars to fing! Tho' all thy attributes divinely fair, Thy full perfection, glorious God! declare; Yet if one beam's fuperior to the reft, Oh let thy Goodness fairest be confefs'd: As fhines the moon amidst her ftarry train, As breathes the rose amongst the flow'ry scene, As the mild dove her filver plumes difplays, So fheds thy Mercy its diflinguifh'd rays. This led, Creator mild, thy gracious hand,
When formless Chaos heard thy high command;
When pleas'd, thine eye thy matchlefs works review'd,
And Goodness, placid, fpoke that all was good!
Nor only does in heaven thy Goodness shine,
Delighted nature feels its warmth divine;
The vital fun's illuminating beam,
The filver crefcent, and the ftarry gleam;
As day and night, alternate they command,
Proclaim this truth to ev'ry diftant land.
See fmiling nature, with thy treasures fair,
Confefs thy bounty and parental care;
Renew'd by Thee, the faithful feafons rife,
And earth with plenty all her fons fupplies.
The generous lion and the brindled boar,
As nightly thro' the foreft walks they roar,
From thee, Almighty Maker, feek their prey,
Nor from thy hand unfed depart away:
To thee, for meat the callow ravens cry,
Supported by thy all-preferving eye:
From thee, the feather'd natives of the plain,
Or those who range the field, or plough the main,
Receive, with conftant course, th' appointed food,
And taste the cup of univerfal good;
Thy hand thou open'ft, million'd myriads live;
Thou frown'ft, they faint ;-thou fmil'ft, and they
On virtue's acre, as on rapine's ftores,
See heav'n impartial deal the fruitful show'rs!
"Life's common bleffings all her children fhare,"
Tread the fame earth, and breathe a gen'ral air!
Without diftinction, boundless bleffings fall,
And Goodness, like the fun, enlightens all!
Oh man, degenerate man! offend no more!
Go, learn of brutes, thy Maker to adore!
Shall thefe, thro' ev'ry tribe, his bounty own,
Of all his works, ungrateful thou alone!
Deaf when the tuneful voice of mercy cries,
And blind when fov'reign Goodness charms the eyes!
Mark, even the wretch his awful name blafphemes,
His pity fpares,-his clemency reclaims !
Obferve his patience with the guilty ftrive,
And bid the criminal repent and live;
Recal the fugitive with gracious eye,
Befeech the obftinate, he would not die!
Amazing tenderness-amazing moft,
The foul on whom fuch mercy fhould be loft!
But would't thou view the rays of Goodness join,
In one ftrong point of radiance all divine!
Behold, celestial Mufe! yon eaftern light;
To Beth'lem's plain, adoring, bend thy fight!
Hear the glad meffage to the fhepherds giv❜n,
"Good-will on earth to man, and peace in heav'n."
Attend the fwains, purfue the ftarry road,
And hail to earth the Saviour and the God!
Redemption oh thou beauteous mystic plan!
Thou falutary fource of life to man!
What tongue can speak thy comprehensive grace!
What thought thy depths unfathomable trace!
When loft in fin our ruin'd nature lay,
When awful juftice claim'd her righteous pay!
See the mild Saviour bend his pitying eye,
And flop th' light'ning just prepar'd to fly!
(O ftrange effect of unexampled love!)
View him defcend the heavenly throne above;
Patient, the ills of mortal life endure,
Calm, tho' revil'd, and innocent, tho' poor 1
Uncertain his abode, and coarse his food,
His life one fair continued fcene of good :
For us fuftain the wrath to man decreed,
The victim of eternal juftice bleed!
Look, to the cross the Lord of life is ty'd,
They pierce his hands, and wound his facred fide!
See, God expires! our forfeit to atone,
While nature trembles at his parting groan!
Advance, thou hopeless mortal, fteel'd in guilt,
Behold, and if thou can'ft, forbear to melt!
Shall Jefus die thy freedom to regain,
And wilt thou drag the voluntary chain?
Wilt thou refuse thy kind affent to give,
When breathlefs he looks down to bid thee live!
Perverse, wilt thou reject the proffer'd good,
Bought with his life, and ftreaming in his blood!
Whofe virtue can thy deepeft crimes efface,
Reheal thy nature, and confirm thy peace!
Can all the errors of thy life atone,
And raise thee from a rebel-to a fon!
O bleft Redeemer, from thy facred throne,
Where faints and angels fing thy triumphs won!
When, from the grave thou rais'd thy glorious head,
(Chain'd to thy car the pow'rs infernal led)
From that exalted height of blifs fupreme,
Look down on those who bear thy facred name;
Reffore their ways, infpire them by thy grace,
Thy laws to follow, and thy fteps to trace;
Thy bright example to thy doctrine join,
And by their morals prove their faith divine!
Nor only to thy church confine thy ray,
O'er the glad world thy healing light display;
Fair fun of righteoufnefs! in beauty rife,
And clear the mifts that cloud the heathen skies!
To Judah's remnant, now a fcatter'd train,
Thou great Meffiah! fhow thy promis'd reign;
O'er earth as wide, thy faving warmth diffufe,
As fpreads the ambient air, or falling dews,