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ISAAC WATTS

1674-1748

445                                      The Day of Judgement

WHEN the fierce North-wind with his airy forces
Rears up the Baltic to a foaming fury;
And the red lightning with a storm of hail comes
                          Rushing amain down;
How the poor sailors stand amazed and tremble,
While the hoarse thunder, like a bloody trumpet,
Roars a loud onset to the gaping waters
                          Quick to devour them.
Such shall the noise be, and the wild disorder
(If things eternal may be like these earthly),
Such the dire terror when the great Archangel
                          Shakes the creation;
Tears the strong pillars of the vault of Heaven,
Breaks up old marble, the repose of princes,
Sees the graves open, and the bones arising,
                        Flames all around them.
Hark, the shrill outcries of the guilty wretches!
Lively bright horror and amazing anguish
Stare thro their eyelids, while the living worm lies
                        Gnawing within them.
Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their heart-strings,
And the smart twinges, when the eye beholds the
Lofty Judge frowning, and a flood of vengeance
                        Rolling afore him.
Hopeless immortals! how they scream and shiver,
While devils push them to the pit wide-yawning
Hideous and gloomy, to receive them headlong
                        Down to the centre!
Stop here, my fancy: (all away, ye horrid
Doleful ideas!) come, arise to Jesus,
How He sits God-like! and the saints around Him
                        Throned, yet adoring!
O may I sit there when He comes triumphant,
Dooming the nations! then ascend to glory,
While our Hosannas all along the passage
                        Shout the Redeemer!

446                                            A Cradle Hymn

HUSH! my dear, lie still and slumber,
   Holy angels guard thy bed !
Heavenly blessings without number
   Gently falling on thy head.
Sleep, my babe; thy food and raiment,
   House and home, thy friends provide;
All without thy care or payment:
   All thy wants are well supplied.
How much better thourt attended
   Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven He descended
   And became a child like thee!
Soft and easy is thy cradle:
   Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay,
When His birthplace was a stable
   And His softest bed was hay.
Blessàd babe! what glorious features
   Spotless fair, divinely bright!
Must He dwell with brutal creatures
   How could angels bear the sight?
Was there nothing but a manger
   Cursàd sinners could afford
To receive the heavenly stranger?
   Did they thus affront their Lord?
Soft, my child: I did not chide thee,
   Though my song might sound too hard;
Tis thy mother sits beside thee,
   And her arms shall be thy guard.
Yet to read the shameful story
   How the Jews abused their King,
How they served the Lord of Glory,
   Makes me angry while I sing.
See the kinder shepherds round Him,
   Telling wonders from the sky!
Where they sought Him, there they found Him,
   With His Virgin mother by.
See the lovely babe a-dressing;
   Lovely infant, how He smiled!
When He wept, the mothers blessing
   Soothed and hushd the holy child.
Lo, He slumbers in His manger,
   Where the hornàd oxen fed:
Peace, my darling; heres no danger,
   Heres no ox anear thy bed.
Twas to save thee, child, from dying,
   Save my dear from burning flame,
Bitter groans and endless crying,
   That thy blest Redeemer came.

Mayst thou live to know and fear Him,
   Trust and love Him all thy days;
Then go dwell for ever near Him,
   See His face, and sing His praise!

 

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