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AWAKE, O muse! Awake, ye tuneful throng!
Still, still she must her sacred sorrows shed, And mourn the loss of the renowned dead.
Ye highly favor’d race! to whom ‘tis giv’n To love the Lord, and know your peace with Heav’n; Who gladly see IMMANUEL’S glory rise, But view his sinking cause with weeping eyes:
Ye youths and virgins, all ye pious throng, Fathers and matrons, listen to my song; Attend the mournful strain, oh with me join, Assist my grief, and mingle tears with mine!
Ah! mighty God! — but why should we repine?
We dare not murmur, for the stroke is thine:
Deep is the wound! yet we (tho’ mourn we must) Are dumb before thee, and confess thee just.
But spare thy people, Lord! nor let thy cause Be trodden down; for if thy pow’r withdraws We sink for ever — Oh, return! return!
For, void of hope, why should thy people mourn?
Show us the sins which make thine anger rise; Lead in thy ways, and teach us to be wise.
How deep the ways of Heav’n! Why, at a time When folly reigns, and ev’ry hateful crime; When daring vice presumes strange heights to rise, And the bold infidel blasphemes the skies, Should Zion’s pillars fall, while Babel’s stand In strength increasing, and o’ershade the land?
But stop, presumptuous muse! and rather say, Why did the mighty stroke so long delay?
Why the fair star, by Heav’n ordain’d to shine In brighter skies, so long continu’d thine?
Why was the saint, so well prepar’d to go, Chain’d to this scene, and kept so long below?
Where are our fathers? do the prophets live?
He, whose decease demands these mournful lays, Was gather’d to his people full of days.
Nor needs his much-renown’d, his much-lov’d name, The aid of verse, to eternize his same:
In his own page his matchless glories shine, Will live for ever, and he needs not mine.
Tho’ dead, he speaks; his mighty spirit lives; Whate’er we ask, his page profusely gives.
Yet justly we attempt a fun’ral verse, And with harmonious sorrows strew his hearse; His worthy deeds to our remembrance bring, And, with alternate transport, sigh and sing.
For quick relief thy healing pow’r he sought, And his first off’rings to thine altar brought:
With willing steps in vig’rous youth he came, Beheld thy glory, and ador’d thy name.
Whate’er to learned Greece or Rome was known He studied deeply, and he made his own.
But all the flow’rs which in this province lay, He soon neglected, as his childish play:
And his enlighten’d soul with full delight Beheld the sacred Volume. All his might Was here collected. With laborious mind, And ceaseless care, he fought its depth to find.
Hence on his mind a flood of glory rose, (The prospect brightens as he further goes) Exploring ev’ry page and ev’ry line, He saw eternal truth supremely shine; The sacred sense deep from its fountain drew, And brought each latent meaning to our view.
But on his mind still brighter glories rise, He sees his GOD descending from the skies:
Wonder, ye angels! nations, all attend!
To save his foes, behold your GOD descend In human form, to bring all Heav’n can give!
He bears our sins, and dies that we may live!
Full, on the sage, these Heav’nly glories stream, This great salvation was his darling theme.
How vast his labors! — Where can Zion find An arm so strong, so resolute a mind In her defense? Where is the mighty-hand That holds such wide, such absolute command In learning’s province? Where, amongst the dead, Lies the much fam’d, the learn’d, the rev’rend head, Renown’d for equal labors? Where, alas, What distant climes and kingdoms must we pass To find his honor’d equal? Where, indeed, Can one be found that’s worthy to succeed?
With unremitting zeal the prophet try’d To humble man, and bend his stubborn pride To God’s salvation. Man, whose haughty soul Presumes th’ eternal counsels to control; To teach the mighty Ruler of the skies; And, more than Heav’nly wisdom, to be wise.
He knew the task too hard for mortal might, And ever kept Almighty grace in sight.
He knew that grace alone his work could bless, And, here depending for the whole success, He check’d the bold blasphemer; show’d his mind To ev’ry Heav’nly precept disinclin’d, His strength but weakness, and his wisdom blind.
Who from his ancient purpose never moves, But will pursue with goodness whom he loves:
But, great IMMANUEL! all his soul was thine, And in his page thy awful glories shine Frequent and full. He scorn’d to favor those Who shade thy glory, and who dare oppose Thy great salvation. We behold thee rise Th’ eternal God, the Sov’reign of the skies; The Lord of Heaven and earth, with glory crown’d; Whose Godhead brightens all the skies around:
Man’s only hope and peace, by Heav’n assign’d, The only rest the weary soul can find; The only power which from our guilt can free, And all our great salvation hangs on thee.
Is there a theme so forcible to move As thy deep suff’rings, and thy wond’rous love?
We see thee undergo the bitter curse!
We hear thee groan! we see thee bleed for us!
We see thee steady stand th’ avenging blow!
And rigid justice lets the sinner go!
The more thy perfect righteousness is shown, The more we see the meanness of our own.
We see ourselves, how naked, and how blind, Our guilt, enormous, rushes on our mind; Nor can we hope to see thy smiling face Without thy pow’rful, all-prevailing grace.
We see thee rise in GILL’s extensive strain Mighty to save, and able to maintain The cause of all thy people. All thy sons Shall come to glory, so thy promise runs:
Each, by thy aid, shall conquer all his foes, And safe arrive, tho’ earth and hell oppose.
Ye happy souls, that know the Lord, whose mind Is to his potent work and will refign’d, Who have the wilds of conscious trouble trod, But, taught by sov’reign grace, you know your God; How burn your hearts within you! and what fire Warms your glad breasts, when our esteemed sire Explains the mighty grace of God, and shows The way he takes to overcome his foes; To bend the haughty sinner to his throne, And make him seek salvation thro’ his Son?
And to what solid, what substantial joys, In his bold strain, the saint was taught to rise!
How far above earth’s empty joys to soar And feast on bliss, where sorrows are no more?
How clear his sense! his reasoning how strong!
Against the strange perverseness of the throng, Who view the glorious Gospel’s boundless blaze Thro’ some false medium, which inverts its rays; Who, bold and blind, the curs’d harangue begin, And tell the world that grace engenders sin.
How warm his indignation! and how clear His copious page makes the reverse appear!
And thou, bright Faith! fair offspring of the skies!
In his extensive page art seen to rise All-glorious and divine. Parent of love, And truth, and purity, that roars above All filth and meanness. Whose diviner light, Where reason errs, is sure to lead us right.
These were the themes which fill’d the rev’rend sage; They fir’d his youth, and they employ’d his age:
With what a rapid course he pour’d along The Heav’nly road! how steady and how strong In every Gospel truth! Ah! where’s the hand That dare attempt such labors? What command In every branch of science! How profound In the whole learned, wide, historic round!
Was not each ancient kingdom’s hist’ry known, And every Father of the church his own?
None of the flourish’d, fig’ring of the age, Nor what was puff’d, or swelling, fill’d his page.
For her he search’d the wilds of ancient song; And the fair foliage in her temple hung:
Her name, her health, her growth, and her affairs Employ’d his thoughts, and fill’d up all his cares.
When, great IMMANUEL! crouds against thee came To shade thy glory, and to blast thy name; He pour’d, resistless, on the num’rous throng, And drove the daunted train in heaps along; High on his helm celestial glories play, And Heav’n ordain’d him a triumphant day.
And when, by dangers, call’d to closer fight, He flood unmov’d, collected in his might; With ready hand his shining sword he draws, Assur’d of vict’ry in his Master’s cause; Fearless he turns indignant on the foe, Dares ev’ry arm, and wards off every blow.
He stands unshaken, in himself an host, Nor can an army stir him from his post!
Nor was his vig’rous, vast, capacious mind To disputation’s toilsome sphere confin’d.
What just rebuke the haughty scorner felt!
And how the sinner trembled at his guilt!
How were the saints brought forward on their way, And urg’d to all the duties of the day!
How did his counsel succor the distress’d, And pour the balm in the afflicted breast!
How were your hearts affected! and his own, And how his sparkling eyes with glory shone!
How were your hearts affected with his strain!
Say, did you hear with pleasure, or with pain?
The springing tears fell copious from your eye, But were they tears of grief, or tears of joy?
If from good works could rise our last relief, Who more could boast than this renowned chief?
But these afforded not the least delight, They vanish’d, like a vapor, out of sight.
Not on his character, which stood renown’d For ev’ry moral virtue, and was crown’d With all the fruits of righteousness, which blaze Conspicuous forth to his great Master’s praise:
Not on his greater labors, or his less, On mortal’s praises, or his great success; Not on those works in which, above the rest, A present God the composition blest, He plac’d the least dependence; from his soul He did most steadily renounce the whole, And fix’d on Christ’s salvation. The rich blood And righteousness of his incarnate God, Were all his hope, his rest, his joy, his crown, And at his feet he laid his burden down:
Oh may, like his, my spirit wing her way From earth’s dull clod to realms of endless day!
When on the utmost verge of time I stand, And vast eternity is near at hand; When from my cold, pale lips the quiv’ring breath Can scarce return, to ‘scape the hand of death; Then may my smiling Savior stand in sight, And chear the gloom with his celestial light.
How precious, Lord! How precious in thine eye!
How precious, in their death, thy people lie!
With frequent tears the sacred seed they sow, And toil and trouble are their lot below.
But when so near their journey’s end they come, With what endearing smiles thou call’st them home!
An hour of these rewards an age of pain.
But hence! ye impious, unbelieving crew!
If frowning death may tell you where you are, Confusion is your lot, and black despair!
In vain your agonizing souls implore To sink in darkness, and to be no more!
A fi’ry gulf receives you in her womb, And all your fate is big with woes to come!
A happier lot remains, a sweeter song, Awaits the race which to the Lord belong.
Jesus descends in all his might to save, Nor will he lose his servants in the grave.
How vast the joys which rush’d without control On our dear father’s just emerging soul!
The guard attends — They leave the lower day, And beat, with burning hoofs, the starry way.
But, great IMMANUEL! all the pow’r is thine, To bring thy Zion forth, and make her shine.
Submit! — It is your heav’nly Father’s will, Your God is good, but is a sov’reign still:
Such means as yours have been, he gives to few; Think what the King of Zion claims from you.
Present your ardent pray’rs before his throne; He can repair your breach, and he alone.
And thou, blest saint! now from our scene remov’d, Welcom’d by angels, and by Jesus lov’d; May thy fair page still in our view appear, And be thy name to late rememb’rance dear!
May all the labors of thy love inspire The sons of grace, to catch the sacred fire!
Thy works before us lie; may he that reads Pursue thy steps, and emulate thy deeds!