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Far from the world, O Lord! I flee,
From strife and tumult far;
From scenes where Satan wages still
His most successful war.
The calm retreat, the silent shade,
With prayer and praise agree:
And seem, by thy sweet bounty, made
For those who follow thee.
There if thy spirit touch the soul,
grace her mean abode, Oh! with what peace, and joy, and love,
She communes with her God!
There like the nightingale, she pours
Her solitary lays;
Nor asks a witness of her
song, Nor thirsts for human praise Author and Guardian of my life,
Sweet source of light divine;
And (all harmonious names in one,)
My Saviour, thou art mine!
What thanks I owe thee, and what love,
A boundless, endless store,
Shall echo through the realms above,
When time shall be no more.
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform ;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill, He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sov'reign will. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessing on your head. Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace; Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour,
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain; God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
God of my life, to thee I call,
Afflicted at thy feet I fall;
When the great water-floods prevail,
Leave not my trembling heart to fail !
Friend of the friendless and the faint !
Where should I lodge my deep complaint ?
Where but with thee, whose open door
Invites the helpless and the poor?
Did ever mourner plead with thee,
And thou refuse that mourner's plea ?
Does not that word still fix'd remain,
That none shall seek thy face in vain ?
That were a grief I could not bear,
Didst thou not hear and answer prayer ;
But a prayer hearing, answering God,
Supports me under every load.
Fair is the lot that's cast for me,
I have an advocate with thee;
They, whom the world caresses most,
Have no such privilege to boast.
Poor though I am, despis’d, forgot,
Yet God, my God, forgets me not ;
And he is safe, and must succeed,
For whom the Lord vouchsafes to plead.
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside; there's not a chain,
That hellish foes, confed’rate for his harm,
Can wind around him, but he casts it off
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of nature, and though poor, perhaps, compar'd
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
His are the mountains, and the vallies his,
And the resplendent rivers. His t'enjoy
With a propriety that none can tell,
But who, with filial gratitude inspir'd,
Can lift to heav'n an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say—“My Father made them all!”
Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of interest his,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind,
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love,
That plann'd, and built, and still upholds, a world?
Hope, with uplifted foot, set free from earth,
Pants for the place of its ethereal birth,
On steady wing, flies through th' immense abyss,
Pluck amaranthine joys from bowers of bliss,
And crowns the soul, while yet a sufferer here,
With wreaths like those angelic spirits wear.
What various hindrances we meet
In coming to a mercy-seat !
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there.
Prayer makes the darken'd cloud withdraw,
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.
While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Israel's side;
But when, through weariness they fail'd,
That moment Amalek prevail’d.
Have you no words ? ah! think again,
Words flow apace when you complain,
And fill your fellow-creature's ear
With the sad tale of all your care.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent,
To heaven in supplication sent,
Your cheerful song would oftener be,
“ Hear what the Lord has done for me."