« السابقةمتابعة »
ISAAC WATTS, D.D.
Isaac Watts, an eminent divine, philosopher, and poet, was born at Southampton, in 1674, and became a congregational minister. As a poet he is chiefly known by his “ Hebrew Lyrics,” “ Hymns,” &c. They are not very carefully finished; but there is a remarkable sweetness and purity of thought in them. Perhaps the most successful of his poems are his “ Hymns for the Young," which are admirably adapted for their purpose. His psalms and hymns have, for half a century, been used in nearly all the churches that worship in the English language ; and if popularity were a test of merit, Watts should be ranked with Milton. He died in 1748.
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
AN ODE ATTEMPTED IN THE ENGLISH SAPPHIC.
When the fierce north wind, with his airy forces,
Rushing amain down,
How the poor sailors stand amazed and tremble,
Quick to devour them!
Such shall the noise be, and the wild disorder,
Shakes the creation,
Tears the strong pillars of the vault of heaven,
Hark! the shrill outcries of the guilty wretches ;
Gnawing within them.
Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their heart-strings,
Rolling afore Him.
Hopeless immortals ! how they scream and shiver,
Down to the centre !
Stop here, my fancy : (all away, ye horrid
Throned, yet adoring.
Oh! may I sit there when he comes triumphant,
Shout the Redeemer.
Yet gracious God,
And bar the influence of his rays ?
He is my sun, though He refuse to shine.
Forever He on mine.
I'll spring a thought away to God;
The passion of my heart and eyes
The floor of his abode.
Dear Sovereign, hear thy servant pray;
Bend the blue heavens, Eternal King,
Downward thy cheerful graces bring;
Look, how the armies of despair
Round my poor captive soul, and dare
Happy the times, but ah! those times are gone, When wondrous power,
and radiant grace, Round the tall arches of thy temple shone, And mingled their victorious rays :
Sin, with all its ghastly train,
Fled to the depths of death again, And smiling triumph sat on every face:
Our spirits, raptured with the sight,
Were all devotion, all delight, And loud Hosannas sounded the Redeemer's praise. Here could I
Here I enjoyed a visit half the day
With fruit and manna from above;
And o'er my head
The Conqueror spread
Then why, my heart, sunk down so low?
And hopeless nature mourn ?
And wait a kind return.
But love will ne'er destroy ;
The morning brings the joy.
Nor from the dust my sorrows spring,
How vain their curses, if th' Eternal King
Creatures with all their boasted sway,
Are but his slaves, and must obey ;
The gentler gales are bound to sleep;
Over the desert and the deep;
Old Boreas, with his freezing powers, Turns the earth iron, makes the ocean glass, Arrests the dancing riv'lets as they pass,
And chains them moveless to the shores ;
The grazing ox lows to the gelid skies,
Fly to the polar world, my sun,
Seized and bound in rigid chains,
And life stands frozen in the purple veins.
A thousand armies at command,
Waiting the signal of his hand,
Dress thee in steel to meet his wrath ;
His sharp artillery from the north Shall pierce thee to thy soul, and shake thy mortal frame.
Sublime on winter's rugged wings, He rides in arms along the sky,
And scatters fate on swains and kings; And flocks, and herds, and nations die,
While impious lips, profanely bold,
Grow pale, and quivering at his dreadful cold,
The mischiefs that infest the earth,
Drought, and disease, and cruel dearth,
And pant for vital breath ;
And all the air is death.
scourges of our Maker's rod, 'Tis at his dread command, at his imperial nod, You deal your various plagues abroad.