The saint's safety and hope in evil times.
1 Lord, if thou dost not soon appear,
Virtue and truth will fly away;
A faithful man, amongst us here,
Will scarce be found if thou delay.
2 The whole discourse, when neighbours meet,
Is fill'd with trifles loose and vain;
Their lips are flattery and deceit,
And their proud language is profane.
3 But lips, that with deceit abound,
Shall not maintain their triumph long;
The God of vengeance will confound
The flattering and blaspheming tongue.
4 "Yet shall our words be free," they cry,
"Our tongue shall be controll'd by none:
"Where is the Lord will ask us why?
"Or say, our lips are not our own?"
5 The Lord who sees the poor opprest,
And hears th' oppressor's haughty strain,
Will rise to give his children rest,
Nor shall they trust his word in vain.
6 Thy word, O Lord, tho' often try'd,
Void of deceit shall still appear
Not silver, seven times purify'd
From dross and mixture, shines so clear.
7 Thy grace shall in the darkest hour
Defend the holy soul from harm;
Tho' when the vilest men have power
On every side will sinners swarm.
Complaint of a general corruption of manners.
1 Help, Lord, for men of virtue fail,
Religion loses ground,
The sons of violence prevail,
And treacheries abound.
2 Their oaths and promises they break,
Yet act the flatterer's part;
With fair deceitful lips they speak,
And with a double heart.
3 If we reprove some hateful lie,
How is their fury stirr'd!
"Are not our lips our own" they cry,
"And who shall be our lord?"
4 Scoffers appear on every side,
Where a vile race of men
Is rais'd to seats of power and pride,
And bears the sword in vain.
5 Lord, when iniquities abound,
And blasphemy grows bold,
When faith is hardly to be found,
And love is waxing cold,
6 Is not thy chariot hastening on?
Hast thou not given this sign?
May we not trust and live upon
A promise so divine?
7 "Yes," saith the Lord, " now will I rise,
"And make oppressors flee;
"I shall appear to their surprise,
"And set my servants free."
8 Thy word, like silver seven times try'd,
Thro' ages shall endure;
The men that in thy truth confide,
Shall find thy promise sure.