Psalm 73 - Part One.
Afflicted saints happy, and prosperous sinners cursed.
1 Now I'm convinc'd the Lord is kind
To men of heart sincere,
Yet once my foolish thoughts repin'd
And border'd on despair.
2 I griev'd to see the wicked thrive,
And spoke with angry breath,
"How pleasant and profane they live!
"How peaceful is their death!
3 "With well-fed flesh and haughty eyes
"They lay their fears to sleep;
"Against, the heavens their slanders rise,
"While saints in silence weep.
4 "In vain I lift my hands to pray,
"And cleanse my heart in vain,
"For I am chasten'd all the day,
"The night renews my pain."
5 Yet while my tongue indulg'd complaints,
I felt my heart reprove;
"Sure I shall thus offend thy saints,
"And grieve the men I love."
6 But still I found my doubts too hard,
The conflict too severe,
Till I retir'd to search thy word,
And learn thy secrets there.
7 There, as in some prophetic glass,
I saw the sinner's feet
High mounted on a slippery place,
Beside a fiery pit.
8 I heard the wretch profanely boast,
Till at thy frown he fell;
His honours in a dream were lost,
And he awakes in hell.
9 Lord, what an envious fool I was!
How like a thoughtless beast!
Thus to suspect thy promis'd grace,
And think the wicked blest.
10 Yet I was kept from full despair,
Upheld by power unknown;
That blessed band that broke the snare
Shall guide me to thy throne.
Psalm 73 - Part Two.
Verses 23-28. God our portion here and hereafter.
1 God my supporter and my hope,
My help for ever near,
Thine arm of mercy held me up
When sinking in despair.
2 Thy counsels, Lord, shall guide my feet
Thro' this dark wilderness;
Thine hand conduct me near thy seat
To dwell before thy face.
3 Were I in heaven without my God,
'Twould be no joy to me;
And whilst this earth is my abode,
I long for none but thee.
4 What if the springs of life were broke,
And flesh and heart should faint!
God is my soul's eternal rock,
The strength of every saint.
5 Behold the sinners that remove
Far from thy presence die;
Not all the idol gods they love
Can save them when they cry.
6 But to draw near to thee, my God,
Shall be my sweet employ;
My tongue shall sound thy works abroad,
And tell the world my joy.
Verses 22, 3, 6, 17-20.
The prosperity of sinners cursed.
1 Lord, what a thoughtless wretch was I,
To mourn, and murmur, and repine
To see the wicked plac'd on high,
In pride and robes of honour shine!
2 But O their end, their dreadful end!
Thy sanctuary taught me so:
On slippery rocks I see them stand,
And fiery billows roll below.
3 Now let them boast how tall they rise,
I'll never envy them again;
There they may stand with haughty eyes,
Till they plunge deep in endless pain.
4 Their fancy'd joys, how fast they flee!
Just like a dream when man awakes;
Their songs of softest harmony
Are but a preface to their plagues.
5 Now I esteem their mirth and wine
Too dear to purchase with my blood;
Lord, 'tis enough that thou art mine,
My life, my portion, and my God.
The mystery of providence unfolded.
1 Sure there's a righteous God,
Nor is religion vain,
Tho' men of vice may boast aloud,
And men of grace complain.
2 I saw the wicked rise,
And felt my heart repine,
While haughty fools with scornful eyes
In robes of honour shine.
3 [Pamper'd with wanton ease,
Their flesh looks full and fair,
Their wealth rolls in like flowing seas,
And grows without their care.
4 Free from the plagues and pains
That pious souls endure,
Thro' all their life oppression reigns
And racks the humble poor.
5 Their impious tongues blaspheme
The everlasting God;
Their malice blasts the good man's name,
And spreads their lies abroad.
6 But I with flowing tears
Indulge my doubts to rise
"Is there a God that sees or hears
"The things below the skies?"]
7 The tumults of my thought
Held me in hard suspense,
Till to thy house my feet were brought
To learn thy justice thence.
8 Thy word with light and power
Did my mistakes attend;
I view'd the sinners' life before,
But here I learnt their end.
9 On what a slippery steep
The thoughtless wretches go;
And O that dreadful fiery deep
That waits their fall below.
10 Lord, at thy feet I bow,
My thoughts no more repine;
I call my God my portion now,
And all my powers are thine.