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His dazzling heights their soaring strains elude,
And kind reproach their vent'rous gratitude.
'Their loud acclaim, tho' shook th' Olympian sky,
In air dissolve, and hallelujahs die.
No thund'ring echoes would the vaults resound;
Nor echoing murmurs answer to the sound.
Still as the night the loud acclaim would cease,
And conscious blush suffuse creation's face..
Lost from the moment that they first ascend,
Would miss their object, tho’ attain’d its end.
In love receiv'd, who view'd their bold design,
The praise might take, yet just preserve the line.
Officious worlds their sacred distance keep,
And vocal joy in awful silence keep;
Sunk.at his feet, with trembling homage own
Their zeal-presumption, and their art outdone.
The theme too mighty for creation's tongue,
The seraph's ardour, or the cherub's song.
As none but He, whose wisdom knows his pow'r,
Can comprehend, or can himself adore :
Define the nature, or prescribe the mode
Of service due, or worship meet for God.
Defective all the creature's utinost stretch,
How wide their compass, or how high their reach.
All short of him, who shuns created sight,
And dwells in darkness from excess of light.
Known to himself-his own eternal theme;
Nor adds creation, nor detracts from him.
To him alone existence owes her form,
From tow'ring cherubs to the trodden worm.
'Twixt these compris'd creation's gradual plan *
And form’d between his fav’rite likeness, mant."
Plac'd at the head of this terrestrial frame,
He treads on dust, yet glows seraphic flame:
In whose compound th' amazing contrasts meet,
Heav'n in his eye, and nature at his feet.
Monarch on earth, see earth her tribute bring,
His God's vicegerent and his creature's king:
On whom conferr'd the high deputed sway,
Creation waits to homage, or obey.
While he, who made, alike remov'd from all, Without compare
his own original! Above all essence, as beyond all name; In all things various, yet in all the same! And whom to liken is but to blaspheme!
Admits no change, nor bears gradation's forms,
Nor more like angels than he is like worms.
But as he made, can with his word destroy
The sparkling cherub, or the spangling fly.
With equal ease invert created modes;
Make angels reptiles, or those reptiles gods.
Sole what he is, and all he will or can;
And all he was, ere yet of old began
Or stars to shine, or seasons to return;
Ere sang creation, or its sons were born.
LORD over all! Himself his first regard;
And whom to worship is its own reward.
The creatures honour and their high employ,
His will their being, and his smile their joy.
'Tis favour all, that deigns an ear to lend;
While angels prostrate, or archangels bend.
His height supreme, Himself alone can tell;
And equal hard to rival as excel,
Broad flames of light arobe his radiant seat,
Heav'n is his throne, while earth receives his feet:
To whom all creatures are as nothing seen:
The mountains atoms, and those atoms men.
Vain then the hope, and vain the attempt to raise
An equal tribute to unequallid praise !
Saftice for man--suffice for angels this,
Who serves with trembling cannot serve amiss.
With lowly mind, self-emptied all and poor,
May ask in hope, and hoping ask for more.
With humble faith direct his ardent prayer,
Present his wishes, or his thanks prefer.
An offering pure and more accepted bring,
Than harpscan sound, or sweeps the chorded string.
Their sighs harmonious, and their holy tears,
Joy of his sight, and music in his ears.
Who saves the contrite,and resheaths his sword,
At once to favour, as to life restor'd,
Who fear his name, or tremble at his word.
More free to offer and more rich to give,
Than man to ask, or asking, to believe,
His pride confess, or unbelief conceive.
Touch'd by his word, they catch the living flame,
Hang on his cross, and shelter in his name.
With faith approv'd, their whole burnt-off'rings
lift, While flames the altar, and consumes the gift. From heav'n's bright lamp the hallow'd fire comes
down, Seizes on all, and wraps it to the throne: Where sits on high the Lord of Israel's hope, Who bare their sins, now bears their offerings up; Well-pleas'd he smiles on what himself inspir'd, As found the service that his love requir’d.
Hail, sov'reign goodness! infinite and free: Thine eye the light, thy span immensity! Thyself thy centre, and creation's soul! Whose vastoircumf'rence circumscribesthewhole; Extends o'er all its penetrating sway, And kindles darkness, or puts out the day. From whom conceald, no secret thoughts can rise, Escape thy notice, or deceive thine eyes, Known ere its birth, known erein embryo warm’d, By words depictur'd, or in action form'd: Trac'd from its point thy spirit marks its course, Directs its motion or repels its force. To gain some end, or frustrate some design, Alike thy justice and thy love combine. Searcher of hearts! to thee are equal known The minds of millions, as the mind of one. Who would not fear, who would notkiss thy hand? Fall at thy word, or rise at its command?
Hail, sov'reign Lord! by all thy works confess'd! By angels worshipp'd, and by saints address'd! Hail, sov'reign love! mysterious wisdom, hail! In whom the Father, and his fullness dwell! In whom the Godhead, and the man unite, Stamp of his form, and glory of his light! Come, and thy two-fold character maintain, Jehovah's equal, and the child of man!