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Amos exhorts, and warns, and strives That Judah should reform their lives. His powerful precepts never cease To warn the rich who live at ease. You that on downy couches lie, Or stretch on beds of ivory; You, who voluptuously consome Your wealth, whose meal's a hecatomb; Who, at a single feast exhaust A vineyard of uncounted cost; Whose perfumes, floating in the air, A Sybarite might be proud to share; Whose festive luxuries must be crown'd With the soft lute and viol's sound; Are you the men with grief who melt At tales of woe by brethren felt? Ask Amos: he this truth imparts, That pleasure hardens human hearts; That selfish feelings most abound Where ease and luxury are found. How strange the paradox, yet true, That what dissolves should harden too !
Brief Obadiah, full of grace,
Says much, though in a little space.
Jonah! How high thy honours stand, Who by one sermon rous'd a land ! At the last day how will thy fame, Oh, Nineveh, my country shame! Lulld in deceitful peace, we see Ten thousand sermons wake not thee !
Jonah! thy honours sunk how low
When wrath deform'd thy sullen brow!
Better a mighty empire fall,
Than Jonah's credit sink at all!
Oh, human selfishness how great,
To mourn a gourd and not a state !
The Prophet here the pastor teaches
To practise what so well he preaches.
Micah, admir'd through ev'ry age,
The babe of Bethlehem crowns thy page!
With what precision dost thou trace
The then obsure, now honour'd place!
Nahum, all hail thy muse of fire,
The glories of thy daring lyre !
“ The still small voice” no more is heard,
As when of old the Lord appear’d.
The whirlwind, and the driving storm,
His fearful wonders now perform ;
How terrible his thunders sound!
The awe-struck sinner how confound !
No horrors can the guilty move,
Like the fierce wrath of injur'd love.
Blest Prophet! had thy strains been heard
From the proud lyre of Theban bard,
How would the rapt enthusiast turn,
66 To thoughts that breathe, and words that burn !”
But though not nurs'd on Pindus' mount,
Nor fed from Aganippe's fount;
Thou offerest, at a loftier shrine
Than Delphi own'd, thy ode divine.
Thy muse with nobler claims shall rise :
Her inspiration's from the skies;
This the chief glory of thy lays,
Thou hadst a living God to praise.
Though, HABAKKUK, thy name refuse
To bend obedient to the muse,
Yet thy sweet promises impart
Warm comfort to the drooping heart.
In thy fam’d prayer, sublimely sweet,
The saint and muse in concert meet.
God came from Teman; what array
Of confluent glories marks his way!
Brightness above, around was sent;
The pestilence before him went.
The skies with unknown splendours blaze,
Heaven shows his power, and earth his praise ;
The everlasting mountains fled,
The rivers trembled in their bed;
Bow'd the perpetual hills; the deep
Through its dark caves was heard to sweep.
His arrows fly! Lord, at thy will
Th' astonish'd sun and moon stand still !
The shining of thy glittring spear
Transfix'd the heathen bands with fear.
One glance of thy pervading eye
Measures the earth; the nations fly,
Dissolv’d and scatter'd; Cushan's tents
Burst forth in deep and loud laments.
They trenible at the distant sound,
Sudden thy troops their tents surround.
Yet though Chaldea's hostile band Pour in their hordes, despoil the land; Yet though the fig-tree may be found With neither fruit nor blossom crown'd; The olive and the vine decay, And flocks and herds be torn away ; My song of praise my God shall hear, More free, more fervent, more sincere. • Revive thy work;” though all should fail, Let grace and godliness prevail.
Lord of my strength; my joy, my crown, Thy boundless mercies let me own! Thy great salvation sets me free, I shall have all in having Thee!
Thou, ZEPHANJAH, dost record, Boldly, the terrors of the Lord !
Haggal the slothful Jews exhorts To build the Temple's hallow'd courts : They, while their splendid mansions shine, Neglect Jehovah's sacred shrine.
Thy visions, ZECHARIAH, stand As beacons to a guilty land; Though awfully obscure, yet true, They teach the Briton as the Jew. . Known to the Lord, the day will come, Reversing Salem's awful doom ! Where nought was seen but waste and woe, There shall the living waters flow;
Destruction's direful work be past,
And Christ the King be crown’d at last.
Her courts, by those who long have fought
Against her, eagerly be sought:
One Lord, one God, shall reign alone,
His name, long prophesied, be ONE.
On every vessel, every breast,
One grand inscription be imprest;
And HOLINESS to God be found
Within, without, above, around !
Sage MALACHI, though last not least,
Prepares us for the Gospel feast.
Tremendous in the sinner's ear
Jehovah's menaces appear.
Those who the sacred function fill,
Profess my name but spurn my will.
When men no more my laws respect,
The worthless offering I reject.
From hands polluted and profane,
All sacrifice is worse than vain.
Methinks the scorner's voice I hear,
Where is the God of judgment, where?
Scorner! his coming is at hand;
That dreadful coming, who shall stand ?
He, whom in unbelief you taunt,
The angel of the covenant;
Object of dread, and of desire,
Draws nigh; like the refiner's fire
The precious gold he will select,
The dross indignantly reject.