CVI. O render Thanks to GOD above

1 O render Thanks to GOD above,
The Fountain of eternal Love;
Whose Mercy firm through Ages past
Has stood, and shall for ever last:
What mortal Eloquence can raise
Of his great Deeds th'immortal Praise?

2 Happy are they, and only they,
Who from thy Judgments never stray:
Extend to me that Favour, LORD,
Thou to thy Chosen dost afford:
When thou return'st to set them free,
Let thy Salvation visit me.

3 Oh! may I worthy prove, to see
Thy Saints in full Prosperity!
That I the joyful Choir may join,
And count thy People's Triumph mine:
But how can we expect such Grace,
Of Parents vile, the viler Race!

4 Ingrateful, they no longer thought
On all his Works in Egypt wrought;
The Red Sea they no sooner view'd,
But they their base Distrust renew'd;
Yet GOD, to vindicate his Name,
Once more to their Deliv'rance came.

5 To Right and Left, at his Command,
The prating Deep disclos'd her Sand;
Where firm and dry the Passage lay,
As through some parch'd and desart Way;
Thus rescu'd, by his Hand, they were,
And freed from Danger and from Fear.

6 Their Foes pursu'd them to the Waves,
Which prov'd the rash Pursuers Graves;
The watry Mountain's sudden Fall,
O'erwhelm'd proud Pharaoh, Host and all;
This Proof did stupid Israel move,
To own GOD's Truth, and praise his Love.

Part II

7 But soon these Wonders they forgot,
His Counsels they regarded not;
But lusting in the Wilderness,
Did him with fresh Temptations press:
Strong Food at their Request he sent,
But made their Sin their Punishment.

8 Yet still his Saints they did oppose,
The Priest and Prophet, whom he chose:
But Earth, the Quarrel to decide,
Her vengeful Jaws extended wide,
Rash Dathan to her Centre drew,
And Flames destroy'd Abiram's Crew.

9 Near Horeb's Mount, a Calf they made,
And to the molten Image pray'd;
Adoring what their Hands did frame,
They chang'd their Glory to their Shame:
Their GOD and Saviour they forgot,
And all his Works, in Egypt wrought.

10 Nor thought they on his pow'rful Hand;
Who spread such Wonders through the Land,
Nor on the fearful Things, which he
Had done for them, when at the Sea,
Proud Pharaoh, and his num'rous Host,
Were in o'erwhelming Billows lost.

11 Thus urg'd, his vengeful Hand he rear'd;
But Moses in the Breach appear'd:
The Saint did for the Rebels pray,
And turn'd Heav'n's kindled Wrath away.
Yet they his pleasant Land despis'd,
Nor his repeated promise priz'd,

12 GOD's Voice they would not yet obey,
But when he said, Go up, would stay;
This seal'd their Doom without Redress,
To perish in the Wilderness;
Or else to be, by Heathen Hands,
O'erthrown and scatter'd through the Lands.

Part III

13 Yet unreclaim'd, this stubborn Race
Baal-Peor's Worship did embrace;
Became his impious Guests, and fed
On Sacrifices to the Dead:
Thus they perished to provoke
GOD's Vengeance to the final Stroke.

14 'Tis come: - the deadly Pest is come,
To execute their gen'ral Doom;
But Phineas fir'd with holy Rage,
Th'Almighty's Vengeance to asswage,
Did, by two bold offenders Fall,
Th'Atonement make, that ransom'd all.

15 As him a heav'nly Zeal had mov'd,
So GOD the zealous Act approv'd;
In him 'twas counted Righteousness,
The LORD did therefore Phineas bless;
To him confirming, and his Race,
The Priesthood, he so well did grace.

16 At Meribah, GOD's Wrath they mov'd,
Who Moses for their Sakes reprov'd;
Whose patient Soul they did provoke,
'Till rashly the meek Prophet spoke:
Nor did they, though desir'd employ
Their Swords the Heathen to destroy.

17 Nor only spar'd the Pagan Crew,
But, mingling, learnt their Vices too;
And Worship to those Idols paid,
Which them to fatal Snares betray'd:
To Devils they did sacrifice,
Their Children with relentless Eyes.

18 They stain'd their Altars with a Flood,
Of their own Sons and Daughters Blood;
No cheaper Victims would appease,
Canaan's remorseless Deities:
No Blood her Idols reconcile,
But that which did the Land defile.

Part IV

19 Thus after their Hearts Lusts they went,
And daily did new Crimes invent;
But Sins of such infernal Hue,
GOD's Wrath against his People drew:
'Till he, their once indulgent LORD,
His own Inheritance abhor'd.

19 He them, defenceless, did expose
To their insulting Heathen Foes;
And made them on the Triumphs wait,
Of those who bare them greatest Hate:
To Tyrants they were subject made,
Who on them heavy Burdens laid.

21 Yet when, distress'd, they did repent,
His Anger did as oft relent;
Implacable he never prov'd,
Nor heard their wretched Cries unmov'd:
But did to mind his Promise bring,
And Mercy's inexhausted Spring.

22 Compassion too he did impart,
Ev'n to their Foes obdurate Heart;
And Pity for their Suff'rings bred,
In those, who them to Bondage led:
He did their Enemies dispose,
To ease the Burden of their Woes.

23 Still save us, LORD, and Israel's Bands
Together bring from Heathen Lands;
So to thy Name our Thanks we'll raise,
And ever triumph in thy Praise.
Let all thy saints, with full Accord,
Sing loud Amena - Praise ye the LORD!

Text Information
First Line: O render Thanks to GOD above
Language: English
Publication Date: 1767
Topic: Description of: Unthankfulness and Rebellion of the Israelites; Thanksgivings: For Delerances and Wonders, General
Tune Information
Name: [O render Thanks to God above]
Key: F Major

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