1 King Hezekiah lay diseased,
With every dangerous symptom seized,
Beyond the cure of art;
With languid pulse, and strength decayed,
With spirits sunk, and soul dismayed,
And ready to depart.
2 His friends despair; his servants droop;
The learned Leech can give no hope;
All signs of life are fled;
When, lo! the seer Isaiah came
With words to damp th' expiring flame,
And strike the dying dead.
3 Entering the royal patient’s room,
He thus denounced the dreadful doom:
“Of flattering hopes beware.
God’s messenger, behold, I stand,
Thus saith the Lord, Thy death’s at hand:
Prepare, O king, prepare!”
4 Where is the man, whom words like these,
Though free before from all disease,
Would not deject to death?
Favourite of heaven, in thee we see
The miracles of prayer, in thee
Th' omnipotence of faith!
5 Methinks I hear the hero say,
“And must my life be snatch'd away,
Before I’m fit to die?
Can prayer reverse the stern decree,
And save a wretch condemn'd like me?
It may, at least I’ll try.
6 Ye damps of death, that chill me through,
God’s prophet and perdition too,
I must withstand you all.
Both heaven and earth, awhile begone;
I turn me to the Lord alone,
And face the silent wall.”
7 He said, and, weeping, pour'd a prayer,
That conquer'd pain, removed despair
With all its heavy load,
Repell'd the force of death’s attack,
Brought the recanting prophet back,
And turn'd the mind of God.
Hart, Joseph, was born in London in 1712. His early life is involved in obscurity. His education was fairly good; and from the testimony of his brother-in-law, and successor in the ministry in Jewin Street, the Rev. John Hughes, "his civil calling was" for some time "that of a teacher of the learned languages." His early life, according to his own Experience which he prefaced to his Hymns, was a curious mixture of loose conduct, serious conviction of sin, and endeavours after amendment of life, and not until Whitsuntide, 1757, did he realize a permanent change, which was brought about mainly through his attending divine service at the Moravian Chapel, in Fetter Lane, London, and hearing a sermon on Rev. iii. 10. During the next two years ma… Go to person page >