Not to our names, thou only just and true,
Not to our worthless names is glory due;
Thy power and grace, thy truth and justice, claim
Immortal honors to thy sovereign name:
Shine through the earth from heav'n, thy blest abode
Nor let the heathens say, "And where's your God?"
Heav'n is thine higher court, there stands thy throne,
And through the lower worlds thy will is done;
Our God framed all this earth, these heav'ns he spread;
But fools adore the gods their hands have made:
The kneeling crowd, with looks devout, behold
Their silver saviors, and their saints of gold.
[Vain are those artful shapes of eyes and ears;
The molten image neither sees nor hears;
Their hands are helpless, nor their feet can move,
They have no speech, nor thought, nor power, nor love;
Yet sottish mortals make their long complaints
To their deaf idols and their moveless saints.
The rich have statues well adorned with gold;
The poor, content with gods of coarser mould,
With tools of iron carve the senseless stock,
Lopped from a tree, or broken from a rock;
People and priest drive on the solemn trade,
And trust the gods that saws and hammers made.]
Be heav'n and earth amazed! 'Tis hard to say
Which is more stupid, or their gods or they:
O Isr'el, trust the Lord; he hears and sees,
He knows thy sorrows and restores thy peace;
His worship does a thousand comforts yield,
He is thy help, and he thy heav'nly shield.
O Britain, trust the Lord: thy foes in vain
Attempt thy ruin, and oppose his reign;
Had they prevailed, darkness had closed our days,
And death and silence had forbid his praise:
But we are saved, and live; let songs arise,
And Britain bless the God that built the skies.
Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >
John Wainwright (b. Stockport, England, 1723; d. Stockport, 1768) wrote YORKSHIRE for [the] text [Christian's awake, salute the happy morn, by John Byrom] in 1750. The tune was first sung on Christmas Day, 1750, in the parish church of Stockport; it was first published in Caleb Ashworth's Collection…