1 The mighty God, whom heav'ns and earth obey,
Who bends the scept'red tyrants to his sway,
Speaks his dread judgments to the nations round,
And hears the sentence earth's extremest bound.
2 From Sion's hill, in shining glory clad,
He speaks, and fills the list'ning world with dread.
3 He comes; man's impious crimes he'll bear no more;
Before his presence flames of fire devour;
No more a Saviour, he the judge assumes;
Tremendous winds surround him; lo! he comes.
4 Impartial in his process, heav'n he'll call
With all her orbs, and this terrestrial ball;
To witness to his justice--heaven obeys;
Earth owns, eternal truth his process sways.
5 "Ye pious tribes (he says) with whom I've made
"A sacred covenant, be not dismay'd;
"With confidence approach; dismiss your fears;
"Yon bright etherial arch your judgment hears;
"Your God himself is judge; his justice prove
"Yon bright etherial orbs, that roll above.
7 "You first I call, blest Abr'ham's favour'd race,
"Whom long I've honour'd with peculiar grace;
"Yourselves attest beneficence divine,
"And own that justice, and that mercy's mine;
8 "That few the victims, whose attoning blood
"In sacred streams have on my altars flow'd;
9 "I not reprove; the fadings of the fold,
"The stalled ox, indiff'rent, I behold;
10 "Mine are the beasts that in the forest rove;
"Mine are the beasts that range the hill and grove;
11 "Where'er the savage bestials of the field
"Retreat, their haunts are not from me conceal'd.
"In the steep rock, or on the lofty tree,
"Tho' nest the feather'd tribes, they're known to me.
12 "If I, like man, the pangs of hunger feel,
"Say, is it requisite, I thee shou'd tell?
"Thy kind assistance, say, shall I implore;
"I, who o'er all have universal pow'r?
13 " Me will the flesh of bullocks satisfy?
"The ofFer'd blood of fatted goats, drink I?
14 "No, no; the breast with gratitude that glows,
"The fervent heart that breathes it's honest vows,
15 "My banquet these--be these thy sacrifice,
"And when severe distress upon thee lies,
"My name invoke; thy drooping soul I'll raise,
"And thou shalt pay thy God with grateful praise."
16 But to the wicked says th' almighty Lord;
(The wicked hear, and tremble at his word)
"Wretch! wilt thou dare to plead my righteous laws,
"My sacred covenant, to support thy cause?
17 "Thou, who to hear instruction didst refuse,
"And with thy impious scoffs my word abuse?
18 "Thou with the thief, thyself a thief, didst join,
"And mad'st th' adult'rers filthy purpose thine:
19 "To mischief prone, didst mischief meditate,
"And arm'dst thy villain-tongue with curst deceit:
20 "Didst violate of blood the sacred ties,
"And 'gainst thy brother fram'dst malicious lies:
21 "And, more t' enhance thy impious villainy,
"'Cause silent I, think'st I resemble thee:
"Vain is the thought--thy crimes I'll now display,
"And set thy monstrous deeds in open day.
22 "Ye listless crouds, that now your God forget,
"Consider this, and make a safe retreat;
"Lest, when to judgment cited by my wrath,
"Not one can save you from eternal death:
23 "And you, ye righteous, you your voices raise,
"In songs of gratitude, in hymns of praise;
"This to eternal happiness the road;
"This, this will place you nigh the throne of God.