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God’s Greatness

From the same.5151By Ernst Lange, (1650–1727) “O Gott du Tiefe sonder Grund” Herrnhuth Collection, No. 9. Knapp, E. L., p.1. A couplet in v. 6 is copied from Brady and Tate’s version of Ps. 103:8.

O God, Thou bottomless abyss,

Thee to perfection who can know?

O height immense! what words suffice

Thy countless attributes to show?

Unfathomable depths Thou art!

O, plunge me in Thy mercy’s sea;

Void of true wisdom is my heart,

With love embrace and cover me.

While Thee, all-infinite, I set

By faith before my ravish’d eye,

My weakness bends beneath the weight;

O’erpower’d I sink, I faint, I die.

Eternity Thy fountain was,

Which, like Thee, no beginning knew;

Thou wast ere Time began his race,

Ere glow’d with stars the ethereal blue:

Greatness unspeakable is Thine,

Greatness, whose undiminish’d ray

When short-lived worlds are lost, shall shine,

When earth and heaven are fled away.

Unchangeable, all-perfect Lord,

Essential life’s unbounded sea,

What lives and moves, lives by Thy word,

It lives and moves and is from Thee.

Thy parent hand, Thy forming skill

Firm fix’d this universal chain;

Else empty, barren Darkness still

Had held his unmolested reign:

Whate’er in earth, or sea, or sky

Or shuns or meets the wandering thought,

Escapes or strikes the searching eye,

By Thee was to perfection brought.

High is Thy power above all height:

Whate’er Thy will decrees is done:

Thy wisdom, equal to Thy might,

Only to Thee, O God, is known.

Heaven’s glory is Thy awful throne.

Yet earth partakes Thy gracious sway:

Vain man thy wisdom folly own,

Lost is thy reason’s feeble ray.

What his dim eye could never see,

Is plain and naked to Thy sight;

What thickest darkness veils, to Thee

Shines clearly as the morning light.

In light Thou dwell’st; light that no shade,

No variation ever knew;

And heaven and hell stand all display’d

And open to Thy piercing view.

Thou, true and only God, lead’st forth

The immortal armies of the sky:

Thou laugh’st to scorn the gods of earth;

Thou thunder’st, and amazed they fly.

With downcast eye the angelic choir

Appear before Thy awful face;

Trembling they strike the golden lyre,

And through heaven’s vault resound Thy praise.

In earth, in heaven, in all Thou art;

The conscious creature feels Thy nod,

Whose forming hand on every part

Impress’d the image of its God.

Thine, Lord, is wisdom, Thine alone;

Justice and truth before Thee stand;

Yet, nearer to Thy sacred throne,

Mercy withholds Thy lifted hand.

Each evening shows Thy tender love,

Each rising morn Thy plenteous grace;

“Thy waken’d wrath doth slowly move,

Thy willing mercy flies apace.”

To Thy benign, indulgent care,

Father, this light, this breath we owe,

And all we have, and all we are

From Thee, great Source of Being, flow.

Parent of Good, thy bounteous hand

Incessant blessings down distils,

And all in air, or sea, or land

With plenteous food and gladness fills.

All things in Thee live, move, and are,

Thy power infused doth all sustain;

Even those Thy daily favours share

Who thankless spurn Thy easy reign.

Thy sun Thou bidd’st his genial ray

Alike on all impartial pour;

To all who hate or bless Thy sway

Thou bidd’st descend the fruitful shower.

Yet while, at length, who scorn’d Thy might

Shall feel Thee a consuming fire,

How sweet the joys, the crown how bright

Of those who to Thy love aspire!

All creatures praise the Eternal Name!

Ye hosts that to His courts belong,

Cherubic choirs, seraphic flames,

Awake the everlasting song.

Thrice Holy, Thine the kingdom is,

The power omnipotent is Thine;

And when created nature dies,

Thy never-ceasing glories shine.

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