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Isaiah 44

O that Thou wouldst the heavens rend!

O that Thou wouldst this hour come down!

Descend, Almighty God, descend,

And strongly vindicate Thine own!

Now let the heathens fear Thy Name;

Now let the world Thy Nature know;

Dart into all the melting flame

Of love, and make the mountains flow.

O, let Thine indignation burn,

The lightning of Thy judgments glare,

The aspiring confidence o’erturn

Of all that still Thine anger dare.

From heaven reveal Thy vengeful ire,

Thy fury let the nations prove,

Confess Thee a consuming fire,

And tremble, till they feel Thy love.

Thy power was to our fathers known,

A mighty God, and terrible;

In majesty Thou camest down,

The mountains at Thy presence fell.

The wonders Thou for them hast wrought

Thy boundless power and love proclaim,

Far above all they ask’d or thought:

And now we wait to know Thy Name.

We wait; for since the world began

To men it ne’er by men was show’d:

Thou only canst Thyself explain;

God only sounds the depths of God.

Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,

By heart conceived it cannot be,

The bliss Thou hast for him prepared

Who waits in humble faith for Thee.

Thou meetest him that dares rejoice

In hope of Thy salvation near;

Who wants, while he obeys Thy voice,

The perfect love that casts out fear;

In works of righteousness employ’d,

Who Thee remembers in Thy ways,—

The ordinances of his God,

The sacred channels of Thy grace.

But, lo! Thy anger kindled is,

And justly might for ever burn;

We have forsook the path of peace:

How shall our wandering souls return?

In Thine appointed ways we wait,

The ways Thy wisdom hath enjoin’d;

Thy saving grace we here shall meet,

If every one that seeks shall find.

Nor can we thus Thy wrath appease;

We and our works are all unclean,

As filthy rags our righteousness,

Our good is ill, our virtue sin.

Like wither’d leaves we fade away;

We all deserve Thy wrath to feel;

Swift as the wind, our sins convey

And sweep our guilty souls to hell.

Not one will call upon Thy name,

Stir himself up Thy grace to see,

The LORD his righteousness to claim,

And boldly to take hold on Thee.

For, O! Thy face is turn’d aside,

Since we refused to obey Thy will;

Thou hast consumed us for our pride,

Thy heavy hand consumes us still.

But art Thou not our Father now?

Our Father now Thou surely art:

Humbly beneath Thy frown we bow,

We seek Thee with a trembling heart.

The Potter Thou, and we the clay;

Behold us at Thy footstool laid;

In anger cast us not away,

The creatures whom Thy hands have made.

O, let Thine anger rage no more,

Remember not iniquity;

See, LORD, and all our sins pass o’er,

Thy own peculiar people see.

Jerusalem in ruins lies,

A wilderness Thy cities are;

A den of thieves Thy temple is,

No longer now the house of prayer.

Where humbly low our fathers bow’d,

And Thee with joyful lips adored,

Idolaters profanely crowd,

And take the altar for its LORD.

The sacred means Thyself ordain’d,

Others reject with impious haste;

By these blasphemed, by those profaned,

Our pleasant things are all laid waste.

And wilt Thou not this havoc see,

For which we ever, ever mourn?

Still shall we cry in vain to Thee?

Return, our gracious LORD, return!

Hold not Thy peace at Sion’s woe;

O, cast not out Thy people’s prayer;

Regard Thy suffering church below,

And spare, the weeping remnant spare.

Thy fallen tabernacle raise,

Thy chastisement at last remove,

That all mankind may sing Thy praise,

Thou God of Truth, Thou God of Love.

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