The church pleading with God under sore persecutions.
Will God for ever cast us off?
His wrath for ever smoke
Against the people of his love,
His little chosen flock?
Think of the tribes so dearly bought
With their Redeemer's blood;
Nor let thy Zion be forgot,
Where once thy glory stood.
Lift up thy feet and march in haste,
Aloud our ruin calls;
See what a wide and fearful waste
Is made within thy walls.
Where once thy churches prayed and sang,
Thy foes profanely roar;
Over thy gates their ensigns hang,
Sad tokens of their power.
How are the seats of worship broke!
They tear the buildings down,
And he that deals the heaviest stroke
Procures the chief renown.
With flames they threaten to destroy
Thy children in their nest;
"Come, let us burn at once," they cry,
"The temple and the priest.
And still, to heighten our distress,
Thy presence is withdrawn;
Thy wonted signs of power and grace,
Thy power and grace are gone.
No prophet speaks to calm our woes,
But all the seers mourn;
There's not a soul amongst us knows
The time of thy return.
How long, eternal God, how long
Shall men of pride blaspheme?
Shall saints be made their endless song,
And bear immortal shame?
Canst thou for ever sit and hear
Thine holy name profaned?
And still thy jealousy forbear,
And still withhold thine hand?
What strange deliv'rance hast thou shown
In ages long before!
And now no other God we own,
No other God adore.
Thou didst divide the raging sea
By thy resistless might,
To make thy tribes a wondrous way,
And then secure their flight.
Is not the world of nature thine,
The darkness and the day?
Didst thou not bid the morning shine,
And mark the sun his way?
Hath not thy power formed every coast,
And set the earth its bounds,
With summer's heat, and winter's frost,
In their perpetual rounds?
And shall the sons of earth and dust
That sacred power blaspheme?
Will not thy hand that formed them first
Avenge thine injured name?
Think oh the cov'nant thou hast made,
And all thy words of love;
Nor let the birds of prey invade,
And vex thy mourning dove.
Our foes would triumph in our blood,
And make our hope their jest;
Plead thy own cause, Almighty God,
And give thy children rest.
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Analysis and Comments on Psalm 74
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