Part 1. Afflicted saints happy, and prosperous sinners cursed.
1 Now I 'm convinced the Lord is kind To men of heart sincere; Yet once my foolish thoughts repined, And bordered on despair. 2 I grieved to see the wicked thrive, And spoke with angry breath, "How pleasant and profane they live ! How peaceful is their death ! 3 "With well-fed flesh and haughty eyes, They lay their fears to sleep; Against the heav'ns their slanders rise, While saints in silence weep. 4 "In vain I lift my hands to pray, And cleanse my heart in vain; For I am chastened all the day, The night renews my pain." 5 Yet while my tongue indulged complaints, I felt my heart reprove, "Sure I shall thus offend thy saints, And grieve the men I love." 6 But still I found my doubts too hard, The conflict too severe, Till I retired to search thy word, And learn thy secrets there. 7 There, as in some prophetic glass, I saw the sinner's feet High mounted on a slipp'ry place, Beside a fiery pit. 8 I heard the wretch profanely boast, Till at thy frown he fell; His honors in a dream were lost, And he awakes in hell. 9 Lord, what an envious fool I was! How like a thoughtless beast Thus to suspect thy promised grace, And think the wicked blessed. l0 Yet I was kept from full despair, Upheld by power unknown; That blessed hand that broke the snare Shall guide me to thy throne.
PART 2 - v. 23--28 God our portion here and hereafter. 1 God, my supporter and my hope, My help for ever near, Thine arm of mercy held me up, When sinking in despair. 2 Thy counsels, Lord, shall guide my feet Through this dark wilderness; Thine hand conduct me near thy seat, To dwell before thy face. 3 Were I in heav'n without my God, 'twould be no joy to me; And whilst this earth is my abode, I long for none but thee. 4 What if the springs of life were broke, And flesh and heart should faint? God is my soul's eternal rock, The strength of ev'ry saint. 5 Behold, the sinners that remove Far from thy presence die; Not all the idol gods they love Can save them when they cry. 6 But to draw near to thee, my God, Shall be my sweet employ; My tongue shall sound thy works abroad, And tell the world my joy.
v. 22, 3, 6, 17--20. The prosperity of sinners cursed. 1 Lord, what a thoughtless wretch was I, To mourn, and murmur, and repine, To see the wicked placed on high, In pride and robes of' honour shine! 2 But O their end, their dreadful end! Thy sanctuary taught me so; On slipp'ry rocks I see them stand, And fiery billows roll below. 3 Now let them boast how tall they rise, I'll never envy them again; There they may stand with haughty eyes, Till they plunge deep in endless pain. 4 Their fancied joys, how fast they flee! Just like a dream when man awakes; Their songs of softest harmony Are but a preface to their plagues. 5 Now I esteem their mirth and wine Too dear to purchase with my blood; Lord, 'tis enough that thou art mine, My life, my portion, and my God.
The mystery of providence unfolded. 1 Sure there's a righteous God, Nor is religion vain; Though men of vice may boast aloud, And men of grace complain. 2 I saw the wicked rise, And felt my heart repine, While haughty fools with scornful eyes In robes of' honor shine. 3 Pampered with wanton ease, Their flesh looks full and fair; Their wealth rolls in like flowing seas, And grows without their care. 4 Free from the plagues and pains That pious souls endure; Through all their life oppression reigns, And racks the humble poor. 5 Their impious tongues blaspheme The everlasting God; Their malice blasts the good man's name, And spreads their lies abroad. 6 But I with flowing tears Indulged my doubts to rise; "Is there a God that sees or hears The things below the skies?" 7 The tumults of my thought Held me in hard suspense, Till to thy house my feet were brought, To learn thy justice thence. 8 Thy word with light and power Did my mistake amend; I viewed the sinners' life before, But here I learned their end. 9 On what a slippery steep The thoughtless wretches go; And O that dreadful fiery deep That waits their fall below! 10 Lord, at thy feet I bow, My thoughts no more repine; I call my God my portion now, And all my powers are thine.