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EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER
I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead face to face like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. Ezekiel xx. 35, 36.
IT is so-ope thine eyes, and see
What view'st thou all around?
A desert, where iniquity
And knowledge both abound.
In the waste howling wilderness
Back to the world we faithless turn'd,
a Revelations xii. 14.
With labour lost and sorrow earn'd,
Our steps have been beguil❜d.
Yet full before us, all the while,
Yet Heaven is raining angels' bread To be our daily food,
And fresh, as when it first was shed, Springs forth the SAVIOUR's blood.
From every region, race, and speech,
Till, far as sin and sorrow reach,
Till sweetest nature, brightest art,
All own; but few, alas! will love ; Too like the recreant band
That with thy patient Spirit strove
O Father of long-suffering grace,
How shall we speak to Thee, O Lord,
Look on us, and we are abhorr'd,
Thy guardian fire, thy guiding cloud,
To see us faint and fall.
Too oft, within this camp of thine,
Sin cannot bear to see thee shine
So awful to her eyes.
Fain would our lawless hearts escape,
And with the heathen be,
To worship every monstrous shape
In fancied darkness free".
Vain thought, that shall not be at all!
Refuse we or obey,
Our ears have heard th' Almighty's call,
We cannot be as they.
We cannot hope the heathen's doom,
Weak tremblers on the edge of woe,
"LORD, wave again thy chastening rod,
"Crumble to dust, and Thou, O GOD,
b Ezekiel xx. 32. That which cometh into your mind shall not be at
all, that ye say,
We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
Bring all our wandering fancies home, "For Thou hast every spell,
"And 'mid the heathen where they roam, "Thou knowest, LORD, too well.
"Thou know'st our service sad and hard,
"So when at last our weary days
"When in thy love and Israel's sin
"We read our story true,
"We may not, all too late, begin
"To wish our hopes were new:
Long lov'd, long tried, long spar'd as they,
"Unlike in this alone,
"That, by thy grace, our hearts shall stay
"For evermore thine own."