Page:Shorter catechism in verse, with Scriptural references.pdf/23

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Hymns. 23


While others romances and novels may read,
To make time fly faster that flies with such speed!
There is nothing shall yield me a greater delight.
Than reading my Bible, by day and by night.
Other hooks may indeed be compos’d by the pen
Of the greatest, the wisest, the learned’st of men;
But the Bible eclipses their glory as far
As the sun in his splendour eclipses a star!
What bard can compare with the prophet Isaiah,
Who sung so sublime of the glorious Messiah?
Can Grecian or Roman e’er strike the lyre string
So wildly delightful as Israel’s king?
Or any historian such knowledge afford,
As that which is taught in the book of the Lord ?
O how my young bosom exultingly glows,
As I read how this world out of nothing arose,—
How yon great orb of light out of dark chaos sprung,
While the stars of the morning triumphantly sung;
How all things were form’d on this wonderful ball.
And man was created the lord of them all!
How happy he liv’d—how delightful his hours,
While he walk’d with his God in a garden of flow’rs ;
No sorrow he knew, till he stretch’d forth his hand,
And took of the fruit ’gainst his Maker’s command.
Then paradise wither’d—the earth ceas’d to bloom,
For sin scatter’d o’er it death’s horrible gloom!
Man, happy no longer, now destin’d to toil,
With the sweat of his brow he must water the soil;—
The prey of disease, disappointment, and pain,
Quick down to the dust he must wander again;
And his soul, never dying, cast off from its God,
In the regions of woe must take up its abode.
Till the great day of judgment, when, awful to tell!
Both body and soul shall be cast into hell,
Where the worm never dies, and the fire ever burns,
And whence no inhabitant ever returns!