The Life and Works of Christopher Dock/Spiritual Magazine II/No. 15

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Part II, Number 15

Two Edifying Hymns, which the Godfearing Christopher Dock (schoolmaster on the Skippack) has left to his pupils and all others that read them, for contemplation.

Tune: Who Only Letteth God Command; or to the following notes:

(Meter and Rhyme like “Dying Song.”)

The thread of my life runs to an end,
My pilgrimage is soon over;
Lord, send me an angel
To guide me to the heavenly Canaan.
Who stands beside me at the rudder
When I ride through the final storm?
That my little boat may pass
Straight through the waves of death's anguish,
To Canaan, and my soul may look
Intent upon her guiding star,
Upon my Savior, Jesus Christ, who
In death still my life shall be.
O Lord, my God, this is my prayer,
Look not upon my righteousness.
I hope that Thou wilt keep me
By Thy grace and mercy.
For our own righteousness is
Before Thee as a filthy rag.
To increase faith, love, hope,
Does not lie within the power of man.
I trust in Christ my Lord
And in His unfailing Word.
This, upon my last journey, shall be
The draught of life, the food of soul.
He is the lamb, that here on earth
Hath borne the sin of the world;
He that heartily believes shall be saved,
And find with God peace and grace.
Thus, I will cling to Jesus when death
Shall rend my heart asunder.
Now will I say in love, brothers and sisters,
Wife and child, every friend that's dear,
Also those that we do hate,
Or are turned against me;
Pray you all, forbear,
Forgive and spare the debt.
Where you my manner, act and life,
In something have offended,
I will gladly forgive all of you
And pray God that He, in mercy,
Will look upon us and be gracious,
And forgive us all our sin.
Yet one thing more I can't conceal,
It still weighs upon my heart;
It is the tender souls of youth,
These I must in memory cherish.
Because Satan in this world hath laid for them
Many nets, stumbling blocks and snares.
These entangle their souls
And lead them forth in chains
Along the broad path through his treachery,
Direct to the gate of Hell,
To steep them throughout Eternity
In anguish, pain and great torment.
He exalts for them the lusts of the eye,
The love of the world, through which
They may feed the lusts of the flesh,
Through fame, sensuality, success and wealth,
Through vanity, avarice, deceit;
Through guile, lying, and hypocrisy;
By eating, drinking, dancing, carousing,
Swearing and cursing without restraint;
By singing frivolous, vulgar, wicked songs,
By spreading sensuality.
Then from these proceed hatred,
Jealously, envy, enmity, war and murder.
I pray you, dear children,
O, I admonish and beg you,
Go not in the way of sinful men,
It leads you away from God's kingdom;
Fear God and beseech Him early and late
To lead you along the right path.
Hath not God given His Son,
As a light for this dark world;
As the way of truth and life?
Whoever follows His footsteps will not err.
He alone is the right pathway
That leadeth to the heavenly Canaan.
God taketh no pleasure in destruction,
The sinner's death doth not please Him.
He hath no joy in our death
Nor our falling into judgment.
Unbelief and the lusts of the flesh
Alone bring us to a bitter end.
As I have learned from God's word,
And as our Savior Himself says;
That light has come into the world
And appeared as a condemnation
To those who in darkness
Walk without faith and penitence.
Therefore for the children of men
The Gospel is still prepared;
Who believeth not, will be guilty
Of neglecting his own salvation.
He that doeth evil hateth the light,
And thereby he falls into judgment.
Who here in time of grace,
In his awful state of sin,
Through God's word and spirit takes
In true repentance, admits his sin,
And believes in Christ unerringly
And follows Him, will be comforted.
God is willing to forgive his sin.
Christ, through His righteousness,
Will renew him through His spirit,
And clothe him with the wedding garment.
Then begins the rejoicing of the angels,
When one soul is willing to repent.
Consider well, dear children,
And practice godliness;
Let not the world be a hindrance to you
In your salvation and blessedness.
Then you will yonder in eternity,
Rejoice without pain or sorrow.
Consider it also, ye children of men
Who still live in vanity;
Consider it well, ye fearless sinners,
And take counsel in time,
Before God turns His face away from you,
And His righteous wrath is kindled.
Now, good-night, ye dear youth,
God bless and keep you.
May He adorn you with modesty and virtue,
And lead you to His kingdom.
Good-night, to all of you together,
Young and old, large and small.
This little hymn I give in parting
To all my dear pupils,
And beg you to prepare
For eternal joy in God's kingdom.
Let lamp and vessel not be empty,
Pour the oil of faith into them with virtue.

II Peter i, 5 to 16.

Verse 8 on Manuscript omitted:

Mark well, I mean to say
That my prayer is to Jesus only.
What concerns Jew, Turk and Gentile,
These I never have offended.
I wish for them a view that's clear,
To see the Light of Life in God's Word.



by the same Author[1]

Tune: Ye Sinners Come.

O, children, would you cherish
A worthy lasting love?
The good that does not perish
Is only found above.
Seek God, the highest goal,
With spirit and with soul,
Then you will find a rapture
The heart cannot control.
Is indolence a pleasure?
Does worldliness allure?
Then know that short the measure,
For life is never sure,
And through eternity,
The soul will ever be,
The time for pardon wasted,
In woful misery.
Saint Luke has plainly written
About a man of pride —
With riches was he smitten,
And worldliness beside —
He lived a little while,
Luxurious in style,
And fixed his heart on pleasures
That only do beguile.
In purple was he clothed,
The whiles he lived on earth,
Soon vanities were loathed
And pride of little worth.
Death put an end to gain —
He found himself in pain —
And from the direst sorrow
He ne'er was free again.
Then piteous was his wailing
To Father Abraham;
“O come and help me failing
In this tormenting flame —
If I could only sip —
If Lazarus would drip
A little drop of water
Upon my parching lip.
No hope to him was given,
No answer from the Lord
To say that he was living
Choose good for his reward.
And so, beloved child,
Take this for warning mild,
Abandon idle living,
To good be reconciled.
It is a truthful story
As Christ Himself does teach,
Not simply allegory,
Or other idle speech,
And also can we say
That on the judgment day
The one will be rejoicing,
The other mourning stay.
Christ tells us very plainly
The gate is open wide
And many enter vainly
In worldliness and pride;
The way is very broad,
It is an easy road,
Which leadeth to destruction
And sorrow's dread abode.
We read with greatest wonder
In many places more,
That Christ with trumpet's thunder,
While angels round Him soar,
Will come upon that day,
The Holy Scriptures say,
When everything material
Will crash and pass away.
And then must all assemble
To meet His searching glance,
Both strong and weak will tremble
To see that countenance,
The reckoning to hear,
What each in his career
Has done of good or evil —
Oh, children, think and fear.
Our secret inclinations
Will then be open thrown,
Our strongest aspirations
Will in the light be shown,
And he who then with heed,
The Book of Life can read,
And find his name there written,
Is fortunate indeed.
He who is so appointed
Aside at Christ's right hand,
Along with the anointed,
Among the sheep will stand,
To him great joy will be
For all eternity,
No tongue can give description
Of his felicity.
While bells are softly ringing,
The angel music choir
With chanting and with singing,
Will enter through the door
To Zion's golden town,
On mortals looking down,
And every lamb of Jesus
Shall then receive his crown.
Oh, truest shepherd Jesus!
Count us among Thine own,
Come quickly and release us,
Amid enticements thrown,
For here does Satan old
His wicked nets unfold
And ever seek to win us
With honors and with gold.
As long as we are living
Is danger ever here,
Unless assistance giving
Thy helping hand be near.
Thy Holy Spirit send,
That He support may lend,
So that we faithful follow
Thy word unto the end.
Whene'er our hearts are sinking
Within the narrow way,
Assist us then in thinking
That any wish to stray
May, from Thy judgment stool
Into the fiery pool,
Us hurl below forever,
Where waters never cool.
Whenever earthly rapture,
Or arrogance or lust,
Shall with allurements capture,
Oh! help us to distrust —
Enable us to see
What endless misery
For transitory pleasures
Will ever ready be.
Oh, let us be o'erflowing
With true humility;
The lamp of faith be glowing
That all of us may see
False glimmerings to shun:
The world be overdone;
The victory o'er fleshly things
By lowliness be won.
Oh! send us from above,
Thou Bridegroom of the soul!
Thou source of purest love!
A living burning coal
To kindle in the heart
The fear of Satan's art
That all things may be hateful
Which would from Thee us part.
The virtuous, oh Father!
Acceptable to Thee,
And all the children gather
Who still unready be
That, spread on every side,
Thy kingdom may be wide,
And that Thy will be followed,
Thy name be glorified.
And since the way to Jordan,
The long and narrow road,
Is full of toil and burden,
The Cross a weary load,
Oh, give us patience, Lord,
Thy precious help afford,
Withhold not from our failings
Thy sweet forgiving word.
If we the way pursuing
Should ever turn aside
Unto our own undoing,
Induced by worldly pride,
As oft indeed has been,
And for the grievous sin
Might punishment severest
Deservedly begin.
Oh, God, and glorious Father,
Our failures do not heed,
But for Thy Son's sake rather
Be merciful indeed,
So that when sorrows toss
No earthly trial or loss,
Not even death, itself, can
Divide us from the cross.
Then praise to God above
Upon the highest throne,
To Him we offer love,
To Christ His blessed Son,
And to the Holy Ghost,
In whom we place our trust,
They bring at last together
The pious and the just.

  1. In Governor Pennypacker's “Historical and Biographical Sketches,” p. 148 ff, the following translation is given. In the translation the Governor says: “The effort has been made to preserve the thought, versification, metre and rhyme — a somewhat difficult task.” The task has been so artfully performed that it seemed best to give it in this interesting form.