Month: February 2014

A Sonnet by Anne Locke (1560)

(Editor’s Note: This is part of the first sonnet sequence published in the English language.  It is based on contemplation on Psalm 51. It was published with a collection of John Calvin sermons that Anne Lock had translated from French to English.)

Have mercy, God, for thy great mercy’s sake.
O God: my God, unto my shame I say,
Being fled from thee, so as I dread to take
Thy name in wretched mouth, and fear to pray
Or ask the mercy that I have abused.
But, God of mercy, let me come to thee:
Not for justice, that justly am accused:
Which self word Justice so amazeth me,
That scarce I dare thy mercy sound again.
But mercy, Lord, yet suffer me to crave.
Mercy is thine: Let me not cry in vain,
Thy great mercy for my great fault to have.
Have mercy, God, pity my penitence
With greater mercy than my great offense.

by Anne Lock, 1560

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To The Author of Don Juan by John Newton Brown (1821)

“Grieved to condemn, the Muse must be just, Nor spare melodious advocates of lust.” – English Bards and Scotch Reviewere
Lord of the lecherous lyre! away, away!
Ask not for sympathy with such a mind;
Virtue, indignant, spurns poetic sway,
When basely wielded to corrupt mankind.
Away! the witchery of thy wanton song
Steals to young hearts voluptuous access;
But while the notes roll the charmed ear along,
The soul is prisoned in Sin’s foul caress.
Sorcerer! thou holdest an enchanted cup.
Drugged by no fabled Circe’s magic art;
There are who’ve drunk its fatal contents up,
And felt the venom shoot through all the heart
Away! and bear with thee that living lyre!
‘Tis wreathed with spotted serpents, and its breath,
Like the soft song of Scylia’s syren choir.
Though rich in melody, is rank with death.

by John Newton Brown, 1821

Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand by Philip Doddridge

doddridge_pGreat God! we sing that mighty hand
By which supported still we stand;
The opening year thy mercy shows;
Thy mercy crowns it till its close.

By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still are we guarded by our God;
By his incessant bounty fed,
By his unerring counsel led.

With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to thy guardian care commit,
And peaceful leave before thy feet.

In scenes exalted or depressed
Thou art our joy, and Thou our rest;
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

When death shall interrupt these songs,
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
New life, new blessings, and new love,
Will sweeter hymns inspire above.

by Philip Doddridge

The Grave Of My Parents by John Newton Brown (1820)

The bed of my parents is narrow and deep,
Yet soft is their slumber, and sweet is their sleep;
Their children in vain o’er their damp pillow weep,
And utter their sorrows mournfully.
The pastor lies pillowed in dust by their side.
To whom in close friendship their hearts were allied;
But in youth he afar from his relatives died.
And there he reposes peacefully.
They dwell near together, but mute is the tongue
On whose pious instructions with rapture they hung,
And in silence, the clods of the valley among.
Are the friends who once loved so tenderly.
Around their dark dwelling the wild tempest raves,
Above it the hemlock still mournfully waves,
But the evergreen lifts its bright leaf on their graves,
Emblem of their immortality
As in life, so in death, they were strangers to fame.
No sepulchral stone is inscribed with their name,
And the sculptor ne’er labored with art to proclaim
Their faith, or their hope, or their charity.
But theirs is a record emblazoned on high.
And although the green turf on their bodies now lie,
Their spirits exult in the bright, blissful sky,
And reign with the Savior gloriously.
Then, while we are mourning the stroke of the rod.
We no longer will dwell on the mouldering sod.
But believe in their Savior, and trust in their God,
And follow the path of their piety.
Then, when the last trumpet resounds in the skies.
And the sleepers in dust from their slumbers arise.
We shall meet them in peace with ecstatic surprise,
And share in their pleasures eternally.
by John Newton Brown (1820)

Christ The Supreme Beauty by Anne Steele

(Isaiah 33:17)

Should nature's charms, to please the eye, 
	In sweet assemblage join, 
All nature's charms would droop and die, 
	Jesus, compar'd with thine. 

Vain were her fairest beams display'd, 
	And vain her blooming store; 
Ev'n brightness languishes to shade, 
	And beauty is no more. 

But ah, how far from mortal sight, 
	The Lord of glory dwells! 
A veil of interposing night 
	His radiant face conceals. 

O could my longing spirit rise 
	On strong immortal wing, 
And reach thy palace in the skies, 
	My Saviour, and my king!

There myriads worship at thy feet, 
	And there, (divine employ!) 
The triumphs of thy love repeat, 
	In songs of endless joy. 

Thy presence beams eternal day, 
	O'er all the blissful place; 
Who would not drop this load of clay, 
	And die to see thy face?

by Anne Steele

Come Heavenly Love, Inspire My Song by Anne Steele

Come heavenly love, inspire my song,
With thy immortal flame;
And teach my heart, to teach my tongue,
The Savior’s lovely name.

The Savior! O what endless charms
Dwell in the blissful sound!
Its influence every fear disarms,
And spreads sweet comfort round.

Here pardon, life, and joys divine
In rich effusion flow,
For guilty rebels lost in sin,
And doomed to endless woe.

God’s only Son, (stupendous grace!)
Forsook his throne above;
And swift to save our wretched race,
He flew on wings of love.

Th’ Almighty former of the skies
Stooped to our vile abode;
While angels viewed with wondering eyes,
And hailed th’ incarnate God.

O the rich depths of love divine!
Of bliss, a boundless store:
Dear Savior, let me call thee mine,
I cannot wish for more.

On thee alone my hope relies,
Beneath thy cross I fall.
My Lord, my life, my sacrifice,
My Savior, and my all.

by Anne Steele

Twixt Jesus and the Human Race by John Kent

Twixt Jesus and the Chosen Race
Subsists a bond of sov’reign grace,
That hell, with its infernal train,
Shall ne’er dissolve, or rend in twain.

This sacred bond shall never break,
Though earth should to her center shake;
Rest, doubting saint, assured of this,
For God has pledged His holiness.

He swore but once the deed was done;
‘Twas settled by the great Three One;
Christ was appointed to redeem
All that the Father loved in Him.

Hail, sacred union, firm and strong
How great thy grace, how sweet the song,
That rebel worms should ever be
One with incarnate Deity!

One in the tomb, one when He rose,
One when he triumphed o’er His foes
One when in heav’n He took His seat,
While seraphs sung at hell’s defeat.

Blessed by the wisdom and the grace,
Th’ eternal love and faithfulness,
That’s in the gospel scheme revealed,
And is by God the Spirit sealed.

by John Kent