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Lord, The Sovereign

The Lord, the Sovereign, sends His summons forth,
Calls the south nations and awakes the north;
From east to west the sounding orders spread,
Through distant worlds and regions of the dead:
No more shall atheists mock His long delay;
His vengeance sleeps no more: behold the day!

Behold, the Judge descends, His guards are nigh;
Tempest and fire attend Him down the sky:
Heav�n, earth, and hell, draw near; let all things come
To hear His justice, and the sinner�s doom:
�But gather first My saints,� the Judge commands,
�Bring them, ye angels, from their distant lands.

�Behold, My cov�nant stands for ever good,
Sealed by th� eternal Sacrifice in blood,
And signed with all their names; the Greek, the Jew,
That paid the ancient worship or the new,
There�s no distinction here; come, spread their thrones,
And near Me seat My fav�rites and My sons.

�I, their Almighty Savior and their God,
I am their Judge: ye heav�ns, proclaim abroad
My just eternal sentence, and declare
Those awful truths that sinners dread to hear:
Sinners in Zion, tremble and retire;
I doom the painted hypocrite to fire.

�Not for the want of goats or bullocks slain
Do I condemn thee; bulls and goats are vain
Without the flames of love; in vain the store
Of brutal off�rings that were Mine before;
Mine are the tamer beasts and savage breed,
Flocks, herds, and fields and forests where they feed.

�If I were hungry, would I ask thee food?
When did I thirst, or drink thy bullocks� blood?
Can I be flattered with thy cringing bows,
Thy solemn chatt�rings and fantastic vows?
Are My eyes charmed thy vestments to behold,
Glaring in gems, and gay in woven gold?

�Unthinking wretch! how couldst thou hope to please
A God, a Spirit, with such toys as these,
While, with My grace and statutes on thy tongue,
Thou lov�st deceit, and dost thy brother wrong?
In vain to pious forms thy zeal pretends,
Thieves and adulterers are thy chosen friends.

�Silent I waited with long-suff�ring love,
But didst thou hope that I should ne�er reprove?
And cherish such an impious thought within,
That God, the Righteous, would indulge thy sin?
Behold My terrors now: My thunders roll,
And thy own crimes affright thy guilty soul.�

Sinners, awake betimes; ye fools, be wise;
Awake before this dreadful morning rise;
Change your vain thoughts, your crooked works amend,
Fly to the Savior, make the Judge your friend
Lest, like a lion, His last vengeance tear
Your trembling souls, and no deliv�rer near.


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