By Timothy Dwight
(1752 - 1817)
 
 
Love to the Church
 
 
I LOVE thy kingdom, Lord,
  The house of thine abode,
The church our blest Redeemer saved
  With his own precious blood.
 
I love thy church, O God!
  Her walls before thee stand,
Dear as the apple of thine eye,
  And graven on thy hand.
 
If e’er to bless thy sons
  My voice or hands deny,
These hands let useful skill forsake,
  This voice in silence die.
 
For her my tears shall fall,
  For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be given
  Till toils and cares shall end.
 
Beyond my highest joy
  I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
  Her hymns of love and praise.
 
Jesus, thou friend divine,
  Our Saviour and our King,
Thy hand from every snare and foe
  Shall great deliverance bring.
 
Sure as thy truth shall last,
  To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield,
  And brighter bliss of heaven.
 
The Smooth Divine
 
 
THERE smiled the smooth Divine, unused to wound
The sinner’s heart with hell’s alarming sound.
No terrors on his gentle tongue attend;
No grating truths the nicest ear offend.
That strange new-birth, that methodistic grace,
Nor in his heart nor sermons found a place.
Plato’s fine tales he clumsily retold,
Trite, fireside, moral seesaws, dull as old,—
His Christ and Bible placed at good remove,
Guilt hell-deserving, and forgiving love.
’T was best, he said, mankind should cease to sin:
Good fame required it; so did peace within.
Their honors, well he knew, would ne’er be driven;
But hoped they still would please to go to heaven.
Each week he paid his visitation dues;
Coaxed, jested, laughed; rehearsed the private news;
Smoked with each goody, thought her cheese excelled;
Her pipe he lighted, and her baby held.
Or placed in some great town, with lacquered shoes,
Trim wig, and trimmer gown, and glistening hose,
He bowed, talked politics, learned manners mild,
Most meekly questioned, and most smoothly smiled;
At rich men’s jests laughed loud, their stories praised,
Their wives’ new patterns gazed, and gazed, and gazed;
Most daintily on pampered turkeys dined,
Nor shrunk with fasting, nor with study pined:
Yet from their churches saw his brethren driven,
Who thundered truth, and spoke the voice of heaven,
Chilled trembling guilt in Satan’s headlong path,
Charmed the feet back, and roused the ear of death.
“Let fools,” he cried, “starve on, while prudent I
Snug in my nest shall live, and snug shall die.”
 
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