Tuesday 14 July 2015

'Up slothful hearts!' - Kingo in great form again

Up, slothful hearts, without delay

Up, slothful hearts, without delay –
Asleep, secure, but drifting,
You worldy children, who on clay
Do build and sands fast shifting –
Look all around, the last trump’s sound
And Doomsday end life’s story,
God will his bride not here let bide,
But fetch to endless glory.

But ah! though all of nature be
In motion widely ranging,
Though sun and moon perceptibly
Their signs are always changing,
Though stars might fall, e’en so we all
In our old ways still wallow,
Though earth and sea did warn us, see
We still sin’s orbit follow.

One hears most everywhere of dread,
Of trials, sighs, tribulation,
All joy and pleasures killed stone dead,
And daily tears our station:
This world below’s like well-lit tow
Whose flame flares ere it’s falling,
Yet only few have heard the cue:
For betterment God’s calling.

Our sin and our indecency
To such a pitch have risen
That Heaven’s powers do shake, for we
Would treat God with derision:
We won’t begin to quit all sin,
Though threats from God are dire,
Act stubbornly, until we see
Our whole world is on fire.

What use is worldly splendour then?
All riches, glory, treasure?
What use is power o’er other men?
Wherein will we find pleasure?
Where is the nook to block each look
When Christ makes his appearing
High in the skies, us to apprise
Of judgments we are fearing?

True limbs of Christ, rejoice and smile,
Your hearts lift in elation,
Who under worldly might and guile
Have known such tribulation,
On Judgment Day God will repay,
Reward your firm endeavour,
Take you from woes, and earth’s hard blows
To heav’nly joy for ever.

O Jesus, o’er my heart stand guard,
So pleasures don’t pervert me,
So worldly lusts from me are barred,
Their venom fail to hurt me:
Help, Christ, I pray, on Judgment Day
That from you nought can sever,
Through your wounds’ pain I mercy gain
And sing your praise for ever.

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