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1. Time how Swift.
WHILE with ceaseless course the sun
Hafted thro' the former year,
Many souls their race have run, i
Never more to meet us here:
Fix'd in an eternal state,
They have done with all below;
We a little longer wait,
But how little-none can know.
2 As the winged arrow flies,
Speedily the mark to find;
As the lightning from the skies
Darts, and leaves no trace behind;
Swiftly thus our fleeting days
Bear us down life's rapid stream ;
Upwards, Lord, our fpirits raise,
All below is but a dream.
3 Thanks for mercies past receive,
Pardon of our fins renew;
Teach us, henceforth, how to live
With eternity in view :
Bless thy word to young and old,
Fill us with a Saviour's love;
And when life's short tale is told,
May we dwell with thee above.
1 TIME, with an unwearied hand,
Pushes round the seasons past;
And in life's frail glass the sand
Sinks apace, not long to last:
Many as well as you or I,
Who last year assembled thus,
In their filent graves now lie,
Graves will open soon for us !
2 Daily fin, and care, and strife,
While the Lord prolongs our breath,
Make it but a dying life,
Or a kind of living death::
Wretched they and most forlorn,
Who no better portion know;
Better ne'er to have been born,
Than to have our all below. 3
When constrain'd to go alone,
Leaving all you love behind,
Enı'ring on a world unknown,
What will then lupport your mind?
When the Lord his fummons tends
Earthly comforts lose their pow'r;
Honour, riches, kindred, friends,
Cannot cheer a dying hour,
4 Happy souls who fear the Lord!
Time is not too swift for you ;
When your Saviour gives the word,
Glad you'll bid the world adieu :
Then he'll wipe away your tears,
Near himself appoint your place ;
Swifter fly, ye rolling years,
Lord, we long to see thy face.
III. Uncertainty of Life.
SEE! another year is gone !
Quickly have the seasons pass'd!
This we enter now upon
May to many prove their last :
Mercy hitherto has spar'd,
But have mercies been improv'd ?
Let us ask, Am I prepar'd
Should I be this
remov'd ? 2 Some we pow no longer see,
Who their mortal race have run,
Seem'd as fair for life as we,
When the former year begun :
Some, but who God only knows,
Who are here assembled now,
Ere the present year (hall clofe,
To the stroke of death must bow. 3
Life a field of battle is,
Thousands fall within our view;
And the next death-bolt that flies,
May be sent to me or you:
While we preach, and while we hear,
Help us, Lord, each one to think,
Vaft eternity is near,
I am ftanding on the brink.
4 If from guilt and fin set free,
By the knowledge of thy grace ;
Welcome, then, the call will be
To depart and see thy face :
To thy saints, while here below,
With new years, new mercies come;
But the happiest year they know
Is their laft, which leads them home.
IV. A New-Year's Thought and Prayer. 3 TIME, by moments, steals away,
First the hour, and then the day;
Small the daily lofs appears,
Yet it soon amounts to years:
Thus another year is flown,
Now it is no more our own,
If it brought or promis'd good,
Than the years before the flood. 2 But (may none of us forget)
It has left us much in debt;
Favours from the Lord receiv'd,
Sins that have his Spirit griev'd,
Mark'd by an unerring hand,
In his book recorded ttand;
Who can tell the vast amount,
Plac'd to each of our account? 3 Happy the believing foul !
Christ for you has paid the whole;
While you own the debt is large,
You may plead a full discharge:
But, poor cartless finner, say,
What can you to justice pay?
Tremble, left when life is past,
Into prison you be cast !
4 Will you still increase the score?
Still be careless as before?
Oh, forbid it, gracious Lord,
Touch their spirits by thy word!
Now, in mercy, to them fhow
What a mighty debt they owe!
All their unbelief subdue;
Let them find forgiveness too.
5 Spard to see another year,
Let thy blefling meet us here ;
Come, thy dying work revive,
Bid thy drooping garden thrive :
Sun of righteousness, arise !
Warm our hearts, and bless our eyes;
Let our pray'r thy bowels move,
Make this year a time of love.
V. Death and War. 1778. ' HARK! how Time's wide sounding bell
. Strikes on each attentive ear!. Tolling loud the folemn kheit Of the late departed year: Years, like mortals, wear away, Have their birth and dying day, Youthful spring, and wintry ago,
Then to others quit the stage.. 2 Sad experience may relave
What a year the lait has been !!
Crops of forrow have been great,
From the fruitful seeds of fin :
Oh! what numbers gay and blithe,
Fell by death's upsparing fcythe ?
While they thought the world their own,
Suddenly he mow'd them down.
3 See how War, with dreadful stride,
Marches at the Lord's command,
Spreading defolation wide,
Thro' a once much-favour'd land:
War, with heart and arms of steel,
Preys on thousands at a meal ;
Daily drinking human gore,
Still he thirits and calls for more. 4 If the God whom we provoke,
Hither should his way direct;
What a lin-avenging ítroke
May a land like this expect!