A Hymn of Praise to God

For Temporal, & Spiritual Mercies


What Finite power, with ceaseless Toil

Can fathom*[1] the Eternal Mind?

Or Who, th’Almighty Three, & One,

By Searching, to perfection find?


Angels, & Men in vain may raise

Harmonious, their Adoring Songs;

The lab’ring Thought sinks down Opprest;

And Praises Die upon their Tongues.


Yet would I lift my trembling Voice

A Portion of His Ways to Sing;

And mingling with his meanest Works

My Humble, Gratefull Tribute bring.


Thee, Heav’nly Parent I Adore,

Whose Hand with most surprising Art,

Wrought, & Combin’d this Curious Frame;

Whose Breath inspir’d my Nobler Part.


Thee, I’ll Extoll, my Father’s God;

And Ever laud that Covenant-Grace,

Which Early (as His Infant-Seed)

Intwin’d me with its kind Embrace.


Nourish’d beneath thy Tender Wing,

Thy pitying Care, each Want Supply’d;

Exploring all my feeble Moan,

E’re yet to Thee my God, I cry’d.


Thy Teachings, in the Morn of Life,

Guided my Soul in Wisdom’s Ways:

And Dawning Reason, felt ye Aid,

Of Revelation’s Brighter Rays.


Thou wast my Guardian, thou my Guide,

When with a heedless Foot I trod,

The Slipp’ry, dang’rous Paths of Youth.

(And ah! how mindless of my God!)


When the gay Blandishments of Sence,

With blooming Pleasures spread my Way,

And Sin, & Hell conspir’d to lead

My Unexperienc’d Mind astray,


Thou, with Paternal Pity mov’d,

Delivering Grace did’st then afford;

Thy Word, thy Spirit, & thy Rod,

Have oft my Wand’ring Soul Restor’d.


When thy Chastising Hand I mourn’d,

Thine Ear was open to my Cry:

And in the Hours of Deep Distress,

Was thy Salvation Ever Nigh.


Thro’ Life, thy Providence has crown’d,

Yea, & Prevented every Wish:

And in the most Endearing Friends,

Compleated all my Earthly Bliss.


But Richer Products of thy Grace

My Soul with growing Ardor Sings;

Pardon, & Peace, & Endless Joys,

A Dear, Incarnate Saviour brings.


In Pastures green, my Feet are led;

Where Salutary Water flows;

Where bending with Angelic Fruits,

The Tree of Life Immortal Grows.


In vain, my God, this gratefull Heart

Attempts to count thy Mercies o’er:

Their Sum Exceeds the Starry Worlds;

Or Num’rous Sands which spread the Shore.


What Thanks, what Praises are thy due?

Great Origin of Life & Bliss?

Source of my Comforts Here Below;

And of Eternal Happiness?


I feel! I feel! a Sacred Flame

Kindling within this Icy Breast!

Yes, while I Live, I’ll Love thy Name

With Fervors not to be exprest.


To Thee, I yield my Every Pow’r;

And consecrate[2] my All to Thee:

Thee will I Serve, Adore, & Praise,

Thro’ Time, & to Eternity.

[1] The asterisk appears in the MS but without any explanatory note at the foot of the page or the end of the document.

[2] consecrate] MS

Text: Gen. MSS. 635, Beinecke Library, Yale University, fols 3-6.