Afflicted Saints more to be Congratulated than Prosperous Sinners

Now I’m convinced the Lord is kind

To men of heart sincere:

Yet once my foolish thoughts repin’d,

And border’d on despair.

I griev’d to see the wicked thrive,

And spoke with angry breath,

“How pleasant and profane they live,

How peaceful is their death!

“With well-fed flesh and haughty eyes

They lay their fears to sleep;

Against the Heavens their slanders rise,

While saints in silence weep.

“In vain I lift my hands to pray

And cleanse my heart in vain,

For I am chasten’d all the day,

The night renews my pain.”

Yet while my tongue indulg’d complaints,

I felt my heart reprove:

“Sure I shall thus offend thy saints,

And grieve the men I love.”

But still I found my doubts too hard,

The conflict too severe,

Till I retir’d to search thy word,

And learn thy secrets there.

There, as in some prophetic glass,

I saw the sinner’s feet

High mounted on a slippery place,

Beside a fiery pit.

I heard the wretch profanely boast,

Till at thy frown he fell;

His honours in a dream were lost,

And he awakes in hell.

Lord, what an envious fool I was!

How like a thoughtless beast!

Thus to suspect thy promis’d grace,

And think the wicked blest.

Yet I was kept from full despair,

Upheld by power unknown;

That blessed hand that broke the snare,

Shall guide me to thy throne.

Text: History of Jenny Hickling: An Authentic Narrative. Published by the American Tract Society, 150 Nassau-Street, New-York [c. 1825].