THE TWELFTH PSALM.
Ah God, from heaven look down and view;
Let it thy pity waken;
Behold thy saints how very few!
We wretches are forsaken.
Thy word they grant nor true nor right,
And faith is thus extinguished quite
Among the sons of Adam.
They teach a cunning false and fine–
In their own wits they found it;
Their heart in one doth not combine,
Nor on God’s word they ground it;
One chooses this, the other that;
Endless division they are at,
And yet they keep smooth faces.
God will outroot the teachers all
Who with false shows present us;
Besides, their proud tongues loudly call–
Tush! tush!–who can prevent us?
We have the right and might in full;
And what we say, that is the rule;
Who dares to give us lessons!
Therefore saith God: I must be up;
My poor ones ill are faring;
Their sighs crowd up to Zion’s top.
My ear their cry is hearing.
My wholesome word shall speedily
With comfort fill them, fresh and free,
And strength be to the needy.
Silver that seven times is tried
With fire, is found the purer;
God’s word the same test must abide–
It still comes out the surer.
It shall by crosses proved be;
Men shall its power and glory see
Shine strong upon the nations.
God will its purity defend
From this ill generation.
Let us ourselves to thee commend
Lest we fall from our station;
The godless rout is all around
Where these rude wanton ones are found
Against thy folk exalted.
THE FOURTEENTH PSALM.
Although the fools say with their mouth:
Great God, we magnify him;
Their heart cares nothing for the truth,
In action they deny him.
Their being is corrupted quite;
To God it is a horrid sight;
Not one of them works goodness.
From heaven God downward cast his eye
Upon men’s sons so many;
He set himself to look and spy
If he could find out any
Who their own reason up had stirred
Earnestly to obey God’s word,
After his will enquiring.
Upon the right path there was none;
From it they all were straying;
Each followed fancies of his own,
Them to ill deeds bewraying.
Not one of them did good even once,
Though many, fooled by arrogance,
Thought God with them well pleased.
How long by lies will they be led
Who vain attempts redouble!
They eat my people up as bread,
And live upon their trouble!
In God stands not their confidence;
From ill they ask not his defence:
They would themselves look after.
Therefore their heart is never still
But always full of fearing.
Dwell with the good the Father will,
Those who have ears for hearing.
But ye despise the poor man’s ways,
And scorn at everything he says
Concerning God his comfort.
Who will to Israel, poor flock–
To Zion send salvation?
God will take pity on his folk,
And free his captive nation;
That will he do through Christ his Son–
And then is Jacob’s weeping done,
And Isr’el filled with gladness. Amen.
THE FOURTY-SIXTH PSALM.
Our God he is a castle strong,
A good mail-coat and weapon;
He sets us free from every wrong
That wickedness would heap on.
The ancient wicked foe
He means earnest now;
Force and cunning sly
His horrid policy,–
On earth there’s no one like him!
Our strength is vain; do what we can
Our hopes are soon dejected;
But He fights for us, the right man,
By God himself elected.
Ask’st thou who is this?
Jesus Christ it is;
He is the Lord of Hosts
In whom his people boasts;
And he must win the battle.