(I. Corinthians 3:22. Whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas)
Thy grace, dear Lord, 's my golden wrack, I find,
Screwing my fancy into ragged rhymes,
Tuning Thy praises in my feeble mind
Until I come to strike them on my chimes.
Were I an angel bright, and borrow could
King David's harp, I would them play on gold.
But plunged I am, my mind is puzzled,
When I would spin my fancy thus unspun,
In finest twine of praise I'm muzzled,
My tazzled thoughts twirled into snick-snarls run.
Thy grace, my Lord, is such a glorious thing,
It doth confound me when I would it sing.
Eternal love an object mean did smite,
Which by the prince of darkness was beguiled,
That from this love it ran and swelled with spite,
And in the way with filth was all defiled,
Yet must be reconciled, cleansed, and begraced,
Or from the fruits of God's first love displaced.
Then grace, my Lord, wrought in Thy heart a vent,
Thy soft soft hand to this hard work did go,
And to the milk-white throne of justice went
And entered bond that grace might overflow.
Hence did Thy person t my nature tie
And bleed through human veins to satisfy.
Oh! grace, grace, grace! This wealthy grace doth lay
Her golden channels from Thy father's throne,
Into our earthen pitchers to convey
Heaven's aqua vitae to s for our own.
O! Let Thy golden gutters run into
My cup this liquor till it overflow.
Thine ordinances, grace's wine-fats where
Thy spirit walks, and grace's runs do lie,
And angels waiting stand with holy cheer
From grace's conduit head, with all supply.
These vessels full of grace are, and the bowls
In which their taps do run are precious souls.
Thou to the cups dost say (that catch this wine)
'This liquor, golden pipes, and wine-fats plain,
Whether Paul, Apollos, Cephas, all are thine.'
Oh golden word! Lord, speak it o'er again.
Lord, speak it home to me, say these are mine.
My bells shall then Thy praises bravely chime.