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Hymn/Song Information

Hear O my people to my law devout

Hear, O my people; to my law
devout attention lend;
Let the instruction of my mouth
deep in your hearts descend.

My tongue, by inspiration taught,
shall parables unfold,
Dark oracles, but understood,
and owned for truths of old.

Which we from sacred registers
of ancient times have known,
And our forefathers' pious care
to us have handed down.

We will not hide them from our sons;
our offspring shall be taught,
The praises of the Lord, whose strength
has works of wonder wrought.

For Jacob he this law ordained;
this league with Israel made'
With charge to be from age to age,
from race to race conveyed.

That generations yet to come
should to their unborn heirs
Religiously transmit the same,
and they again to theirs.

To teach them that in God alone
their hope securely stands;
That they should ne'er his works forget,
but keep his just commands.

Lest, like their fathers, they might prove
a stiff rebellious race,
False-hearted, fickle to their God,
unsteadfast in his grace.

Such were revolting Ephraim's sons,
who, though to warfare bred,
And skilful archers armed with bows,
rom field ignobly fled.

They falsified their league with God,
his orders disobeyed,
Forgot his works and miracles
before their eyes displayed.

Nor wonders which their fathers saw
did they ill mind retain;
Prodigious things in Egypt done,
and Zoan's fertile plain.

He cut the seas to let them pass,
restrained the pressing flood;
While, piled in heaps, oil either side
the solid waters stood.

A wondrous pillar led them on,
composed of shade and light;
A shelt'ring cloud it proved by day,
a leading fire by night.

When drought oppressed them, where no stream
the wilderness supplied,
He cleft the rock, whose flinty breast
dissolved into a tide.

Streams from the solid rock he brought,
which down in rivers fell,
That, trav'ling with their camp, each day
renewed the miracle.

Yet there they sinned against him more,
provoking the Most High,
In that same desert, where he did
their fainting souls supply.

They first incensed him in their hearts,
that did his pow'r distrust,
And longed for meat, not urged by want,
but to indulge their lust.

Then uttered their blaspheming doubts,
"Can God (say they) prepare
"A table in the wilderness,
set out with various fare?

"He smote the flinty rock, 'tis true,
and-gushing streams ensued;
"But can he corn and flesh provide
for such a multitude?"

The Lord with indignation heard:
from heav'n avenging flame
On Jacob fell, consuming wrath
on thankless Israel came.

Because their unbelieving hearts
in God would not confide,
Nor trust his care, who had from heav'n
their wants so oft supplied.

Though he had made his clouds discharge
provisions down in show'rs;
And, when earth failed, relieved their needs
from his celestial stores.

Though tasteful manna was rained down,
their hunger to relieve;
Though front the stores of heav'n they did
sustaining corn receive.

Thus man, with angels' sacred food,
ungrateful man, was fed;
Not sparingly, for still they found
a plenteous table spread.

From heav'n he made an east wind blow,
then did the south command,
To rain down flesh, like dust, and fowls
like sea's unnumbered sand.

Within their trenches he let fall
the luscious easy prey,
And all around their spreading camp,
the ready booty lay.

They fed, were filled: he gave them leave
their appetites to feast;
Yet still their wanton lust craved on,
nor with their hunger ceased.

But whilst in their luxurious mouths
they did their dainties chew,
The wrath of God smote down their chiefs,
and Israel's chosen slew.

marker 99
Meter: 8 6 8 6 (C.M.)
      Dates: 1696
      Bible Refs: Ps 78:1-31;
      Hymn/Song Book Year Song #
      1821# 78
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